5 Reasons Sprouted Buckwheat = The Best Gluten Free Granola

Have you ever had a eating experience that just changed you? The whole reason I started Lil Bucks was because I had an incredible experience eating an acai bowl while living in Sydney, Australia, where they used sprouted buckwheat to replace granola in the acai bowl.

After eating this life-changing bowl, I felt amazing. No sluggish-ness—alternatively I had an amazing satisfaction and sustained energy, like I’d actually eaten some protein. Not to mention, the bowl had an amazing crunch, of course. The hero ingredient here making everything so tasty and making me feel so amazing was obviously sprouted buckwheat. You can find sprouted buckwheat used as a granola base everywhere in Australia (check out my pic of an Aussie grocery store to the right—over half those products have sprouted buckwheat as the base).

Sprouted buckwheat has tons of amazing uses (see: recipes), and you do want to make sure you consume sprouted buckwheat and not toasted or uncooked buckwheat groats, but the O.G. reason for why I started this brand was to be the perfect gluten-free granola replacement. Here’s the top 5 reasons why Lil Bucks Sprouted Buckwheat makes for your perfect gluten-free granola:

1. BUCKWHEAT IS GLUTEN-FREE!

Yes, a key factor in the perfect gluten-free granola is all ingredients actually being gluten-free. People, especially in the U.S., are so misled by the name “buckwheat” so they write it off as something they shouldn’t eat. I’m here to change that. Did you know, buckwheat is most closely related to the rhubarb plant, and buckwheat groats are actually fruit seeds?

According to Whole 30 ideology, buckwheat is still considered a pseudo-cereal and thus banned more for the mental benefit of not tricking yourself into consuming healthy cereal (in the same way paleo/coconut flour pancakes are banned). But if you’re not doing that, this is seriously the best gluten-free crunchy alternative, something you can eat for that grain-like taste and texture without the horrible sluggish feel afterwards (and one could argue you could still eat buckwheat groats on the Whole30, they’re just not popular enough for Whole30 to have a hard rule on it yet hehe).

2. BUCKWHEAT IS HIGH IN PROTEIN

Unlike most standard granolas, Lil Bucks naturally contain 6g of plant-based protein from the buckwheat. Buckwheat has as much protein as quinoa, but in a crunchy more versatile form. I’ll even dare share this research I’ve done on similar popular ‘healthy’ granolas in the granola aisle…

3. BUCKWHEAT IS LOW-GLYCEMIC

What does low-glycemic even mean? From GISymbol.com: 

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels. 

Remember when I said I had this amazing sustained energy after eating my magical Sydney acai bowl? The magic was in part thanks to the low-glycemic nature of the buckwheat granola replacement. My rise in blood sugar was more gradual after consuming a serving of buckwheat, which means the energy released more steadily throughout the day, leaving me satisfied for longer (rather than having your standard smoothie/yogurt bowl with granola, when you’re hungry again in about an hour). 

It is especially important to pair something like a fruit-based smoothie bowl or yogurt (which, let’s be real, unless you’re eating plain yogurt most yogurts, even the healthiest, have some sugaaa) with a low-glycemic food to help control your energy release. Unless you’re closely watching your blood sugar levels for any reason, the glycemic index probably isn’t the first thing you think about when shopping for your granola, but with the way you feel after eating it, you’ll appreciate this. (oh but for you diabetics, human studies have linked the consumption of buckwheat with lower blood sugar in diabetics. woo.) 

4. SPROUTED BUCKWHEAT IS EXTREMELY HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS + MAGNESIUM

Buckwheat is known as one of the most antioxidant-dense ancient grains (I know, it’s not a grain, but often compared to them due to similar uses and nutrition value). Of all the popular ancient grains, quinoa and buckwheat are known for having the most antioxidants, with a study from Food Chemistry showing that buckwheat has 10x more antioxidants than quinoa! 

More studies need to be done on the benefits of antioxidants and how we can make the most of them, but read this blog post to learn more about antioxidants and why they are good for you. Long story short: Antioxidants = cancer-fighting, anti-aging, energy-boosting, immune-preserving goodness. 

