HEARD OF QUINOA? HERE ARE 5 LESSER KNOWN GRAINS…
Alternatives to wheat are popular, especially quinoa, the nutritious South American grain that can be used as an alternative to rice, wheat or cous cous in curries, salads, bread, soups and even veggie burgers. There is more to life than quinoa, however – so here are 5 grains that you might like to try!
Amaranth is the seed of the amaranth fruit, and can be used as a whole grain as well as in flaked form or flour. It is a gluten-free grain that can be used to make bread, cakes, soups, porridge, casseroles and burgers. It has a neutral flavour, and can be used in desserts such as Amaranth Pudding, which is like rice pudding.
People often think we’re crazy for recommending millet for general cooking, because it’s well known as a type of bird feed. But we think it’s wasted on the birds! Cook millet as you would rice, and use it in soups, porridge and stir-fries.
Teff is a staple food of Ethiopia, where it has been eaten for thousands of years. It is particularly used to make injera, a type of risen flatbread, but can also be used to make porridge, and also used in pancakes, breads and soups. It is a tiny grain, only around 1mm across.
Buckwheat is not a type of wheat, but is in fact a gluten-free grain-like grass seed. It’s popular in its whole form where it can be eaten like rice, and it can also be used in bread and pancakes. Buckwheat has now become a staple amongst coeliac sufferers and other people avoiding gluten.
Okay, freekeh is actually a type of wheat – but it’s made from young, green wheat that is roasted and then cracked, lending it a completely different flavour and nutritional profile. It has a higher proportion of resistant starch than standard wheat, meaning that the starch acts more like fibre, with a lower glycemic index and a beneficial effect on digestive health.
Use freekeh as you would bulghur wheat – in salady-type dishes and hearty soups.