Buckwheat Risotto with Spinach and Mushroom

Health seizing ingredients should never deter you from enjoying classic comfort meals. Little swapsies like replacing insulin spiking carbs with wholesome gluten free options will allow you to enjoy these keepsake meals, and keep your booty moving energetically throughout your day.

There are few dishes as hearty and versatile as an age old risotto. The style of cooking and use of ingredients in this adored classic is the perfect framework to mix up and make your own innovative, nutrient packed creations.

The history of risotto is tied to the history of rice in Italy, and while there’s many conflicting stories flying around, rice was introduced to Italy and Spain by the Arabs in the Middle Ages. The short grain rice grew spectacularly in the Mediterranean climate, and its popularity swiftly grew throughout Italy, though was mainly consumed by the wealthy classes due hefty prices.

Milan is where this short grain rice met its destiny. The Spanish ruled Milan for over two centuries, and here rice became a staple food. Slow-cooking was the method of choice, and the Spanish combined the rice with saffron, and other rich spices and flavours. This was the birth of the famous risotto that we see today, still served extensively, and largely unchanged, in both humble kitchens, and luxe restaurants across the globe; adding ingredients such as squid ink, scallops, lobster, asparagus, duck, herbs, mushrooms and fancy cheeses.

Yes I know this is a classic dish….but nothing is sacred in the Supercharged Food world! I’m always on the lookout for medicinal foods to become the motivation behind my meals, so I’ve made some slight alterations to the ordinary risotto recipe; the first being to scrap the superstar ingredient; the Arborio rice, altogether. Gasp worthy to some, but I’ve replaced it with something much more jaw-dropping (in a good way); one of my favourite go-get-em grain replacements; beloved buckwheat!

Now why on earth would I make such a drastic change to this culinary archetype? Because to be honest with you, risotto rice isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It may be gluten-free, but gluten-free doesn’t always mean that it’s giving your body its best. Arborio rice is still a processed, refined, starchy carbohydrate that is doing zilch for you in the way of your health. It’s been stripped of the bran and germ, and therefore of any of the vitamins and minerals that once existed within it. If you want to feel real vitality, you’ll need to ditch these over-rated staples. These kinds of lifeless carbs are sending your blood sugar levels on a rollercoaster ride and are wreaking havoc on your digestive system. Quite simply, they’re slowing you down robbing you of energy.

Buckwheat on the other hand, is a show-stopper on my radar, and the perfect replacement for these deceitful carbs that are the main ingredient in so many popular meals. Buckwheat is native to Northern Europe and Asia, and is known as a working man’s crop due to its ability to withstand poor soil conditions, freezing temperatures, droughts, and excess rains. Did you know that buckwheat isn’t even a grain at all, but technically a fruit seed that’s related to rhubarb? It’s also a brilliant gluten free grain replacement that’s tolerated well by people with wheat sensitivities and Celiac disease.

Buckwheat boasts a heck-of-a-lot of health benefits; containing the eight essential amino acids, several minerals including; zinc, iron, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, copper and magnesium, and is high in B vitamins that are essential to energy production and the optimum functioning of your digestive system. 

Buckwheat actually controls blood sugar levels rather than sending them sky-rocketing like white varieties of rice. It does this by significantly lowering blood glucose and insulin responses. Research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reveals that buckwheat may be an important dietary inclusion to help manage diabetes. The placebo-controlled study revealed that a single dose of buckwheat seed extract lowered blood sugar levels by up to 19% within 90 minutes. The component responsible is believed to be chiro-inositol; a property known to play significant roles in glucose metabolism and cell signaling. Buckwheat is therefore a spectacular breakfast or lunch option to keep your mind and body stable, and full of sustainable energy throughout your day.

Energizing and bursting with nutrition, buckwheat is available throughout all the seasons. It can be made into a delicious porridge, or a get-up-and-go granola, and the flour makes the world’s best pancakes, like these buckwheat flapjacks.  For more delicious savoury dishes, try it in this scrummy frittata, or this amazing almond and zucchini bread.

This beautiful buckwheat risotto with spinach and mushroom will leave any of your previous memories of risotto far away in the distance. The unique, flavoursome robustness of the buckwheat combined with the tantalizing tastes of lemon, garlic, mushrooms, and the creamy hint of coconut will send you into a sensory reverie unlike anything you have dabbled in before!

Buckwheat Risotto with Spinach and Mushroom

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1 TBS EV Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon rind
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 6 cups spinach, shredded
  • ½ tsp Celtic Sea salt
  • 2 TBS spring onion chopped
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2 TBS nutritional yeast flakes 

Method:

  • Rinse buckwheat in sieve under running water
  • Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent
  • Add the buckwheat and stir to coat
  • Add mushrooms and 1 cup of stock, lemon rind, juice and ACV and stir bring to boil and then simmer.
  • Once liquid is absorbed, 10-12 mins add another 1 cup of stock and repeat until buckwheat is tender
  • Stir in the spinach, spring onion and season to taste
  • Add coconut milk and cook for a further 3 mins to heat

Enjoy!

