The nuttier, toasted flavor, darker color, and firmer outside trick you into thinking kasha is its own individual grain. Yet it is simply toasted buckwheat groats. Kasha and buckwheat groats are the same grain! One of the easiest grains to cook, and boasting a multitude of nutritional benefits, including high levels of magnesium for lowering blood pressure, rutin to strengthen capillaries and prevent clotting, and zinc, copper, and all eight essential amino acids, kasha is the perfect grain to incorporate into your diet.
Kasha, toasted buckwheat kernels, are small kernel-shaped grains. They are dark red-brown in color and have a distinct nutty, toasted flavor. The texture is chewy and firm.
Kasha is available dried in some natural-food markets as well as online at Purcell Mountain Farms.
Dried Pre-Packaged: Kasha is generally prepackaged. The packages should be completely sealed and free from moisture.
Buy kasha organic when possible. Organic foods are those that are produced without the use of artificial chemicals or fertilizers, genetic modification, radiation, or sewage sludge. Buying organic foods, in particular, minimizes exposure to harmful pesticides. Pesticides are toxic in nature and have been linked to a myriad of health problems including cancer, hormone disruption, brain toxicity, and eye, skin, and lung irritation. Pesticides are also thought to harm the environment including the soil, water, and wildlife.
Kasha should be stored in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark, dry place. If stored properly, kasha will keep for about a year.
Once cooked, kasha should be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for three to five days, or in the freezer for one month.
Cooking kasha is quick and easy. Measure 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of grain you are cooking. Boil the water. In a small pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the kasha and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Now, carefully stir boiling water into the kasha—it may splatter a bit at first! Add a pinch of salt and bring back to a boil. Cover immediately and remove from heat. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes, until water is absorbed.
A non-digestible carbohydrate, fiber provides a feeling of fullness, aids digestive support, helps provide the movement and excretion of bodily wastes, and aids blood-sugar stability.
Magnesium is responsible for promoting cardiovascular health, muscle contraction and relaxation, energy production, and proper bone formation. This essential nutrient may also be helpful in regulating healthy blood-sugar levels, decreasing the likelihood of type 2 diabetes.
A mineral that plays a role in producing collagen and keeping the immune system in proper working order, copper is an essential nutrient needed by the body in small amounts. Copper may also fight against free radicals, helping to delay the aging process. Energy production is also one of the many benefits of this important mineral.
The majority of the manganese in the body is stored in the bones and organ tissue, mainly the liver and kidneys. Manganese is responsible for production and maintenance of sex hormones, blood-sugar regulation, brain and nerve function, calcium regulation and absorption, and carbohydrate metabolism.
Another energy-producing vitamin, niacin is responsible for transporting energy and metabolizing glucose within the cell. This vitamin may be helpful for regulating blood sugar after a carbohydrate-heavy meal.
Whole grains are much lower on the glycemic index than their processed counterparts, so blood-sugar levels will stay in check, making them ideal for those with diabetes. Further, high fiber content guarantees satiety and assists in timely digestion and elimination. Finally, kasha is a great gluten-free food, perfect for those with celiac disease or those suffering from gluten sensitivity.
- Kasha is a staple in Russian dishes.
- Kasha is part of an Ashkenazi Jewish dish called kasha varnishkes.
- In Slavic Europe, kasha refers to porridge.