For Lil Bucks, we sprout and dehydrate rather than roasting to preserve as much antioxidants as possible. By sprouting we unleash the nutrition potential of buckwheat and maximize your body’s ability to digest the buckwheat and all its goodness. Then we dehydrate to make these shelf-stable for days (likely at least a year, getting it tested). This also preserves the full nutrition potential of buckwheat, as heat is known to kill off a lot of the antioxidants than come naturally in buckwheat (again, more studies are needed on antioxidants though to determine exactly what temperature antioxidants start burning off). To be safe, Lil Bucks never go over 115°F. 

5. SPROUTED BUCKWHEAT GIVES YOU THE PERFECT CRUNCHY TEXTURE OF YOUR DREAMZ

This all comes back to taste. Of course, if something makes us feel great and gives us a ton of nutrients, we’ll try to eat it, or blend it in a smoothie to mask the taste. But with sprouted buckwheat, you don’t need to do that. On its own (i.e. the Original flavor), sprouted buckwheat has a nice, nutty grain-like taste, and it holds its crunch perfectly in dishes but softly disintegrates right when you bite it. So satisfying. And of course, Cacao (for you chocolate lovers) and Matcha (for you matcha + vanilla lovers) take the taste next level. I highly encourage you to try topping your smoothies, yogurts, oatmeal, desserts, ice cream (yum), salads, ANYTHING with Lil Bucks so you can experience this dreamy crunch like I did in Australia! 

Any questions? Email me: emily@lovelilbucks.com 

Much love,

Emily, founder + owner of Lil Bucks 

Half these products in a standard Aussie grocery store use sprouted buckwheat as the base

THE BOWL OF DISCOVERY. The bowl that changed everything.


Ora Organic THIQ Smoothie Bowl

Finally. I am sharing the THIQ smoothie bowl recipe so you can satisfy all your thick smoothie dreamz with a bowl of your own. This particular bowl is done in collaboration with one of my favorite brands, Ora Organic, a San Diego company who makes plant-based supplements from REAL food and chef-crafted recipes. This pre-workout powder is literally amazing, both in taste and the way it makes me feel. And it goes great with Lil Bucks (particularly the Cacao and Original sprouted buckwheat for this recipe).

Ingredients

  • 1 medium/large banana frozen, chopped up before putting in the blender
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 serving of Ora Organic pomegranate powder 
  • I tossed in a couple frozen strawberries for good measure but not required
  • A splash of unsweetened almond milk – added gradually to achieve desired consistency 
  • Topped with Cacao Lil Bucks and a few more frozen raspberries 😀

Directions

To blend this, you may need to have some patience with your blender. I have a Vitamix which comes with a Tamper and is thus perfect for making thick smoothies, but I’ve done this with something as weak as a Magic Bullet (sorry, throwing shade). You just have to blend a bit, pause, mix up with a spoon a bit, and repeat. Sometimes gradually adding in the milk of your choice just to soften it a bit when things REALLY won’t blend. Enjoy!


Julia's Power Protein Pancakes

This is a super simple recipe, but a genius, high-power combo of protein dense foods: Kodiak Cakes, RXBAR Peanut Butter, Lil Bucks Sprouted Buckwheat, and antioxidant-infused raspberries. 😋

The founder’s foodie friend Julia always comes up with creative ways to use Lil Bucks (tons of genius savory ideas… coming soon), but this one takes the cake (pun intended) for a fast, easy treat-yoself kind of breakfast.

See more from @jhlytle

Ingredients:

Kodiak Cakes Peanut Butter Pancake Mix (14g of protein per serving!)

RXBAR Peanut Butter (9g of protein per serving–the cinnamon one is so good with Cacao Lil Bucks!)

1/4 cup Cacao Lil Bucks, obvi

A handful of raspberries

Optional: Hemp seed and chia seed to sprinkle on top as well

 

Directions:

  1. Prepare the Kodiak cakes per their instructions
  2. Top with all the goods. Boom.


Vegan Ice Cream Cookie Bar

Honestly it was hard to come up with a name for this one… It really is a “Crunchy Vegan Ice Cream Adaptogen Cookie Bar” but that’s a mouthful. This recipe was developed in collaboration with two amazing female-owned San Francisco food brands – Completeats Superfood Cookies and  Goldmine Adaptogens. Both are seriously amazing. 

