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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

19 Clever Ways to Eat Healthy on a Tight Budget



Healthy food can be expensive. But there are many ways to save money and still eat whole, single-ingredient foods.
Photo Credit: igor.stevanovic/Shutterstock.com

Healthy food can be expensive.

Therefore, it can be difficult to eat well when you’re on a tight budget.
However, there are many ways to save money and still eat whole, single-ingredient foods.
Here are 19 clever tips that can help you eat healthy on a budget.
1. Plan Your Meals
When it comes to saving money at the grocery store, planning is essential.
Use one day each week to plan your meals for the upcoming week. Then, make a grocery list of what you need.
Also, make sure to scan your fridge and cabinets to see what you already have. There are usually a lot of foods hidden in the back that can be used.
Only plan to purchase what you know you’re going to use, so that you don’t end up throwing away a lot of what you buy.
Bottom Line: Plan your meals for the week and make a grocery list. Only buy what you’re sure you will use, and check out what you already have in your cupboards first.
2. Stick To Your Grocery List
Once you’ve planned your meals and made your grocery list, stick to it.
It’s very easy to get sidetracked at the grocery store, which can lead to unintended, expensive purchases.
As a general rule, try to shop the perimeter of the store first. This will make you more likely to fill your cart with whole foods.
The middle of the store often contains the most processed and unhealthy foods. If you find yourself in these aisles, look to the top or bottom of the shelves rather than straight ahead. The most expensive items are usually placed at eye level.
Additionally, there are now many great grocery list apps to help you shop. Some of them can even save favorite items or share lists between multiple shoppers.
Using an app is also a great way to make sure you don’t forget your list at home.
Bottom Line: Stick to your grocery list when you’re shopping. Shop the perimeter of the store first, as this is where the whole foods are generally located.
3. Cook at Home
Cooking at home is much cheaper than eating out.
Make it a habit to cook at home, rather than eating out at the last minute.
Generally, you can feed an entire family of 4 for the same price as buying food for one or two people at a restaurant.
Some people find it best to cook for the entire week on the weekends, while others cook one meal at a time.
By cooking yourself, you also gain the benefit of knowing exactly what is in your food.
Bottom Line: Cooking at home is way less expensive than eating out. Some find it best to cook for the entire week on weekends, while others like to cook one meal at a time.
4. Cook Large Portions and Use Your Leftovers
Cooking large meals can save you both time and money.
Leftovers can be used for lunches, in other recipes or frozen in single-portion sizes to be enjoyed later on.
Leftovers usually make very good stews, stir-fries, salads and burritos. These types of food are especially great for people on a budget.
Bottom Line: Cook large meals from inexpensive ingredients, and use your leftovers during the following days.
5. Don’t Shop When You’re Hungry
If you go to the grocery store hungry, you are more likely to stray from your grocery list and buy something on impulse.
When you’re hungry, you often crave foods that aren’t good for you or your budget.
Try to grab a piece of fruit, yogurt or other healthy snack before you go to the store.
Bottom Line: Shopping while hungry can lead to cravings and impulsive buying. If you’re hungry, have a snack before you go grocery shopping.
6. Buy Whole Foods
Some foods are way cheaper in less processed form.
For example, a block of cheese is cheaper than shredded cheese and canned beans are cheaper than refried ones.
Whole grains, like brown rice and oats, are also cheaper per serving than most processed cereals.
The less processed foods are also often sold in larger quantities, and yield more servings per package.
Bottom Line: Whole foods are often less expensive than their processed counterparts. You can also buy them in larger quantities.
7. Buy Generic Brands
Most stores offer generic brands for nearly any product.
All food manufacturers have to follow standards to provide safe food. The generic brands may be the same quality as other national brands, just less expensive.
However, read the ingredients lists to make sure that you’re not getting a product of lower quality than you’re used to.
Bottom Line: Most stores offer generic brands for many products. These are often of the same quality as more expensive national brands.
8. Stop Buying Junk Food
Cut out some of the junk food from your diet.
You would be surprised to see how much you may be paying for soda, crackers, cookies, prepackaged meals and processed foods.
Despite the fact that they offer very little nutrition and are packed with unhealthy ingredients, they are also very expensive.
By skipping the processed and unhealthy foods, you can spend more of your budget on higher quality, healthy foods.
Bottom Line: Stop buying junk food at the store. It is expensive and packed with unhealthy ingredients. It also offers little or no nutritional value.
9. Stock up on Sales
If you have favorite products or staples that you use frequently, you should stock up on them when they’re on sale.
If you’re sure that it’s something you’ll definitely use, you may as well stock up and save a little money.
Just make sure that it will last for a while and won’t expire in the meantime. It will not save you any money to buy something you’ll end up throwing out later on.
Bottom Line: Stock up on staples and favorite products when they’re on sale. Just make sure that they won’t go bad in the meantime.
10. Buy Cheaper Cuts of Meat
Fresh meat and fish can be quite expensive.
However, you can get many cuts of meat that cost way less.
These are great to use in burritos, casseroles, soups, stews and stir fries.
It may also be helpful to buy a large and inexpensive cut of meat to use in several different meals during the week.
Bottom Line: Less expensive cuts of meat are great to use in casseroles, soups, stews and burritos. These types of recipes usually make big meals and lots of leftovers.
