High in fiber and rich in minerals, ancient grains are making their way into our pantries. Like Chinese Medicine, these food plants have been consumed for thousands of years and are a staple in many other countries as opposed to a novelty like they are here. Don’t know which one’s for you or what to do with it? Let us help!
Amaranth: Amaranth is often called a pseudo-grain because it acts more like an herb or a vegetable. This gluten free grain is a great source of complete protein as well as fiber, folic acid, potassium, calcium, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, and manganese. Traditionally eaten as a breakfast porridge, amaranth is great even “popped” like popcorn.
How to cook it: 6 cups of water for 1 cup of amaranth. Gently boil for 15-20 minutes, rinse and fluff.
Millet: Millet is another gluten-free option with a sweet nut-like flavor. It is particularly high in magnesium and b-vitamins. Traditionally it is served as a side dish or added to soups.
How to cook it: 2.5 parts water to 1 part millet. Lower heat and simmer for 25 minutes with the lid on.
Kamut: A distant relative to wheat, kamut is believed to have originated in the Egyptian Empire. It is naturally sweet which makes it great for baking and boasts 65% more amino acids than wheat. High levels of selenium make it a great antioxidant as well, particularly for those suffering hypothyroidism.
How to cook it: It is best to soak kamut overnight. Use 3 parts water to 1 part kamut and bring to a boil Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes.
Spelt: Dating back to 5000 B.C. this wheat cousin DOES contain gluten. Though it tends to be easier to digest than wheat, it is not suitable for those with celiac disease. Spelt is a high source of fiber as well s containing plenty of protein, folate, magnesium, and selenium.
How to cook it: You can use spelt flour in baking. It is commonly found in cereals, breads, pastas, and crackers.