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Today I’d like to tell you about a change that took place in my kitchen recently, and one that could also happen in yours.
It involves a simple ingredient: buckwheat flour.
What started with the removal of refined sugars and flours from my diet as a New Year’s resolution led to the reading of labels and analyzing of ingredient lists, avoiding things I couldn’t pronounce or recognize in favor of more whole foods like blueberries, eggs, butter, milk, and grass-fed meat.
I gave up white bread and chose sprouted grains instead, incorporating them into muffins and breads. I started drinking kombucha. And along the way, I also started taking cod liver oil and a daily probiotic supplement.
These changes all felt pretty natural, like I was just taking care of my body in new ways. And while I have been eating very well and working out only two or three times a week, I’ve lost twelve pounds, without even meaning to. It’s crazy.
And really, the only change that ever felt difficult at all was probably the earliest one: removing white all-purpose flour and white sugar from my baking.
You know how I like to bake. But instead of using white granulated sugar, I’ve now used raw sugar, turbinado sugar, Sucanat, honey, maple syrup and, after my recent trips to the southern United States, sorghum syrup. Instead of white flour, I’ve worked with whole wheat pastry flour, regular whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, spelt flour and now, most recently, buckwheat flour.
I’ve been learning how to use these whole grains, trying them in cakes and cookies, giving the results to people to see what they think.
Wheat has an easily distinguishable taste; most people have tried baking with it, and know what I mean. Regular spelt flour is pretty hearty and again distinguishable; white spelt behaves much like all-purpose white and so it makes an easy substitute.
Buckwheat, on the other hand, is a thing all its own.
Although it behaves like a grain or a cereal, it’s actually related to rhubarb, and it is gluten free. It’s also highly adept at turning your dough or batter slightly gray… But it’s also high in insoluble fiber, loaded with antioxidants, and associated with all kinds of health benefits.
Diets that include buckwheat are linked with a potentially decreased risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, better control of blood sugar and a decreased risk of diabetes, protection for women against gallstones, protection against heart disease, even protection against breast cancer.
If all those reasons aren’t enough to talk you into trying buckwheat, I don’t know what could. Well, except maybe cookies.
Incorporating this flour into traditional baked goods, like a gooey chocolate chip cookie or a spiced ginger cookie, is one way to make the transition to healthy eating that much easier and more delicious.
The brainchild of Dawna (hey, rhymes with Shanna!) at Always in the Kitchen, these gluten-free ginger cookies incorporate enough spices – namely cinnamon, ginger, and cloves – to create a good kick of flavor that really minimizes the taste of the buckwheat.
Of course, I’m growing to really enjoy that flavor now that I have gradually incorporated into my diet over time. But if you’re unsure about it, and if you like a good spicy cookie, you’ll love these.
They’re soft, fragrant, and comforting, easy to eat seven at a time… You know, not that anyone around here did. Ahem.Print
Cinnamon, fresh ginger, and ground cloves come together in this aromatic gluten-free cookie. Rich molasses makes for a yummy, chewy treat.
- 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 3/4 cup Sucanat unrefined cane sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 cups buckwheat flour, plus more for shaping
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons raw sugar, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Lightly grease two baking sheets with butter, or line with silicone mats.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the coconut oil and sugar together with spoon or mixer until sugar is fully incorporated.
- Add egg and stir to combine. Add molasses and beat until smooth. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until thoroughly combined.
- Add molasses mixture to dry ingredients.
- Stir slowly as the dough stiffens up into a thick paste, being sure to incorporate all of the flour. Do not overmix.
- Using a spoon or cookie scoop, portion out 1 tablespoon of dough and roll into a rough ball, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Repeat to yield about 36 balls of dough. Sprinkle a pinch of raw sugar on top of each ball.
- Arrange balls on the prepared baking sheets with at least 1 inch of space between each.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, or until slightly underdone. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking.
- Remove from the oven and set aside for five minutes. Use a spatula to gently transfer cookies from baking sheets to desired serving platter, or place on cooling racks to cool completely.
Adapted from Always in the Kitchen.
- Category: Cooking
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Gluten-Free
Keywords: buckwheat cookies, ginger, molasses
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients
Measure out all of your ingredients.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line them with Silpat mats.
Step 2 – Mix Wet Ingredients
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the coconut oil and sugar together with a wooden spoon, your hand mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Crack the egg into a small bowl, to avoid adding any shell fragments to the bowl of batter. Add the egg and stir to combine. Add the molasses and beat until smooth. Set aside.
Step 3 – Mix Dry Ingredients
Add the buckwheat flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, salt, and spices to a separate bowl.
Whisk together until thoroughly combined.
Step 4 – Add Wet Ingredients to Dry Ingredients
Add the molasses mixture to the dry ingredients.
Stir slowly, being sure to incorporate all of the flour, but do not overmix. The dough will stiffen up to form a thick paste.
Be patient with this process, as it will take several minutes to blend the dry and wet ingredients thoroughly. The texture will remain a bit lumpy.
Step 5 – Shape Dough and Sprinkle with Sugar
The dough is going to be sticky, so flour your hands before you begin to shape it.
Using a spoon or cookie scoop, portion out 1 tablespoon of dough and roll it into a rough ball, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Repeat to yield about 36 balls of dough.
Arrange the dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, with at least one inch of space between each. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar on each cookie.
The dough will start to spread slowly once it is placed on the baking trays, and it will spread a bit more during baking. It’s important to leave enough space in between, so your cookies won’t stick together.
Step 6 – Bake
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until slightly underdone. Gently press the top of a cookie with the back of a spoon to test for softness. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking.
Using a spatula, gently transfer the cookies from sheets to your desired serving platter, or place them on cooling racks to cool completely.
Once cooled, the cookies should have a delicate and soft texture. Store them in an airtight plastic container at room temperature for up to a week. Do not refrigerate.
A Beautiful Blend of Spices
The cinnamon, cloves, and ginger blend in aromatic harmony, creating a warming and redolent dessert. Sugars in their purest form enhance and deepen the spices, too.
It’s the perfect cookie to curl up with, alongside a tall glass of milk.
Don’t forget to share your baking experience with us below in the comments! Did your house fill with the delicious aroma of warming spices when you baked these?
Ready to experiment with some other sweet recipes using buckwheat flour? Check these out next on Foodal:
- Buckwheat Banana Chocolate Chunk Coconut Cookies
- Buckwheat Crepes with Honeyed Ricotta and Sauteed Apples
- Buckwheat Buttermilk Waffles with Blueberries and Bananas
Photos by Katherine D’Costa, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on June 22, 2010. Last updated: February 14, 2021 at 10:54 am. With additional writing and editing by Katherine and Eddie D’Costa, and Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.