11. Replace Meat with Other Proteins
Eating less meat may be a good way to save money.
Try having one or two days per week where you use other protein sources, such as legumeshemp seeds, eggs or canned fish.
These are all very inexpensive, nutritious and easy to prepare. Most of them also have a long shelf life and are therefore less likely to spoil quickly.
Bottom Line: Try replacing meat once or twice a week with beans, legumes, eggs or canned fish. These are all cheap and nutritious sources of protein.
12. Shop For Produce That is in Season
Local produce that is in season is generally cheaper. It is also usually at its peak in both nutrients and flavor.
Produce that is not in season has often been transported halfway around the world to get to your store, which is not good for either the environment or your budget.
Also, buy produce by the bag if you can. That is usually a lot cheaper than buying by the piece.
If you buy more than you need, you can freeze the rest or incorporate it into next week’s meal plans.
Bottom Line: Produce that is in season is typically cheaper and more nutritious. If you buy too much, freeze the rest or incorporate it into future meal plans.
13. Buy Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruits, berries and vegetables are usually in season only a few months per year, and are sometimes rather expensive.
Quick-frozen produce is usually just as nutritious. It is cheaper, available all year and is usually sold in large bags.
Frozen produce is great to use when cooking, making smoothies, or as toppings for oatmeal or yogurt.
Furthermore, you gain the advantage of being able to take out only what you’re about to use. The rest will be kept safe from spoiling in the freezer.
Reducing produce waste is a great way to save money.
Bottom Line: Frozen fruits, berries and vegetables are usually just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts. They are available all year round and are often sold in large bags.
14. Buy in Bulk
Buying some foods in bulk quantities can save you a lot of money.
Grains, such as brown rice, millet, barley and oats, are all available in bulk.
They also keep for a long time, if you store them in airtight containers. This is also true for beans, lentils, some nuts and dried fruit.
These are all staple foods that are relatively inexpensive and can be used in a variety of healthy meals.
Bottom Line: Many foods are available in bulk for a way lower price. They keep for a long time in airtight containers, and can be used in a variety of healthy, inexpensive dishes.
15. Grow Your Own Produce
If you can, it is a great idea to grow your own produce.
Seeds are very cheap to buy. With some time and effort, you may be able to grow your own herbs, sprouts, tomatoesonions and many more delicious crops.
Having a continuous supply at home saves you money at the store.
Home-grown produce may also taste a lot better than the store-bought varieties. You can also guarantee that it is picked at the peak of ripeness.
Bottom Line: With some time and effort, it is easy to grow your own produce, such as herbs, sprouts, tomatoes and onions.
16. Pack Your Lunch
Eating out is very expensive, especially if done regularly.
Packing your lunch, snacks, drinks and other meals is less expensive and way healthier than eating out.
If you have adapted to cooking large meals at home (see tip #4), you’ll always have a steady lunch to bring with you without any additional effort or cost.
It does require some planning, but it should save you a lot of money at the end of the month.
Bottom Line: Packing your own lunch reduces the expense of eating out. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.
17. Use Coupons Wisely
Coupons are a great way to save some money.
Just be sure to use them wisely. Most coupons are for unhealthy, processed foods.
Sort out the good quality deals from the junk, and stock up on cleaning products, healthy foods and other staples that you’ll definitely use.
By cutting the cost of products needed around the house, you can spend more of your budget on healthy foods.
Bottom Line: Coupons may be a great way to stock up on cleaning products and healthy foods. Just make sure to avoid the ones that involve processed and unhealthy foods.
18. Appreciate Less Expensive Foods
There are a lot of foods available that are both inexpensive and healthy.
By making some adjustments and using ingredients that you may not be used to, you can prepare many delicious and inexpensive meals.
Try increasing your use of eggs, beans, seeds, frozen fruits and vegetables, cheaper cuts of meat and whole grains.
These all taste great, are cheap (especially in bulk) and very nutritious.
Bottom Line: Incorporating more inexpensive yet healthy foods into your daily routine will help you save money and eat well.
19. Buy From Cheap, Online Retailers
There are several online retailers that offer healthy foods for up to 50% cheaper.
By registering, you get access to daily discounts and deals.
What’s more, the products are then delivered straight to your door.
Thrive Market is a very good online retailer that focuses exclusively on healthy and unprocessed foods.
Buying as much as you can from them can save you a lot of money.
Bottom Line: Online retailers sometimes offer healthy foods for up to 50% cheaper, and deliver them all the way to your doorstep.
Take-Home Message
You don’t have to break the bank to eat well.
In fact, there are many ways to eat healthy even on a very tight budget.
These include planning your meals, cooking at home, and making smart choices at the grocery store.
Also, keep in mind that junk food costs you twice.
Bad health comes with medical costs, drugs and even reduced work capacity.
Even if eating healthy was more expensive (which it doesn’t have to be), then it would still be worth it down the line.
You really can’t put a price on good health.
Adda Bjarnadóttir is a writer for AuthorityNutrition.com, a site that helps people make informed decisions about their health based on the best scientific evidence available. She holds a Masters in Science in Human Nutrition. Follow Adda on Twitter @addabjarna.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Adhering to a healthy diet could reduce risk of depression

