At Wildflower Meadows, our friends and customers often ask us if we have any extra buckwheat honey for Christmas cookies. Many honey connoisseurs insist that dark, rich, buckwheat honey is perfect for baking.
Buckwheat has a strong, distinctive flavor that is often described as malty or earthy. It is dark and is often considered a “baking honey.” Bakers use buckwheat honey for Christmas cookies, but here are some other tips for using buckwheat honey:
- Add it to tea or coffee for a sweet and flavorful boost.
- Spread it on toast or pancakes for a healthy and delicious breakfast.
- Add it to smoothies or yogurt for a nutrient-rich snack.
- Use it as a natural cough suppressant.
There are two main types of buckwheat plants: common buckwheat and tartary buckwheat. Common buckwheat is the most prevalent type of buckwheat plant grown in the United States. It is a tall, erect plant with heart-shaped leaves and white, pink, or purple flowers. Common buckwheat is grown for its seeds, which are used to make buckwheat groats, noodles, and other foods. It is also grown as a cover crop, which means that it is planted to improve the soil and suppress weeds. Common buckwheat can be found in many parts of the United States, but it is most typically found in the Midwest and Northeast.
Tartary buckwheat flowers are white or pink, while common buckwheat flowers are white, pink, or purple. This is the type of buckwheat that our bees visit at Wildflower Meadows. Tartary buckwheat is a smaller type of buckwheat plant with narrower leaves and white or pink flowers. Tartary buckwheat is not as common as common buckwheat, but it is grown in some parts of the United States, especially the West. This is the type of buckwheat that our bees visit at Wildflower Meadows. The nectar from both types of buckwheat flowers is used to make honey. However, buckwheat honey made from tartary buckwheat is typically darker and has a stronger flavor than buckwheat honey made from common buckwheat.
Besides being delicious, Buckwheat honey is a good source of antioxidants, including flavonoids and phenolic acids. Antioxidants help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to the development of diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Buckwheat honey is also a good source of minerals, including iron, magnesium, and potassium. Iron is important for red blood cell production, magnesium is important for muscle function, and potassium is important for heart health.