Kasha, also known as buckwheat, is the signature grain of winter. It is probably the most unknown and underrated of the whole grains.Having a creamy texture and a unique robust flavor, it can be very satisfying when used in a hearty winter meal. It is a staple food in the very cold Siberia, where it originated. Even though it has ‘wheat’ in its name, it is not in the wheat family and is completely gluten free.
Containing the bioflavonoid rutin makes it medicinal for the capillaries and blood vessels, thus increasing circulation to the hands and feet. In Oriental medicine, it is said to feed and nurture the kidneys, adrenals, and reproductive organs.
Some other wonderful things about kasha:
- High proportions of all eight essential amino acids
- Contains almost the entire range of B-complex vitamins
- 100% more calcium than other grains
- stabilizes blood sugar levels
You will have a couple of options when buying kasha. The toasted variety has been toasted already. It has a nutty taste and cooks quicker than the untoasted. Kasha that is not toasted is sometimes called ‘raw’.
Both are very delicious and can be used to make a morning porridge, casseroles, soups, stir fries, and patties like the ones in my recipe.
Kasha that is ground into flour is then called buckwheat, which makes great pancakes. The next time you are at the store pick some up and try it–it will help keep you warm during the cold winter months!
Kasha Tofu Patties
1 cup kasha
2 cups water
1/2 lb. firm organic tofu
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup tightly packed parsley
1/4 cup arrowroot
3 T. tamari
2 T. tahini
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. curry
1/4 cup sesame seeds
Put kasha and water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes until all water has been absorbed. Put in a food processor the rest of the ingredients, except the sesame seeds. Puree until smooth. In a mixing bowl, put the kasha, tofu mixture and sesame seeds. Mix all together. Form into patties. Heat some canola oil in a pan and fry the patties until browned on each side. Serve warm. Patties can be used as a veggie burger also.