MNT home

Adhering to a healthy diet could reduce risk of depression

17 September 2015

A new study suggests that those who follow healthy dietary patterns that prominently feature fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes may be at a reduced risk of depression.
A woman eating healthy Mediterranean food.
Common nutrients and food items shared by the three dietary patterns could be behind the observed reduced risk of depression.
The study, published in BMC Medicine, found that adherence to the Mediterranean diet, the Pro-vegetarian Dietary Pattern or Alternative Eating Index-2010 appeared to play a protective role against the illness.
"We wanted to understand what role nutrition plays inmental health, as we believe certain dietary patterns could protect our minds," explains lead researcher Almudena Sánchez-Villegas, of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain. "These diets are all associated with physical health benefits and now we find that they could have a positive effect on our mental health."
While much research has been carried out assessing the role of diet in the prevention of noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, far less attention has been paid to the influence of diet on the development of mental disorders.
For the study, the researchers chose to compare three dietary patterns that had previously been found to have inverse associations with mortality from different diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.
A total of 15,093 participants from the SUN (Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra) Project were assessed. The SUN Project is a cohort study that began in 1999 which has previously been used by researchers to identify dietary and lifestyle factors that alter the likelihood of different medical conditions.
Each participant was free of depression at the start of the study. The researchers assessed the participants' dietary intake with food frequency questionnaires completed at the beginning of the study and then again after 10 years.
Adherence to a selected diet was determined using a scoring system. Food items such as meat products and sweets tended to be negatively scored, while food items such as nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables were positively weighted.

Even moderate adherence to the diets linked to reduced risk of depression

After the follow-up period, 1,550 of the participants reported either having received a clinical diagnosis of depression or having used antidepressant drugs.
Fast facts about depression
  • Around 6.7% of adults in the US experience major depressive disorder
  • Women are around 70% more likely to experience depression than men
  • There are several different types of depressive disorders, including major depression,seasonal affective disorderand bipolar disorder.
Of the three diets, adherence to the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 was associated with the greatest reduction in depression risk. This diet is characterized by high consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole-grain bread, nuts, legumes, long-chain omega-3 and polyunsaturated fatty acids intake.
However, better adherence to all three diets compared in the study was associated with a reduced risk of depression, leading the researchers to conclude that this reduced risk may be due to common ground shared by the diets in the form of high levels of certain nutrients.
"The protective role is ascribed to their nutritional properties, where nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables (sources of omega-3 fatty acids,vitamins and minerals) could reduce the risk of depression," concludes Sánchez-Villegas.
However, while the risk of depression was found to be reduced when comparing moderate adherence to these diets with low adherence, little difference in depression risk was observed between moderate adherence and high adherence. Sánchez-Villegas states that a threshold effect may exist:
"The noticeable difference occurs when participants start to follow a healthier diet. Even a moderate adherence to these healthy dietary patterns was associated with an important reduction in the risk of developing depression. However, we saw no extra benefit when participants showed high or very high adherence to the diets."
"So, once the threshold is achieved, the reduced risk plateaus even if participants were stricter with their diets and eating more healthily," she adds. As a result, this finding suggests that a low intake of certain nutrients could represent a risk factor for future depression.
As this study is reliant on self-reporting from its participants and only measured dietary adherence at two points in time, the researchers state that more research is needed to explore this possible dose-response pattern.
Recently, Medical News Today reported on a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health that suggested higher fish consumption could reduce the risk of depression.
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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Orwellian Nightmare: Congress May Block States from Requiring GMO Labeling


