Beat the Heat & Humidity with Buckwheat Salad by David Briscoe
It seems to me there’s been a long-standing prejudice toward buckwheat in the macrobiotic teachings of the past 25 years. This is unfortunate as buckwheat can be a very nice addition to one’s whole grain repertoire. The macrobiotic view of many over the years has maintained a stance that buckwheat will make a person “too yang.”
There is also the view that buckwheat is an exclusively cold weather grain since it is a favorite in Russia. “Buckwheat makes you hot!” some macrobiotic people tell their friends. As a result, it seems to me that the macrobiotic view has been unnecessarily one-dimensional when it comes to buckwheat. And these concepts about buckwheat may be very different from the reality.
In traditional Eastern energy medicine, on the other hand, buckwheat has been long-used to remove excess heat from the body. Current medical research shows buckwheat to have anti-inflammatory benefits. In Japan cool buckwheat (soba) noodles are used during the hottest and most humid days of the year to reduce heat and excess dampness in the body.
If you’ve ever cooked whole buckwheat, you saw how much faster it absorbs water compared to all other whole grains. It has a water-absorbing nature. This can be useful for anyone who tends to pool excess dampness internally. This excess dampness can make one feel quite miserable on hot and humid days, because the moisture in the body that normally evaporates through the skin can’t, due to the excess moisture in the humid air. Eating some buckwheat or soba noodles can help. I don’t suggest eating buckwheat daily for weeks on end. Just try it once. If it makes you feel hot, OK then you won’t want to use it in hot weather. On the other hand, it might help you feel better in hot weather. Please find out for yourself.
Usually buckwheat dishes served in hot weather are served at room temperature, not hot.
A favorite recipe of mine for a hot weather buckwheat dish is Buckwheat Salad. It is served at room temperature or, if you prefer, slightly chilled.
Yield: 5 to 5½ cups
2 cups cooked buckwheat groats, cooled to room temperature (pre-cook in
3 cups water and one cup sauerkraut juice)
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 cup blanched, chopped kale or leftover cooked leafy greens
1 cup chopped, drained sauerkraut
½ cup red cabbage, thinly sliced, blanched and sprinkled with
¼ tsp brown rice vinegar or lemon juice to brighten and preserve the color
Optional blanched vegetables: 1/2 cup yellow corn and 1/2 cup trimmed snow peas
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tsp. ginger juice
Mix the parsley with the buckwheat. Mix in the blanched vegetables and chopped sauerkraut. Mix the soy sauce and ginger juice, pour over the buckwheat salad, and mix in.
MACROBIOTIC / VEGAN SUMMER RETREAT - JULY 13-20 - Join David & Cynthia, along with a great line-up of other teachers, classes, outdoor events and fun socializing...not to mention the delicious daily meals! For more information and to register:
We all know that it's easy to get over-heated in hot weather. But did you know that your heart is especially susceptible to developing excess heat? External heat won't in an of itself cause "heart fire." Heat in the summertime is natural. But sometimes we unknowingly create excess internal heat that can be a challenge to the heart any time of year, but especially during the hot seasons.
It may come as no surprise to read that impatience is a factor in developing "heart fire". Impatience effects the liver which can then effect the heart. Heat can build up in both.The practice of patience is an excellent means of avoiding excess internal heat. The important thing is that it must be genuine patience, not pretend patience that is masking impatience. Daily life offers so many opportunities to practice natural patience. Observe for a day to see where impatience arises. Don't blame or judge yourself, or say "Oh, I should not be impatient!" Just observe. You'll soon see that just the observation of impatience starts to bring patience. And maybe you will begin to feel cooled down, even when the temperature outside is soaring.