Ingredients:

4 CompletEats cookies in chocolate chia

2 cups soaked and drained cashews (soaked at least 30 minutes)

1 cup almond milk (I love Malk vanilla almond milk)

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup maple syrup

4 tsp GoldMine adaptogen powder 

2 tsp vanilla

pinch sea salt

1-2 tsp beet powder

1-2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 – 3/4 cups Cacao Lil Bucks sprouted buckwheat

Optional 

Dark chocolate melted to drizzle on top with more Lil Bucks 😋

 

Also, muffin tins are ideal for this recipe, but you can make in circle-shaped cups or tupperware too, whatever you can find. 

 

Directions:

  1. Cut the cookies in half and mold and press into the bottom of muffin tins – aim for the cookie layer to be able a quarter to a half inch thick (as you make these more you can adjust on preference – if you find big enough muffin tins you could put the WHOLE COOKIE on the bottom yum).
  2. In a blender, blend the cashews, almond milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, adaptogen powder, vanilla, and the pinch of salt. Blend until smooooooth.
  3. Split the cashew blend into two bowls. In one bowl mix with the beet powder to create a lovely pink color — feel free to add as much as you’d like for the taste and color. Then do the same in the other bowl with the turmeric powder.
  4. Spoon some of the beet mix into each muffin tin, either making it the first layer or putting the spoonful in half of the muffin circle. Then either top with the turmeric spoonful or put it in the other half of the circle, and swirl.
  5. Sprinkle a nice layer of Cacao Lil Bucks on top.
  6. Freeze for about 3-4 hours until solid.
  7. Once frozen I really enjoyed melting dark chocolate and drizzling over with some original Lil Bucks, and then the chocolate solidifies and it’s just so good.

When you take them out of the freezer you might want to wait 5 minutes to dig in so it’s not too hard. It’s worth the wait! 🙂 Enjoy!


Lil Bucks-Approved Eats in Tulum

I just took a quick vacay from Chicago winter and went down to Tulum with a group of girls for a long weekend. Beach relaxin’, warmth, cenotes (deep water-filled sinkholes, like caves!!), Mayan ruins, tacos and smoothies. And gawking at the prices of some of the eco-chic hotels and boutiques along the beach. It’s definitely a resort town more than an authentic Mexican town but nevertheless worth the visit! And you can explore the town to get more of the Mexico feel. I had the best time!!

The FOOD is the first thing I think of with this trip. Given our big group (5 girls) we tried tons of different places where we could share plates and get a taste for everything!! I am not a huge eater so sometimes this was a struggle hah, but I must say every thing we ate was AMAZING.

I wanted to share some of the top healthy cafes/restaurants in Tulum that we visited. This is not a top tacos list, but please note most places had amazing tacos and there are plenty of lists on that! Basically everywhere you eat will be delish, but if you’re looking for a nice juice, smoothie, veggies, or breaky, here’s what I’d say:

Acai bowl from Matcha Mama

1. Smoothies, Reishi Latte & Swings at Matcha Mama

Okay, this place is so gringo (owned by someone in LA), but whatever. IT’S SO GOOD. The Mamacita smoothie was the group fave, and I loved their reishi cacao latte – got it almost every day! Also smoothie bowls, superfood bites (in matcha and cacao, the Lil Bucks flavors!!). I went nuts here.

2. Breaky & Juice at The Real Coconut

Aaaaand another American-owned (LA again) cafe inside the gorgeous Sanara resort. This is a great place to come have breaky and spend the day. Saw a bunch of people catching up here, posting up with a journal, and coming for a feed after a yoga class. This was def the best cold-pressed juice I had in Tulum, and we had a lotttt of juices. They also had a reishi type of latte, I enjoyed it but TBH the Matcha Mama one was a bit better. Great savory breakfast items here too.

https://www.therealcoconut.com/

 

3. Veggies, Dinner & Vibes at Gitano

A dinner spot! This place has the MOST VIBES of anywhere in the universe. Incense, the building built around trees (indoor/outdoor), a disco ball, candlelit everywhere, art, plants, cool mirrors… it’s also huge. And the food + drinks are juuuuust amazing. There were good fish/veggie options here. We had spiced asparagus under a cauliflower mash and that ended up being one of my fave bites of the whole trip. Who would’ve thought.