The SAFE Act sounds like it promises accurate labeling of GM foods. But it likely guarantees that no such thing will ever happen.

Photo Credit: Zaretska Olga/Shutterstock.com

As the vitriol intensifies in what passes for debate over the safety of genetically modified foods, scientific inquiry, thankfully, continues. A Tufts researcher, Sheldon Krimsky, recently published his assessment of the last seven years of peer-reviewed evidence, finding 26 studies that "reported adverse effects or uncertainties of GMOs fed to animals."
If recent history is any indication, Sheldon Krimsky should expect to be slammed as a “science denier.”
The current vehemence is the product of a well-funded campaign to “depolarize” the GMO debate through “improved agricultural biotechnology communication,” in the words of the Gates Foundation-funded Cornell Alliance for Science. And it is reaching a crescendo because of the march of the Orwellian “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015” (code-named “SAFE” for easy and confusing reference) through the U.S. House of Representatives on July 23 on its way to a Senate showdown in the fall.
In an April New York Timesop-ed, Alliance for Science affiliate Mark Lynas follows the party line, accusing environmentalists of “undermining public understanding of science,” even more than climate deniers and vaccine opponents. Slate’s William Saletan goes further in his July feature, calling those who want GM labeling “an army of quacks and pseudo-environmentalists waging a leftist war on science.”
Who would have known that depolarization could feel so polarizing — and so stifling of scientific inquiry.
Precaution and the Public’s Right to Know What We Eat
The SAFE law sounds like it promises what polls suggest 99 percent of Americans want, accurate labeling of foods with GM ingredients. It likely guarantees that no such thing will ever happen.
Backed by biotech and food industry associations, SAFE would make it illegal for states to enact mandatory GM labeling laws. It would instead establish a “voluntary” GM labeling program that pretty well eviscerates the demand for the right to know what’s in our food. It would undercut the many state level efforts.
Vermont now has a labeling law that survived industry opposition, threats, and a court challenge, which may explain why the industry got busy in Congress. If you can’t beat democracy, change it. The Senate is expected to take up the bill after its August recess.
As written, SAFE is truly the labeling law to end all labeling laws.
The biotech industry is acting desperate for a reason. It’s seen Europe and most of the world close its regulatory doors to GM crops, for now, insisting on the same “precautionary principle” enshrined in the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. That principle calls for a relatively high level of precaution before the introduction of a new technology, to avoid the kinds of unintended consequences that have caused such harm in the past: tobacco, thalidomide, DDT, PCBs, and other cases of industry-backed claims of safety that, in retrospect, proved deadly.
Not SAFE for Science
In a sane world that respects scientific inquiry, we would be engaged in a debate about the appropriate levels of precaution that we as a society want for a technology as novel as genetic engineering. That would be constructive, not to mention depolarizing.
Instead, we get pundits like Lynas and Saletan tarring anyone who dares call for precaution with the stain of being another science-denying zealot who ignores the scientific evidence that no one has been harmed by all the GM foods consumed in the United States.
To reinforce how duped or dumb the American public is, they point to a Pew Institute poll indicating that 88 percent of scientists think GM foods are safe, while just 37 percent of the public thinks so. The gap is repeatedly cited as a measure of how science-deniers are winning the public relations battle, and how ignorant the U.S. people are on the issue.
