This smoothie is perfect as a meal in a glass, as it's packed with the goodness of sprouted buckwheat. Buckwheat isn't at all related to wheat, nor is it a grain. Buckwheat is a gluten-free seed, and is packed with protein (11g/100g), low GI carbs and fibre (10g/100g).
Sprouting literally brings seeds, nuts, legumes and grains to life, which has a number of nutritional benefits, including:
- the seed's own enzymes (phytases) are activated, which breaks down phytic acid. Phytic acid interferes with the absorption of minerals such as iron and zinc, so by sprouting nuts, seeds, legumes and grains, the minerals are much more bioavailable
- anti-nutrients such as saponins and lectins are inactivated
- enzyme inhibitors are neutralised
- an increase in the antioxidant content (particularly in buckwheat)
I'm must admit I'm fairly new to the sprouting game, despite investing in a small bioSnacky sprouting jar ('glass germinator') over a year ago (a relatively small investment at around $14). If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's some more info. You can find bioSnackys at most health food stores, but if don't want to fork out $14, you can construct a very similar contraption using a jar, some muslin cloth and a rubber band. Come to think of it, spending money on an actual bioSnacky is probably like wearing Lululemon to a yoga class.
Anyway, buckwheat is a great place to start if you're new to sprouting too, as it is one of the quickest and easiest seeds to sprout. Here's how I did it:
- Place 1 cup of hulled buckwheat groats in a colander and give them a really good rinse under the running tap
- Transfer the buckwheat to your jar, cover with water, replace the mesh lid and soak for 30 minutes
- Drain the buckwheat by inverted the jar, add some more water and give them a really good rinse, then replace the lid and drain again
- Rest the jar on it's little green foot at a 45 degree angle (as pictured above), and place the jar on a shallow bowl to catch the excess water that will continue to drain out. Place the whole set-up out of direct sunlight in a cool place. I put it in a cupboard under the sink
- Rinse and drain your buckwheat twice a day (morning and night is easiest to remember) until sprouts about as long as the buckwheat itself appear. It should take about 2 days. To rinse and drain, all you do is fill up the jar with fresh water, then place it back on the tilted angle in the sink, then transfer back to the cupboard on it's shallow bowl. Easy! Once the sprouts appear at about the 48 hour mark, give them a good final rinse, drain really well (perhaps spread them out on a tea towel to make sure they're nice and dry) and keep them in the fridge. They'll stay fresh for about 3 days. You can keep the in the freezer if you don't think you'll get through them all in 3 days
So, now we can make our smoothie!
- 1 cup plant milk (use homemade nut milk to keep it raw, otherwise any of the other commercial plant milks, e.g. soy/rice/oat milk etc)
- 1 banana, fresh or frozen (you can use more if you like. 1 is just a suggestion!)
- 1/2 cup sprouted buckwheat groats
- a few cubes of ice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus a little extra to sprinkle on top
- optional: chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, vanilla, dates to sweeten
- Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend on high until well-combined. Enjoy!