Step out of your comfort zone and away from the typical brown rice, quinoa, and couscous. There is a whole new world of ancient grains that will offer new and exciting tastes and nutritional benefits to your diet. What makes ancient grains so special, is the fact that these grains have had little changes over hundreds of years. Less refining equates to more preserved nutrients giving us more bang for our grain!
Freekah is gaining popularity in kitchens with its low glycemic index and impressive nutritional profile. It is a form of young durham wheat (not gluten free) and has flavor profiles of tasting nutty and smokey. Freekah is comparable to bulgur and can be used in place of rice, couscous, or most any grains in meals. Freekah has three times more fiber than brown rice in addition to lutein and zeaxanthin which are nutrients to support eye health.
Teff is a tiny grain often eaten raw, cooked, or ground in to flour. It is gluten free and contains all 8 essential amino acids, making it an excellence protein source. Teff also contains many minerals such as magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, and phosphorus. This tiny grain has a sweet and nutty flavor making an excellent flour for sweet breads, cookies, and even puddings!
Kamut exceeds the nutritional content of classic wheat and brings a buttery and nutty flavor profile to the dish. Although not gluten free, it can add variation in taste and nutrition as a substitute of other grains in meals. It is known for its especially high content of selenium, zinc, and magnesium. Some studies have shown that kamut may contribute to lowering total cholesterol levels.
Amaranth is a unique grain because it is the only one that is documented to contain vitamin C. It is also high in minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and is an exceptional gluten free plant-based protein source! Amaranth packs 28 grams of protein per cup of cooked grains!
Millet. Known for its high content of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper, millet is a tiny grain that is gluten free. Although found as a main ingredient in bird food, humans should incorporate this grain in to their dishes for heart health, healthy digestion, and blood sugar control.
- What Is the Ancient Grain Freekeh?
- Ancient Grains and What They Mean for Your Health
- Incorporation of Whole, Ancient Grains into a Modern Asian Indian Diet: Practical Strategies to Reduce the Burden of Chronic Disease
- A Bounty of Alternative Whole Grains
Written by Amy Fenzel. Who is Amy? Read below. And if you have a question, feel free to email her.