https://www.facebook.com/gitanotulum/

 

4. Juice & Italian at Posada Margarita

You’ll randomly see a lot of Italian in Tulum – this is regarded as the best place, and it’s on the beach so you could buy some food to get a bed at the beach for a bit! I ordered a beet ginger juice and it came in the largest jug ever… and it was so smoooooth. Highly recommend for the juice. I didn’t have room to eat much of the Italian but it was all handmade pastas and looked amazing. The best part, though, might be the LUSH walk through a beautiful garden to get to the restaurant!

http://www.posadamargherita.com

 

5. Coffee at Nest

This place is ‘grammed by celebs left and right, but worth strolling off the beach to hang out at the restaurant on the beach and have a drink or coffee. We didn’t stay for food but I must say the coffee I got there was the best I had in Tulum. It was PERFECT!!

nesttulum.com

 

6. Breakfast at Tunich

This is one of the first breaky spots you see when you hit the beach area. We biked here for breakfast after seeing the Mayan Ruins, about a 15 min bike ride. They had an insane french toast for a little indulgence, good juice + smoothies, kombucha, and apparently the breakfast burrito was incredible. It’s nice because this place isn’t as expensive as the others hah. We met a super cute Canadian couple who had breakfast here literally every day. The staff was super sweet too! Good vibes all around.

http://www.tunichtulum.com/

 

7. Raw Desserts & Smoothie Bowls at Raw Love

This place is located in a beautiful garden right by the beach. I loved the chocolate raw cake! I’m pretty picky when it comes to my smoothie bowls (and helloooo I want Lil Bucks in it) and I preferred the Matcha Mama smoothies, but this place was nevertheless a wonderful spot 🙂

 

8. Massage at Shantala Boutique Spa

Lastly, not food, but I must say – the massage at this spa in town was one of the best of my life, and half the price of the ones on the beach. The spa is def hole-in-the-wall vibes, but the staff were so sweet. An hour deep tissue massage cost about $60 with tip!

If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, two of my friends did 90-min clay massages at the Mayan Clay Spa by the beach and I believe it was about $150 – better value than a lot of other places they found and it seemed magical! You get massaged in your own little hut.

 

Anyways, hope that inspires some healthy vibes in your travels or life at home! Let me know if you hit any of these up when you go, would love to hear what you think!! Xx


Sprouted Buckwheat vs. Toasted Buckwheat

Sprouted Buckwheat vs. Toasted Buckwheat

Squash menu item from sweetgreen served with toasted buckwheat

Lil Bucks is probably one of the first sprouted buckwheat brands in the U.S.A., and while sprouted buckwheat is popular in healthy cafes in Australia, it hasn’t really blown up here yet

So honestly I get SO excited when I see reputable brands using buckwheat. I really hope Kellogg’s or General Mills doesn’t just steal the idea and recipe and put Lil Bucks out of business, but in general it’s great. I found a tiny health cafe in NYC using sprouted buckwheat in their granola recipe, a cafe in Hawaii used it as a crunchy base for a vegan dessert bar, and a smoothie shop in St. Louis offers buckwheat on their acai bowls!

sprouted buckwheat choice health bar hawaii
Mmmm a sprouted buckwheat treat I found while in Maui, Hawaii! (Choice Health Bar)

AND NOW! Sweetgreen using buckwheat on their roasted Koginut squash. I LOVE sweet green for popularizing less known, in-season foods on their menu. Plus, you can really taste the freshness, and this sets them apart from other salad shops across the country. (PS this Mindbodygreen podcast with the sweetgreen founders is great!)

So I’m hoping people continue to fall in love with this crunchy, subtly nutty flavor of buckwheat, along with the nutritional benefits! And as buckwheat grows in popularity, I want to educate you on the different ways of consuming it: sweetgreen uses toasted buckwheat rather than sprouted+dehydrated buckwheat (Lil Bucks are sprouted and dehydrated), and I wanted to explore the differences in these two things, so you can learn why I prefer sprouted buckwheat vs. other forms of cooked/roasted buckwheat (but both are great!!).

WHY COOK OR SPROUT BUCKWHEAT?