Maybe not. Is it really a surprise that nearly nine in ten scientists think a new invention is good for society? Not really. As Joel Achenbach explained in his otherwise good piece on science denial in National Geographic, we all suffer from “confirmation bias,” the tendency to interpret information in ways that confirm our existing beliefs. True enough, and guess what group scores high for confirmation bias in favor of new technology? Scientists. Honestly, I’m shocked that 12 percent of scientists think GM food isn’t safe.
What about that skeptical public? Are they really just ignorant and brainwashed? Or is their confirmation bias perhaps informed by their repeated experiences with big corporations telling them something is safe or good for them and finding out it’s deadly. Who in the United States has not lost a family member or friend to smoking-related disease? Given the negligence of U.S. regulatory authorities in accepting industry claims of safety, is the public really so foolish to be skeptical, of both industry and government?
Washington University’s Glenn Stone drove the scientific point home nicely about how long the process of scientific discovery of hazards can be. He documents how DDT was suspected as a cause of breast cancer but studies kept failing to find a link. This is, until 2007, when an intrepid researcher thought to ask if girls exposed to DDT during puberty had a higher risk of breast cancer. More than half a century after they were exposed, she found what no one else had: a five times greater risk in such girls, and a significant additional risk in their female children.
On GMOs and labeling, Stone asks if all the evidence is really in just 20 years into this experiment. Are there comparable studies of GM effects on pregnant or lactating women and developing infants and children? No, there are not.
No Consensus on Food Safety
For those still willing to look past the campaign slogans and slurs, science is still happening. My colleague at Tufts University, Sheldon Krimsky, examined peer-reviewed journal articles from 2008-2014. Contrary to the claims of consensus, he found 26 studies that showed significant cause for concern in animal studies, among many studies that showed no harm.
He identified clear evidence that proteins transferred into the genome of another plant species can generate allergic reactions even when the original transgene did not, a scientific finding that undermines industry claims that the transgenic process creates no instability in the genome. (Scientists even have a name for such a gene: an “intrinsically disordered protein.”)
Krimsky found eight reviews of the literature and they showed anything but consensus. Three cited cause for concern from existing animal studies. Two found inadequate evidence of harm that could affect humans, justifying the U.S. government’s principle that if GM crops are "substantially equivalent" to their non-GM counterparts, this is adequate to guarantee safety. Three reviews suggested that the evidence base is limited, the types of studies that have been done are inadequate to guarantee safety even if they show no harm, and further study and improved testing is warranted.
What about the much-cited consensus among medical and scientific associations? Krimsky found no such agreement, just the same kind of wide variation in opinion, which he usefully ascribes to differing standards, methods, and goals, not ignorance or brainwashing.
Krimsky goes out of his way, however, to document the industry-backed campaigns to discredit two scientific studies that found cause for concern, and he warns of the anti-science impact such campaigns can have. "When there is a controversy about the risk of a consumer product, instead of denying the existence of certain studies, the negative results should be replicated to see if they hold up to rigorous testing.”
That would have been a refreshing, and depolarizing, industry response to the recent World Health Organization finding that Roundup Ready herbicides are a “probable human carcinogen.” Instead of calling for further study to determine safe exposure levels, the industry called out its attack dogs to discredit the study.
Who here is really anti-science?

