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Instant Pot Buckwheat Porridge is healthy, affordable comfort food — a gluten-free alternative to oatmeal for a nourishing hot breakfast. This version of buckwheat porridge soaks the buckwheat groats overnight (easy!) to reduce anti-nutrients. There is also a Stove Top version of this recipe if you prefer to make your porridge in a saucepan. This recipe is Gluten-free, Vegan & Plant-based and VAD.
What is buckwheat?
Buckwheat groats are the seeds of a flowering plant that have been cultivated for millennia. Therefore, buckwheat is sometimes called an “ancient grain”. Groats have distinctive triangular kernels.
Buckwheat is considered a “pseudocereal”. Not actually grains, pseudocereals are seeds from non-grass plants. Two other pseudocereals are quinoa and amaranth. Pseudocereals have many of the same characteristics: They are gluten-free and often easier to digest than grains, yet they are eaten like grains.
Why and how to soak buckwheat overnight?
We soak buckwheat overnight to make it more nutritious and easier to digest. (Soaking is easy and fast!)
Unsprouted grains (and pseudocereals) contain phytic acid, a mineral absorption blocker. Grains (and pseudocereals) need to be soaked or fermented (with an acidic medium like apple cider vinegar [or whey for those who eat dairy]) before cooking to neutralize the phytic acid.
Grains like buckwheat contain large quantities of phytase, an enzyme that aids this process!
The acid medium and warm soaking water activate the phytase in the buckwheat. After 12 to 24 hours, the grain’s phytic acid is significantly reduced.
I soak my buckwheat overnight. In the morning, I rinse it and proceed with the quick cooking of the porridge.
Is buckwheat healthy?
Buckwheat has no Vitamin A, which is great for the VAD diet.
Buckwheat is lower in lectins (plant compounds that contribute to leaky gut) than oatmeal and gluten-free. Buckwheat also contains high amounts of the enzyme phytase, which makes buckwheat gentler and more nutritious when it has been soaked.
One serving of Buckwheat Porridge contains a moderate amount of protein (more protein than one egg), which is a great way to start the day. Add some extra protein with crispy nuts on top (or for meat eaters, pasture-raised eggs or sustainable meat on the side).
Is it healthy to eat buckwheat raw?
Cooking buckwheat further neutralizes anti-nutrients — not only phytic acid, but also lectins.
So cooking buckwheat is important. Otherwise, over time, our digestive mechanisms and gut lining are compromised.
What are the benefits of cooking buckwheat in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker?
Cooking buckwheat in a pressure cooker further reduces lectins. If you have one, this cooking tool not only simplifies the cooking process, it also makes buckwheat gentler on the gut lining.
Buckwheat is best enjoyed with healthy fats. The fats, like coconut milk, coconut oil, raw cream or butter, help our bodies to assimilate the fat soluble vitamins found in buckwheat.
With that said, garnish your buckwheat porridge with creamy milk and fat. For a non-dairy milk, my favorite option is homemade macadamia nut milk. I do not strain mine.
Then add fresh berries and your sweetener of choice. I love pure maple syrup, raw honey or coconut sugar.
Is there a way to cook buckwheat porridge on the stove top?
Yes, you can also make Buckwheat Porridge in a saucepan on the stove top. See that version in the recipe below, after the main Instant Pot recipe.
Which buckwheat to buy?
Choose whole groats if you like your porridge nubbier with separate pieces of soft-cooked grain. Choose the “hot cereal” or broken groats if you like your porridge sticky.
(I have photographed both of these options so you can see the difference: The bowl with raspberries is the sticky hot cereal product. The less full bowl with more milk is the nubbier version. The saucepan buckwheat porridge with cherries is also the nubby whole groat option.)
I love both!
Do not buy pre-toasted buckwheat. Only raw buckwheat will benefit from soaking. We want to reduce buckwheat’s anti-nutrients before cooking it so it is more nutritious. 🙂
Instant Pot Buckwheat Porridge is wonderful, affordable comfort food, a gluten-free alternative to oatmeal, for a nourishing hot breakfast. This version is soaked overnight (easy!) to reduce antinutrients.
- 4 cups soaking water (This is used for the overnight soaking of the buckwheat, and then discarded in the morning.)
- 4 cups cooking water
- 2 cups buckwheat groats, raw
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or whey (for dairy option)
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil , butter or ghee (for dairy option)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Overnight Soaking: Place raw buckwheat, soaking water and apple cider vinegar or whey in large glass or ceramic bowl. Cover loosely and leave out at room temperature overnight. In the morning, pour through a fine mesh colander, and rinse well. Proceed with the cooking steps.
Place rinsed buckwheat in Instant Pot.
Add cooking water, fat of choice and sea salt. Close lid and steam valve.
Select "Porridge" button and use "-" button to reduce time to 6 minutes high-pressure cooking time.
When timer beeps at the end of the cooking cycle, allow the porridge to steam 15 minutes. Press "Cancel" button and carefully do a QPR (quick pressure release), using a hot pad or dish towel to open the steam valve. Open lid. (If you used broken groats, stir your porridge before serving.)
Serve Instant Pot Buckwheat Porridge with your favorite creamy milk, fresh or dried fruit and your favorite sweetener, such a pure maple syrup, raw honey or coconut sugar.
In a medium saucepan, combine (soaked and rinsed) buckwheat, water, preferred fat and sea salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. You'll see steam escaping from the sides of the lid (as with rice while it cooks) while it's still cooking, but the steam will stop when the cooking time has elapsed.
Turn off the heat, and allow buckwheat to steam 15 minutes. Serve with toppings.
HERE's a great Organic Raw Buckwheat Groats.
HERE's the best Instant Pot (IMO), if you don't yet have one.
Kasha and its history
I grew up eating kasha. My great grandparents emigrated from the Ukraine with Jewish foods in their hearts and heritage. My mom occasionally made us warm kasha for breakfast, topped with milk and brown sugar. Kasha is the Ukrainian word for cooked buckwheat, served as warm cereal with milk.
Regarding the word “kasha”, Wikipedia says, “This English-language usage probably originated with Jewish immigrants, as did the form קאַשי kashi (technically plural, literally translated as ‘porridges’).” (source)
At least 1,000 years old, Russia and the Ukraine consume more buckwheat than the rest of the world, averaging about 30 pounds per capita.
Russian tradition serves kasha with butter, so perhaps they knew the ancestral wisdom of eating grains with fat. Their saying was, “You won’t ruin porridge with butter.” This idiom was also a metaphor for being generous with warmth and kindness: You can’t offer too much goodwill.
I hope you’ll eat your Instant Pot Buckwheat Porridge with a warm heart and mind, knowing its history and being nourished by its nutrients.
Love warm Instant Pot breakfasts?
Here are a few others I think you’ll enjoy:
- Apple-Delicata Squash Porridge (Paleo, Gluten-free, AIP, GAPS)
- Instant Pot Bread Pudding (Paleo, Gluten-free)
- Instant Pot Rice Pudding (Paleo, Gluten-free, Vegan, VAD)