Raw buckwheat contains phytic acid, a nutrient inhibitor that’s resistant to digestive enzymes and blocks the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals such as Zinc, Magnesium and Calcium. AND BUCKWHEAT HAS 25% OF YOUR DAILY VALUE OF MAGNESIUM. Sooooo um this phytic acid has got to get out of the way 👋

Phytic acid is common in other seeds, nuts and legumes as well, which helps them last for years completely dormant, but isn’t great for digesting these foods. This is why you see ‘sprouted’, ‘activated’ and ‘roasted’ as popular descriptors for seeds, nuts and legumes.

Sprouting buckwheat (and other seeds, nuts and legumes) almost completely rids the buckwheat of phytic acid, so it becomes more digestible and we can better absorb all the magical nutrients. I really can’t say this better than Raw Gorilla:

“When the nut or seed is soaked it is activated and the dormant enzymes inherent inside start to awaken. Basically the nut or seed is preparing to burst into life and this is the optimum time to de-hydrate or consume them whilst they are at their enzymic peak and bursting with life-force!”

That’s why right after sprouting Lil Bucks, the buckwheat seeds are dehydrated!

Roasting (or cooking) is another way to break down the phytic acid so we can absorb the nutrients, but by doing this we are damaging some of the antioxidants found in buckwheat, and there are a LOT in buckwheat!

Some of these nutrients are sensitive to heat and might be lost during the roasting process. There still isn’t a ton of research on this as we are just starting to learn more and more about antioxidants, but multiple studies show increased temperature and roasting time decrease antioxidant activity (see sources at bottom).

You also want to be careful about the roasting method – dry-roasted or oil-roasted (can even mean deep-fried…). Dry-roasted is better but sometimes with this method, the temperature is much higher, causing more potential heat damage to the nutrients in buckwheat. I’d be interested to know how sweetgreen toasts their buckwheat – I imagine it’s a light toasting to give it that nutty flavor and ensure the phytic acid is released, but I don’t know. I’ll send them this blog post and ask! 😊

APPLYING THIS PRINCIPLE TO OTHER SEEDS, NUTS AND LEGUMES

If you are thinking about the other seeds, nuts and legumes you eat, the principles for sprouting/dehydrating vs. roasting are similar, and you can follow the links below to learn more (most articles and studies don’t focus on buckwheat as much as it’s not as popular YET).

To summarize:

sprouted/dehydrated: less phytic acid, seed is dried at its most bioavailable life stage (aka when the nutrients are most available to us). Con is that if you don’t fully dry a sprouted/soaked seed/nut it can go moldy from the inside, but you can rest assured that commercially purchased sprouted seeds/nuts (like Lil Bucks) go through moisture tests to ensure they are completed dried 🙂

roasting: slightly more phytic acid than if sprouted, but much easier to do at home. Less risk in roasting than sprouting as the high temperature kills off any dangerous bacteria (although risk is small unless you are eating A TON of the particular seeds/nuts/etc.), even though it kills off some antioxidants.

General rule of thumb is that if you eat a lot of roasted nuts/seeds, roasting at home is better than store-bought as you can control the temperature and oil used (if any). But sprouting (or at least soaking before roasting or better yet, dehydrating) may be the best if you’re eating a lot of seeds/nuts to ensure you aren’t consuming too much phytic acid, and you’re making the most out of its nutritional content. ✨

MORE READING ON THIS TOPIC:

https://treadingmyownpath.com/2013/08/26/roasting-soaking-sprouting-activating-or-eating-raw-a-guide-to-eating-nuts/

https://thenourishinghome.com/2012/03/how-to-soak-grains-for-optimal-nutrition/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/raw-vs-roasted-nuts#section3

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-sprouting

https://blog.radiantlifecatalog.com/bid/69542/That-s-Nuts-A-Complete-Guide-to-Soaking-Nuts-and-Seeds


Healthy Soil Compost Partnership!

Last night I lucked out and got last-second entry to see Stephanie Izard, Top Chef winner and owner of Girl & The Goat, discuss food sustainability. Between obscure lines from Mrs. Doubtfire, ordering cocktails via her microphone, and hilarious side-stores (I’m all about a tangent), Stephanie discussed her new cook book “Gather & Graze” about how to repurpose leftovers instead of throwing them away, and how her Goat team implemented sustainable practices to redirect 10,000 pounds of kitchen scraps to the compost pile each month!

