Ancient grains were first used long ago and are largely unchanged over the last several hundred years. They are making a comeback with consumers, who crave quality, variety, and novelty, so try them in place of stand-bys like white rice or pasta1,2.
Amaranth can be used in interesting ways – you can cook it like a porridge for breakfast, pop it like popcorn, or try the cooked grains in salads. It’s characteristics are interesting from both a culinary and health perspective – it’s:
- Nutty in flavour
- A source of iron, calcium, and magnesium
Quinoa is a very versatile grain, you can substitute it anywhere rice would be used or cook it as a warm breakfast cereal. Some other interesting attributes about quinoa include:
- It’s gluten-free
- It’s complete protein (interesting for vegetarians/vegans)
- It’s trending on menus
Used in soba noodles, pancakes and crêpes – can also be cooked as a whole grain to replace rice. It is also gluten-free and a good source of magnesium in the diet.
Try millet in pilaf or porridge, add to bread, soups, and stews, pop it like popcorn, or even mill into flour (as an Indian roti). Millet is another great gluten-free option, as well as, a good source of fibre and protein.
Spelt is another versatile grain with a nutty flavour that can be used to swap out pasta or rice. It is also another nutritional superstar, being high in protein and fibre, and a good source of phosphorus.
Kamut can be used to replace wheat in many applications, but actually contains a higher amount of protein than standard wheat. You can mill it into flour or eat the cooked grains directly to replace rice or pasta in a dish.
1 Datassential Trendspotting. Inspiration from the garden. 2018.
2 Today’s Dietitian. Enjoying Ancient Grains. 2014.
3 Powers C, et al. Essentials of nutrition for chefs. Culinary Nutrition Publishing. 2013.
Read more on ancient grains in the news:
Ancient grains revolution: The new whole wheat