The Best way to Hull buckwheat by Hand DIY

Ahhhhh.....Buckwheat! A protein rich seed (faux grain) that grows easily, attracts bees, pulls phosphorus from deep in the soil, and stores easily. What's not to love?
removing hulls from buckwheat groats

Well, there's that whole hulling issue......

We grew buckwheat for the first time this year. I bought a few whole groats from Whole Foods (about a handful for less than 18 cents) and I planted a small row in my garden. I think I planted 12 individual plants. I had a lot of groats left over, but that means I have more seeds for next year!

They grew through some pretty cold temperatures and ended up putting up flowers early. I just harvested the last of the seeds today on July 1st. I pulled up the plants and put them down around my asparagus where I will use them as a mulch until they break down and become fertilizer.

But back to the hulling.

We wound up with less than a cup of groats. Not bad from planting just a dozen in the first place, but not super stellar either.

I didn't have a lot to experiment with, but we tried three different methods to remove the hulls.

1. We tried putting them in a mesh bag and pounding/rolling with a rolling pin.
2. We ground them in a manual coffee grinder.
3. We ground them in a mortar and pestle.

My rules were: I wanted to use what we had on hand and I wanted to do it without electricity. I had read that people grind the groats in their blenders, but I wanted an off-grid solution. I keep buckwheat around as an emergency food (and emergency seeds!) so it's important that it be useful in an emergency (no electricity) situation.

Long story short - the rolling pin did nothing but smash the groat and make everything super difficult to separate. The coffee grinder did a pretty good job of leaving whole hulls mixed with ground groats. If it had been windy outside, I could have winnowed the hulls and it might have been a great solution.

The mortar and pestle was the most helpful. After grinding through the coffee grinder, I sifted the flour/hulls then ran what was left in the sifter through the mortar and pestle. That turned any big groat pieces into flour and then I sifted it again.

I'm not going to tell you it was easy, fast, or efficient - because it wasn't. If I ever become a serious buckwheat grower, then I am going to need to come up with another way. Until then....
buckwheat flour ground at home diy

We wound up with 1/8 cup of buckwheat flour. It's not pure white and does contain some hull bits. Extra fiber, right? Uggh.

buckwheat pancakes
We cooked this little bit up and made 4 buckwheat pancakes (our first ever) and decided it would be worth growing again.

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Kent said...

Thanks for sharing! How did the pancake taste?

Angela said...

They tasted okay. Not bad, not great. Definitely good survival food but an acquired taste for every day eating.

Anonymous said...

I grew buckwheat for the first time this year, for my honeybees. Thanks for sharing your de-hulling adventures. I bought my seed from the co-op. It was cheaper that way. $1.34 per pound.

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