I like corn and oats. I like wheat and rice, too. However, why stop when there are so many other grains and seeds that offer high quality protein and fiber? They are inexpensive and nutritious
They might not be sold at every grocery store, but look around and experience some of the ancient grains that are available. Health food stores are a good place to start. On-line specialty shops often carry unique and hard to find items. Many of these grains can be found in flour, pasta, cereals and breads.
Ancient grains derive their name from the fact that they symbolize some of the earliest plants utilized by our ancestors. As modern day Americans, we can be squeamish to try new things. These old grains are very new and unusual to us.
You might be pleasantly surprised to find they taste great and are very versatile! They offer an easy substitution for rice, wheat, corn and oats in your favorite dishes. By consuming ancient grains, you will easily meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines of 3 ounces whole grain each day.
- Sorghum is a buttery colored, round grain. It is used widely in Africa and India. A popular flatbread called chapatis is made from this grain. It is high in niacin and phosphorous.
- Rye is one you have heard of, but have you tried it? Rye offers a distinctive and strong flavor. It is high in many key nutrients: iron, magnesium, phosphorous, riboflavin and zinc.
- Millet is regularly added to soups and baked in breads. Many emerging countries count on millet as a staple of their diet. It is sweet and mild. Did you know that it can also be popped and eaten like popcorn?
- Quinoa is a seed that is now gaining well deserved popularity. It tastes amazing, cooks quickly and can be easily substituted for couscous in many dishes. Soaking the seeds for about twenty minutes in cool water and then rinsing before cooking will leach out any residual bitterness.
- Buckwheat is not wheat. The name can be misleading (especially to those with wheat sensitivities). A native to Southeast Asia, buckwheat can be cooked like oatmeal. It can be baked into noodles, pancakes, or breads. It can be added to salads and a variety of hearty dishes.