Jan 11, 2012

grains


Why not make 2012 the year that you experiment with grains? Brown rice is fine but there are so many other delicious options. One of my new favorite grains is wheat berry. There is a cafe in a town nearby that serves a yummy wheat berry salad that is full of nuts, cranberries and fruit. Here are a few grain ideas to get you started.

Wheat Berry: A great grain for those who can handle gluten. These grains are an excellent source of fiber and iron. The texture is a bit chewy and the flavor is slightly nutty. It is excellent as a cold grain salad.

Farro: This is sometimes called emmer wheat. It is a bit lower in calories than wheat berries (100 cals/ half cup). This grain has twice the fiber of brown rice. The flavor is complex and earthy and the texture is creamy. It is an excellent grain for risotto. 

Amaranth: This tiny grain packs 5 grams of protein per half cup. This grain also contains lysine, an amino acid needed by the body for tissue repair and growth.  Lysine also helps the body absorb calcium. This grain is gluten free. When cooked with another grain, such as brown rice, amaranth doesn't overwhelm with its sticky consistency but adds a nutty sweetness. Use a ratio of 1/4 cup amaranth to 3/4 cup other grain and cook as usual. I love it as a hot cereal in the morning with bananas, cinnamon and coconut milk on top. 

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