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Healthy Russian Buckwheat



Gluten-free buckwheat seeds  is an amazing super healthy product.  Not many garnishes can compare with buckwheat by its health benefits. Like quinoa, buckwheat belongs to the family of pseudocereals – because it looks like grain, but it is seeds. If you are aware of your diet and want a healthy side dish you should look carefully at white rice, couscous –  not to mention fries – but buckwheat will give you a perfect side dish full of vitamins and nutrients.

There are some of the buckwheat superfood health benefits:

  • it’s gluten free
  • it helps maintain blood flow and thus is good for cardiovascular system
  • it is linked to lowering risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • it has antioxidant properties
  • it is low in calories (1 cup of cooked groats contains 155 calories – fat not added in cooking)

This is a diagram of nutrients in Buckwheat as given on the site The world’s healthiest foods


You can read more on the site The world’s healthiest food by following the link: Buckwheat.


The healthy properties of Buckwheat are very well known in Russia and several meals feature this product.
Kasha is the most straightforward recipe and you can have it for breakfast, or use as a side dish.

You will need:

1/2 cups Buckwheat

1 cup water

Butter to taste




Rinse buckwheat thoroughly under running water and remove any debris or any black seeds

Add water and salt, and bring to boil leaving the lid slightly open

When the water starts boiling, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes

Switch off the heat, add and mix in some butter, cover with the lid and leave for 10 minutes

* In Russian this is called “grechka”, but in English it is also known as “kasha”.

* For bigger portions use the proportion: 1 part of buckwheat to 2 parts of water (i.e. for one cup of buckwheat use 2 cups of water etc.)

* Serving idea#1: With zucchini caviar, another healthy product, you double the taste and health benefits.

* Serving idea#2: You are a healthy eater who prefers having small regular snacks? Here’s a quick idea for you: Once kasha cools down you can mix it with cold milk to get a healthy buckwheat snack.




Smetana Russian sour cream is used in many recipes, from salads to desserts or casserole dishes. For example smetana can be used as:

    • As a condiment to various pancakes, including cottage cheese pancakes syrniki or savoury potato pancakes draniki. Also served with dumplings pelmeni or vareniki.
    • As a sauce to salads
    • As a final touch to soups, such as borscht
    • As a casserole sauce used in stews – its high content in fat allows smetana not to curdle at higher temperatures unlike similar crème fraîche.
    • Mixed with tvorog for breakfast

Smetana is also very popular in Ukrainian, Belarusian and Polish cuisines.

Recipes with smetana:

SoupsSavoury bitesSweet pancakesProtein rich breakfastDessert
Borschtdranikitvorog with smetana Russian breakfastRussian smetana, prunes and walnuts dessert
Condiment to various hot and cold soupsSauce for potato pancakes dranikiCottage cheese syrniki pancakesTvorog with smetana and berriesPrunes and walnuts in thickened smetana



Tvorog is Russian pressed cottage cheese and a great source of protein. It is similar to curd or farmer cheese but somewhat firmer and more dry.

Tvorog is used in many traditional Russian recipes: breakfast pancakes syrniki,  zapekanka – tvorog baked in oven, vareniki – dumplings with sweet stuffing, vatrushka cakes or traditional Easter dish paskha.

It can also be eaten on its own as a healthy snack food and a great start to the day. You can mix it with sour cream, jams, honey, nuts, fruit – anything of your choice.

Recipes with tvorog:

SyrnikiZapekankaTvorog with smetanaChocholate cake with tvorog filling
Russian tvorog zapekankatvorog with smetana Russian breakfastRussian tvorog chocolate-cake
Quark pancakes: easy, very tasty and good for you.Baked and cooled down cottage cheeseRich in protein healthy breakfast solutionSweet and refreshing at the same time

Bologna sausage


Doktorskaya bologna sausage (orignial name – Doktorskaya kolbasa) is a chunky pinky spongy sausage with smooth taste and texture. It is made of beef and pork mixture and flavoured with nutmeg. Kolbasa is usually eaten as a snack with a piece of white bread (basic Russian sandwich) and a cup of tea. It can be used in various more complicated sandwiches, including hot sandwiches. In modern cuisine, it can be used for finger food canapé, if cut into cubes and combines with other ingeriends, such as olives and cheese,  all pierced with a toothpick.

Doktorskaya bologna is quite often used in a popular version of Olivier salad (called as Russian salad in many countries of the world). Also, Russian bologna sausage can be fried with eggs for breakfast.


Armenian lavash


Lavash is Armenian thin and soft flatbread, perhaps one of the thinnest flatbreads.

It is by far the most popular type of bread in Armenia and in the Caucasus region, and from there it made its way to Russia. It is nowadays very popular for various healthy wraps.

Lavash is also used at traditional fast-food takeaways: grilled chicken straight off the grill is quite often wrapped in lavash which immediately absorbs its spices and juices. But the most popular lavash fast-food is shawarma – grilled  meat and  chopped fresh vegetables wrapped with lavash. The  wrap is then additionally toasted for a nice crust.

 You can keep lavash in the freezer and thaw the necessary amount of layers right before consumption – it only takes a few minutes.

Shaorma chicken wrapSalmon and creme cheese rolls
Lavash salmon roll Russian finger food
Oh my pow! Juicy, hot, crunchy and delicious!Easy bite to decorate the table