Five days ago, MindBodyGreen shared a podcast interview with Lauren Singer, the environmental kween who popularized the zero-waste movement through her blog, Trash Is for Tossers.  I loved this podcast – it reminded me to think about everything you throw in the trash… is it worth producing trash that is literally going to rot away for practically EVER?! What can we do to reduce? She offers practical solutions so you can gradually reduce your impact.

Both Stephanie Izard’s chat and Lauren’s podcast interview didn’t reveal any mind-blowing environmental practices we should all be doing… everything mentioned was relatively simple and doable, dare I say obvious, but we sometimes just forget we can do these things when you’re not in the habit. Lauren may have even convinced me to start concocting my own toothpaste – apparently it’s simple!

One of the things I can happily say I do is HOME COMPOSTING. Composting is such an obvious choice to save food waste from getting stuck in landfills and releasing dangerous CO2 emissions. And even if you live in a city with no yard (#highriselife) your city likely has a composting option. I started using Chicago’s Healthy Soil Compost Community compost program, where they drop off a bucket and you pay depending on how many times they pick up per month. All you do is leave the bucket by your door and they replace with a fresh one, and you compost, compost, compost. We have saved SO MUCH doing this. I throw any food waste that falls on the floor during Lil Bucks production in here.

I am stoked to partner with Healthy Soil Compost and you will see Lil Bucks promoting them at our upcoming events (see the end for our upcoming events). Also if you sign up (WHICH YOU REALLY SHOULD THIS IS SO EASY AND AWESOME), mention Emily from Lil Bucks so we get a discount 😛If you know anyone who owns a cafe or restaurant, send them this list of Chicago partners and get their restaurant on board. Lil Bucks may save a few lbs per month of food waste, but like Girl & The Goat, restaurants who compost can have a HUGE impact.

Have a great Thanksgiving, and GET CREATIVE with those leftovers friends!! Xoxo

UPCOMING LIL BUCKS EVENTS & HOLIDAY MARKETS

November 25th: Chicago Vegan Test Kitchen, 12pm – 5pm at Emporium Logan Square

November 27th: Lil Bucks x Vital Proteins x Title Boxing Club Wellness Event!! Come in for an evening class at Title Boxing Lincoln Park. Some other amazing brands will be there… DM @Lovelilbucks to get a spot / first class is free

December 7th: Revival Food Hall First Fridays Party and Holiday Market, 5pm – 9pm. This will be fun – kick off your weekend with some fun brands, a DJ, drinks, friends, etc.

 December 9th: Covet Markets at Revel Fulton Market 10am – 5pm! DM @lovelilbucks for a discount code for entry. I love this market!!

December 11th: Member appreciation event at AIR Lincoln Park – take a class and have fun with some cool brands!

December 12th: Sampling at The Startup Food Bash, 6pm – 8:30pm.


Greetings From Oaxaca + Lil Bucks Update

Hi friends!

Emily here – the founder of Lil Bucks. I decided to start posting more on the website to give you insight into the Lil Bucks journey, more information about Lil Bucks and the ingredients, and recipes of course!!

Writing from Oaxaca City, Mexico today. Things have been busy, launching on Amazon and working on some exciting new things coming up (updated packaging…  more products on Amazon… limited edition flavors…!! ). I also still freelance full-time to fuel the Lil Bucks hustle (…and my need for RXBAR peanut butter packs and acai bowls and paying rent and workout classes etc 🤷).

Yeah, technically Lil Bucks is still a “side hustle”, but the hours spent on this biz every week are really creeping up. 😁 Lil Bucks is #1 in my heart (after bf and family), and I have so many ideas to spread the Lil Bucks love and make your experience better, get into more stores, add more flavors… These ideas dominate my mind and I intend to make it all happen.

Amidst the craziness, my weeklong trip to Mexico with my Aussie friends really snuck up on me. I was so stoked to see them again (it’s been 1.5 years since I moved from Sydney!) but thinking about everything I wanted to do for Lil Bucks, using my free time to travel almost seemed like a waste of time (GASP I’ve never said that – but I did say “almost”).