Lee xo

42 Responses to “Buckwheat Risotto with Spinach and Mushroom”

  1. THANK YOU for this! It is an answer to comfort food cravings!
    I am loving your new blog. Off to share this post on FB and tell my friends about you. Plus, gotta Pin this recipe!

  2. Yummy recipe and great photo Lee!

    I am loving Buckwheat at the moment – I find it the easiest of all ‘grains’ to digest.

    Off to the markets now…will have to stop by the store and get some more Buckwheat.
    x

    • lee says:

      Me too I love buckwheat and it doesn’t feed candida which is great! This risotto is divine I am sure you will love it. If mushrooms are a problem for you you can add cashews instead.

  3. Bachelormum says:

    OMG! I just saw this on your newsletter and I’m now starving … and it’s only breakfast time. Thank you for this divine recipe, I’m going to make it on the weekend and hopefully feel like a little bit of spring has come into my winter.

  4. Amy says:

    Hi Lee, This recipe looks fantastic. I just have a question though – are buckwheat kernels the same as buckwheat groats? I can only find the kernels in my local health food store. TIA

  5. Hannah says:

    Oh yummy, I’ve tried making a similar risotto, but my buckwheat got a little gluggy. It wasn’t that nice. I should probably stir it more..maybe rinse it afterwards?

  6. Shakti says:

    Oh Lee, the new site looks FANTASTIC, and i love the inspiration this recipe offers, to get out of what we know and into something super delicious and good for you too. I am going to be getting on the buckwheat risotto love!…
    what do you think about soaking it overnight, before cooking?
    S x

  7. Holy Moly this looks delish.
    Can’t wait to make this.
    Ps I LOVE your new site. So beautiful xxx

  8. E says:

    Oh, this looks fantastic! I love the new website look too.

    Would it be possible for you to include an instruction at the bottom of your cooked recipes on how to reheat individual servings on the stove? I’m trying to cut out microwave reheating, but my stove reheating is hilariously terrible! I’ve never done it before and I can’t seem to judge it correctly. I’m working my way through your book and blog, and suspect all of your lovely nutrients are going by the wayside because I can’t master stove reheating!

    • lee says:

      Thank you. I will try and give it a go. I generally reheat recipes in my Thermomix but on the stove it’s good to reheat on a low setting for a longer time this one would be 5-7 mins so as not to destroy nutrients. Lee

  9. Lbonus says:

    Im actually in the process of making this and don’t really know how to tell when the buckwheats ready… Also Ive spent a fair bit of time in Italy and add the sock as I go with risotto till its ready. Im a little confused… You say 2 cups but to repeat until tender… Usually how many cups do you use al up?

  10. Paris says:

    Cooking this right now for my post-workout lunch. Can’t wait to eat it!! Thanks for the inspiration Lee x

  11. lee says:

    You can leave out the coconut milk

  12. Kim Holmes says:

    This is devine Lee. I just made it. So easy. Definitely a weekly staple! My husband will be none the wiser with the amazing buckwheat! Kim 🙂

  13. Maggi says:

    New website is great and the recipe sounds great. I would like to make it in the Thermomix….shall I just follow the recipe and substitute for rice or will it get too soggy?

    • lee says:

      Yes it would work in the thermo just check the consistency half way through 🙂

      • Meg says:

        Hello! I want to make this tomorrow in my thermomix…how do you cook it in your thermomix? How long do you cook it for in the thermo? Do you just follow a normal risotto recipe from the cookbook but sub in these ingredients? Thanks! Meg

  14. Denise optional Bertoletti says:

    Hi:)

    I am planning to make a buckwheat risotto for a dinner party and was wondering if i could switch out the mushrooms for leeks and if so does the coconut milk still compliment the dish?

    Many thanks
    Denise

  15. Jo says:

    Hi Lee, do you have any advice for cooking this dish in a pressure cooker?

    • lee says:

      I am sure it would work in a pressure cooker, but i am not sure about timings as I haven’t used one before but I would imagine it would only take about 7 mins and perhaps you would need a little less liquid.

  16. Tracey says:

    Making this gorgeous dish for the second time tonight…it rocks!! Thanks Lee!! xx

  17. Rachel says:

    I absolutely loved the ease of making and the deliciousness of this risotto. I added extra lemon zest plus some crumbled walnuts for added texture. Next time I’ll try toasted pinenuts.

  18. Nina says:

    It turns out I love gluten, but I also love cokoeis so I can’t wait to try these when I see you in NYC this fall:) Congrat’s on the launch of this blog, keep em coming girl!

  19. video says:

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  20. Jane says:

    Hi, when does the nutritional yeast go in? Currently on the stove and the first cup of stock has gone in. Thank you 🙂

  21. Jane says:

    Thank you! Great recipe, have made it a few times now.

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