Timothy Wise is the policy research director at Tufts University’s Global Development and Environment Institute. He is the author, with Sophia Murphy, of Resolving the Global Food Crisis: Assessing Global Reforms Since 2007.

Are You Eating Buckwheat?

The Huffington Post

Are You Eating Buckwheat?

Posted: Updated: 


Are You Eating Buckwheat?
Buckwheat may be one of the healthiest foods you're not eating. Along with having numerous health benefits, it is tasty, easy to prepare and inexpensive. Here are some things I love about it:
Buckwheat is not a grain.

Many who are trying to avoid grains find themselves limited to fruit and sweet potatoes as sources of good carbs. Even though it's often included in lists of grains, buckwheat is not a grain. The edible portion is a seed from a plant related to greens like rhubarb and sorrel.
Buckwheat is gluten-free.
Because it is neither a grain nor related to wheat, buckwheat is gluten-free and safe for those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities. Studies show that even in high concentrations, buckwheat flour and its purified proteins have no immunologic reactions for patients with celiac disease. [1]
Buckwheat is high in essential nutrients.
It is rich in many trace minerals, including manganese, magnesium and copper. It is also a good source of the B vitamins: B6, pantothenic acid, niacin, folate, thiamin and choline.
Nutrients in Buckwheat[2]
Buckwheat has resistant fiber.
Resistant fiber is a compound shown to lower blood sugar after meals, help weight loss, reduce food cravings and improve diabetes. [3] All versions of buckwheat contain resistant fiber, but the boiled kernels, called groats, contain the most at 6 percent or greater. [4]
Buckwheat has several novel nutraceuticals.
Rutin, quercetin and other bioflavonoids:
These compounds have been shown to strengthen small blood vessels, which can prevent easy bruising, hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Rutin can also help prevent blood clots, lower LDL cholesterol and the production of histamine, which can improve airborne allergies and food intolerances. [5]
Tannins are astringent phenolic compounds most commonly found in tea. They are also present in significant amounts in buckwheat. Tannins have been shown to reduce bacterial and viral infections and improve diabetes. Along with the mix of insoluble and resistant fiber, the tannins in buckwheat can improve important strains of bowel flora, such as lactobacillus and bacteroidetes, while reducing yeast and harmful bacteria. [6]
D-chiro inositol:
D-chiro inositol is an exciting compound that may improve many important elements of blood sugar metabolism (such as production of glycogen and insulin sensitivity). Data suggests it may improve polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) [7] and type 2 diabetes. [8]
Bound antioxidants:
Recent data from cancer researchers has shown we may have been ignoring an important type of antioxidants. We have mostly considered the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables since most of these are readily available and easy to test in lab studies. Now, it is becoming clear a new category of antioxidants, called bound antioxidants, may be even more important. These are found in buckwheat and some grains and are activated by the bowel flora. Buckwheat is rich in bound antioxidants like glutathione and superoxide dismutase. These compounds are also heat stable and survive the cooking process with buckwheat. [8]
How to use buckwheat.
If you've never made it before, don't worry. Buckwheat is easy to work with. It comes in the form of groats (toasted or raw), noodles and flour. The raw groats are available completely raw or sprouted. The completely raw groats work great for making a grain-free, hot cereal. I don't use the flour much because baking entails dairy, eggs, oils and sweeteners. I'd rather not bother with all the substitutes and labor.
Try these recipes!
Buckwheat Porridge:
  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats
  • 3 cups water
  • Liquid stevia
  • Powdered cardamom
  • Place buckwheat and water in a 1-quart sauce pan.
  • Heat on low 45 minutes or until a porridge-like consistency is reached.
  • Add stevia and cardamom to taste.
  • Serve plain or with unsweetened flax milk or unsweetened coconut yogurt.
Makes: 4 servings
Sprouted Raw Groats
Raw buckwheat is easy to sprout at home with a sprouting tray. Just soak the groats for 30 minutes in cold water, rinse several times and place in sprouting tray. Rinse twice daily. They do not grow into long, grassy sprouts (like mung bean or wheat grass). Rather, the seeds open just slightly and become softer and more digestible. This typically takes three days.
You can also purchase pre-sprouted raw groats, such as found in the Go Raw brand of buckwheat granola. Sprouted buckwheat comes ready to eat. Use it like granola, but know that it is a concentrated food. A few tablespoons is a full serving. I love buckwheat sprouts as a portable food for hikes or long runs. They take up very little space and provide lots of energy.
Buckwheat Trail Mix
  • 1 cup sprouted buckwheat
  • 1/3 cup dried currants or diced raisins
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt crystals
  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Store in a cool, dry place out of light.
  • Pack in snack-sized, Ziploc bags for a portable snack.
  • Plan on 1/4 cup per 90-120 minutes of activity. It is that concentrated.
Makes: 5 servings
Toasted groats are also called kasha (not Kashi) and can be found in the kosher section of most grocery stores. They make a great substitute for rice as a side dish.

Kasha Pilaf
  • 1 cup kasha
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • Place all ingredients in a 1-quart sauce pan.
  • Bring to a simmer.
  • Steam kasha for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  • Let sit covered for 10 minutes.
  • Serve or refrigerate.
Makes: 4 servings
Buckwheat noodles are popular in Asian cuisine for good reason. Along with all the health benefits of buckwheat, I prefer their taste and texture over any of the gluten-free, grain-based noodles I've tried. They cook fast and are great served hot or cold.

Buckwheat Noodles and Ume Paste
  • 1 8-ounce package buckwheat noodles (also called soba)
  • 1 tbsp. ume plum paste (found in Asian or macrobiotic sections of many larger supermarkets)
  • 2 tsp. Tamari (wheat-free, fermented soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp. cold-pressed, toasted sesame seed oil
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Bring two quarts of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt.
  • Cook noodles 5-7 minutes until flexible but firm, stirring frequently.
  • Rinse noodles in cold water, blot dry.
  • Pour noodles into a large serving bowl.
  • Stir in all other ingredients.
  • Makes: 6 servings
Try having buckwheat twice weekly for the next month. Keep a close eye on your digestion, your weight, how easily you can move without pain, how stable your blood sugar is and the health of your skin. You might see some good, healthy improvements!
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