I don’t know about you, but I love grains – pasta, bread, rice…could eat them every day! But there’s a lot of ancient grains & non-traditional grains that are gaining more & more popularity in the supermarket. As embarrassing as it is to say as a dietitian, I haven’t really ventured out more than quinoa.
Since the first month of 2017 is quickly coming to a close, I want to share some new-to-you whole grains & a great recipe roundup, so you can get to trying them out ASAP! Join me on my New Year’s journey to try all these awesome grains!
Freekah is not your ordinary grain. After learning about the harvesting process of freekah, I’m dying to try it! This young grain undergoes “rubbing” & is then carefully set on fire to create a unique flavor, texture, & color. It’s very similar to wheat, but there is a slightly smokey flavor to it.
Thai Freekah Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce by Street Smart Nutrition
Freekah Stuffed Acorn Squash by Halsa Nutrition
Sorghum is super resistant to environmental challenges that it may face during the growing process. It can withstand drought & it has a high heat tolerance. It is also a nutrition powerhouse providing iron, magnesium, thiamin, niacin, & vitamin B6. It is kind of crunchy, similar to wheat berries, & slightly sweet in taste.
Summer Sorghum Bowl with Sweet Corn Succotash by Street Smart Nutrition
Sweet Potato Sorghum Salad by Street Smart Nutrition
Sneaky Veggie Sorghum Salad by The Kansas City Dietitian
Blackberry Ricotta Breakfast Sorghum by Nutrition Starring You
Roasted Root Vegetable Power Bowl by RDelicious Kitchen
Amaranth has a beautiful golden hue & may just knock your socks off with its nutritional quality. This gluten-free grain has the highest protein quality of all grains, & has more than 3 times the average amount of calcium. It’s also high in iron, potassium, phosphorous, & magnesium. Amaranth is also the only grain to contain vitamin C.
Honey Balsamic Chicken, Kale, & Amaranth by Snacking in Sneakers
Farro was one of the first domesticated grains from the Fertile Crescent. It has a great nutty, earthy flavor & makes amazing salads & breakfast dishes.
Roasted Tomato, Farro, & Kale Salad by Euphoria Nutrition
Romain Charred Broccoli Salad with Grilled Chicken & Farro by Erica Julson
Farro Salad with Butternut Squash by Erica Julson
Spring Pea & Radish Farro Salad with Lemon Mint Vinaigrette by Nutritioulicious
30 minute Honey Dijon Salmon with Apple Farro by Dishing Out Health
Fall Farro Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Maple Apple Cider Dressing by Chelsey of C it Nutritionally
Millet is actually a seed that can be found in various colors – red, white, yellow, & gray. It’s gluten-free & is a good source of a lot of B-vitamins. Millet is very mild in flavor, which makes it a very versatile ingredient.
Veggie Millet Skillet by Brittany Poulson of Your Choice Nutrition
Coconut Millet Breakfast Porridge by Create Kids Club
Bulgur is pre-cooked & dried wheat. This means it only needs to be boiled for about 10 minutes. Can you say fast, nutritious food?!
Beef & Bulgur Meatballs in Pomegranate Sauce by Dishing Out Health
Wheat berries are whole, unprocessed wheat kernels that offer lots of nutrition & crunch. They offer all the nutrients a whole grain can offer since they contain the germ, endosperm, & bran.
Butternut Squash & Wheat Berry Salad by Whitney Tabaie of To Live & Diet in LA
Buckwheat is more than just something you find in pancakes sometimes. It’s actually a cousin to rhubarb & not a kind of wheat at all, but its nutrient profile has caused it to be adopted into the grain family. It has a nice nutty flavor; just make sure you’re purchasing whole buckwheat.
Savory Buckwheat Salad by Chard in Charge
Barley may seem rather similar to other cereal grains in regards to caloric value & protein content, but it has higher levels of soluble fiber than wheat & rye. The soluble fiber found in barley can lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. Barley also is an excellent source of insoluble fiber, which helps maintain digestive healthy & can protect against colon cancer.
Mushroom & Onion Barley by Nutritioulicious
Chicken Barley Stew by Call Me Betty
Barley Salad with Feta & Orange Shallot Vinaigrette by Erica Julson
Barley, Mandarin Orange & Cranberry Salad by EmPowered Nutrition
*See recipe below
Barley, Mandarin Orange, & Cranberry Salad
- 2 cups barley, cooked
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 can mandarin oranges, drained & rinsed
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 2 T olive oil
- ¼ cup lowfat or part-skim feta cheese
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Add the barley, cranberries, mandarin oranges, vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper to a mixing bowl & gently toss.
- Add feta & toss again.
- Chill for 30 minutes before serving.
- Serve as side dish or yummy lunch option.