Any pre-trip anxiety ended the moment I landed. It’s so good to take a step back and peek into another world, just chill out. As a cultural mecca, the “food capital” of Mexico, and its epic location surrounded by mountains, Oaxaca is the perfect place for that (and it’s warm – missed the first Chicago snow 😅).

On the flight over I also made a gameplan for when I get back. Just before leaving, I helped FroyoToFitness design and launch this EPIC 6-week challenge guide (it’s seriously so awesome), and her planning, passion and action really inspired me to do the same. So, when I get back later this week, expect some exciting things to come before the end of the year. Bear with me as Lil Bucks evolves as I’m sure I’ll test + fail on some things.

In the meantime, comment below or DM @lovelilbucks and let me know any ideas of things you’d like to see Lil Bucks do, an event we should attend, or stores/cafes we should reach out to. In the first half of 2019, I’d also like to start a Brand Ambassador program – if you’re interested, fill out this quick form so you’ll be the first to know.

Xoxo

– Em, founder, Lil Bucks


Why We Sprout and Dehydrate

WHY WE SPROUT AND DEHYDRATE LIL BUCKS

Buckwheat groats are the superfood you’ve never heard of. Long utilized by Eastern Europeans and Russians in cooked dishes (mainly in kasha), innovative health foodies found delicious uses for the uncooked seeds in the past decade, mostly in Australia and the U.K.

HOWEVER, in order for our bodies to process all the incredible nutrients in raw buckwheat groats, the seeds must undergo the sprouting process to release enzyme inhibitors that block our bodies from absorbing all the seed’s nutrients. For Lil Bucks, we first sprout them and then dehydrate them to cut out all the moisture, so you are left with shelf-stable, raw nutrient-packed seeds that have a wide variety of uses.

For the cacao and matcha, we add the flavoring before dehydrating to deeply infuse the flavors (and amazing antioxidants from cacao and matcha) into the sprouted seeds. All varieties of Lil Bucks are never processed at a temperature above 115°F – keeping the bucks at a low heat preserves the most nutrients and protein possible (high heat causes nutrient damage). Most importantly, this preserves the extremely high level of antioxidants found in buckwheat (10x more than quinoa).

Read our previous post “Buckwheat Benefits (+ About Antioxidants)”. You’ll learn more about buckwheat benefits, comparing buckwheat to quinoa, and why you want antioxidants in your system.


Buckwheat Benefits (+About Antioxidants)

BUCKWHEAT BENEFITS VS. QUINOA BENEFITS

(and why you want antioxidants in your system!)

The health benefits of sprouted buckwheat seeds are mind-blowing. 6g of protein and 5g of fiber per serving, these nutrient-dense seeds also contain 25% of your daily value of magnesium–you’d need to eat a pound of salad to get that much magnesium! (more on why magnesium is amazing in a future blog post).

Furthermore, buckwheat has an antioxidant capacity of 620 DPPH per 100g (for context, the superfood quinoa has 58 DPPH). Buckwheat actually has quite a similar nutritional makeup as quinoa (information from HealthWithFood):

WHY DO I WANT ANTIOXIDANTS?

Hint: Good for your heart, blood sugar control, and protection against cancer!

You’re probably more likely to feel good about eating a certain food if it contains “tons of antioxidants,” but what does that even mean?

Antioxidants are shown to fight off cancers, aging, and promote overall immune system functions. Numerous studies show that antioxidants may protect cells in your body from “free radical” damage that can occur from exposure to certain chemicals, smoking, pollution, radiation, and as a byproduct of normal metabolism.

Buckwheat specifically contains a rich supply of flavonoids, particularly rutin. Flavonoids are a diverse group of “phytonutrients” (plant chemicals) found in almost all fruits and vegetables, and buckwheat!! Flavanoids can:

  • Help protect you from chronic conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
  • Fight against the free radicals that can cause cell damage leading to cancer.
  • Help lower LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol and decrease plaque in the arteries
  • Reduce the risk of hormone-related cancers, such as breast, uterine and prostate
  • Increase bone density

As antioxidants are researched more every year, we will continue to update our customers with more education on the particular antioxidant benefits of buckwheat, but trust us, this is a great food to include in your diet.