Organic Buckwheat Kefir pancakes with unsulfered molasses

February 28, 2010 in Food Porn, Kefir, recipe


In an effort to increase the usage of less traditional ingredients in our house, to broaden the kid’s palates, I have been experimenting with buckwheat.

Common buckwheat, Fagopyrum esculentum, isnt actually a wheat, its a pseudocereal and is a non-grass broadleaf plant. Other pseudocereals that you may know are amaranth and quinoa.

Buckwheat originated in Southeast Asia around 6,000 BCE, it had spread to Europe in the middle neolithic era (4,000 BCE). It was and is still used a important component of some of the most beloved noodles and pasta throughout the ages, eg: soba (Japan), naengmyeon, makguksu and memil guksu (Korea), and pizzoccheri (Italy), a type of tagliatelli.

Europeans used buckwheat as a base “grain” for porridges and also as kasha by itself or used to stuff knishes and as the base batter for blintzes (blini).


Buckwheat is not a mono-purpose crop and has been used for medicinal purposes for a very long time (no surprise, something used this long and not adapted to making twinkies is bound to have some goodness).

Buckwheat contains a compound called D-chiro-inositol (DCI) which plays a role in what we call second messenger pathways in our metabolism relating to insulin and sugar metabolism. A deficiency in DCI has been implicated in insulin resistance (one of the pernicious aspects of Diabetes Type II). (See this reference Larner J., D-chiro-inositol–its functional role in insulin action and its deficit in insulin resistance, Int J Exp Diabetes Res. 2002;3(1):47-60).

The take away message here is: buckwheat, with it’s DCI, will mediate healthy sugar metabolism so that you do not become diabetic and possibly facilitate the reversal of diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

When PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) patients were treated with DCI they found:

DCI can be found as a supplement but you should ALWAYS get your vitamins and minerals in foods because there are many co-factors and other functional molecules we havent the slightest clue about that will only be found in whole foods and not in purified fractions.

DCI sources are buckwheat (very high), carob, and fig leaf melons. I think buckwheat might be the easiest to slip into your diet!

I use gluten free Arrowhead Mills Organic Buckwheat flour although I doubt there is even GMO Buckwheat made yet. I dont know what sort of pesticide situation there is with buckwheat but as I have zero tolerance for farmers who use any pesticides I choose to vote for organic farmers and producers every time.

Again, I am using kefir in this recipe. For one, kefir is a demanding mistress! My grains convert milk into frothy kefir very quickly and, for the time being, I am using it for cooking to ease the family into exposure to these organisms. Another, I love experimenting and pushing recipes into new shapes, with kefir that is pretty easy to do.

I adapted the following recipe from the buckwheat pancake recipe in The Joy Of Cooking.

Organic Buckwheat Kefir pancakes with unsulfured molasses


  • 1/2 C organic whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 c organic buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon double acting baking powder (I use Bob’s Red Mill aluminum free powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (Again, I use Bob’s Red Mill aluminum free soda)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (I recommend leaving this out or adding honey to the liquid portion
  • 3 1/4 cups medium thickness kefir
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


Mix the dry ingredients together with a whisk. Add the kefir and melted butter and mix until JUST incorporated. It will then begin to slightly bubble as the kefir outgasses and the baking soda and baking powder begin to do their carbon dioxide chemistry.

Cook in a pan with medium low heat (change as per your preference) and serve.

I served it to the kids with honey and I used molasses on mine (seen here) because I always need iron.

Organic Buckwheat Kefir pancakes with unsulfered molasses