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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Better Bean’s Yummy, Ready To Eat Beans

The Better Bean Company makes a terrific product that should take off nationwide. We hope it will be the next big thing in delicious, nutrient-dense food for all meals of the day.

We hope you’ll try it. You can even get your first tub free (see below).

A NEW WAY TO BUY BEANS

The company is first to market a line of all-natural, refrigerated, ready-to-eat beans.

The beans are $3.99 for a 14-ounce plastic tub that is BPA-free, freezable, microwavable and reusable. The beans are solidly packed into the tubs: There’s no packing liquid or no air pockets taking up space; nothing to drain, no can opener required.

Just pop the top off the tub and dig in, or heat them as you prefer. Add them to recipes, use them as garnishes.

Prepared from scratch with freshly-harvested beans, the line is cooked in a gluten-free facility, and is non-GMO certified, vegan certified, nut free and soy free.

Bonus: The line has one-third the sodium of regular canned beans.

WHY THEY’RE EASIER TO DIGEST

Another bonus: Better Bean is easy on the digestive system. The company:

  • Uses freshly harvested beans, avoiding the challenges of digesting older beans (dried beans keep for years, and when you purchase them, you have no idea how old they are).
  • Soaks and re-rinses the beans, which eliminates gas-causing* compounds and activates enzymes that make it easier to digest all the nutrients. Dried beans must be soaked overnight before cooking, but you need to change the soaking water every few hours to removes the oligosaccharides* that cause flatulence.
  • Adds ingredients that help ease bean digestion. Onions, garlic and cumin help with this process, but the star ingredient is apple cider vinegar, which breaks down indigestible oligosaccharides.
  • ____________________
    *Oligosaccharides, a category of sugars in beans, cannot be digested by the stomach or small intestine. They get passed on to the large intestine where bacteria begin to break them down. During the process, the bacteria release several different types of gases, mainly hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide.
     
    MEET THE BETTER BEANS

    They are excellent on their own as a protein-packed side or snack; or can be added to dishes and recipes for every meal of the day.

    The Better Bean line currently has eight varieties: half with mild seasonings, half with medium spiciness.

    While the beans are cooked with garlic, onion and herbs, you can add fresh herbs, chopped scallions, more heat or other seasonings as you desire.

    Take your pick:

  • Better Baked Beans: mild; for sides—they’re in a tangy tomato sauce with a bit of maple syrup.
  • Cuban Black Beans: mild; for quesadillas, rice and beans, sides and soups.
  •    

    Better Bean Uncanny Refried Beans
    [1] You can do so much with eight different varieties.

    Better Bean Roasted Chipotle Red Beans
    [2] Half the varieties are mild, half are medium-spicy.

    Black Bean Breakfast Burrito

    [3] An easy way to add protein to avocado toast. (all photos courtesy Better Bean).

  • Roasted Chipotle Red Beans: medium; for burrito bowls, nachos and tacos.
  • Skillet Refried Red Beans: mild; for bowls, burritos, quesadillas and tacos.
  • Southwestern Pinto Beans: for burritos, soups, sides and stir-fries.
  • Tuscan White Beans: mild; for bowls, curries, pastas and spreads.
  • Uncanny Refried Black Beans: for bowls, dips, quesadillas and tacos.
  • Three Sisters Chili: mild; a complete heat and eat meal or snack.
  •  
    Any variety can be served hot or cold.

     

    Avocado Toast With Black Beans
    [4] Add protein to avocado toast (photo courtesy Better Bean).

    Mushroom & Bean Hors d'Oeuvre

    [5] Get creative: Instead of stuffing mushrooms with empty-carb breadcrumbs, stuff them with beans (photo courtesy Gather The Table).

     

    MORE WAYS TO ENJOY BETTER BEANS

    Beans are nutrient-dense and provide your body with essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and one of the most affordable sources of protein.

    In addition to the bowls, dips and Tex-Mex (enchiladas, nachos, quesadillas, rice and beans, tacos) recommended on the packages, try them:
     
    At Breakfast

  • Atop a savory waffle, with or without the bacon and eggs.
  • On any type of burger.
  • On toast, with or without avocado.
  • With breakfast eggs.
  •  
    At Lunch

  • As a soup garnish (a small mound in the middle of the bowl).
  • In an avocado half.
  • In any wrap sandwich.
  • In lettuce cups and layered salads.
  • On a grilled vegetable sandwich.
  •  
    At Dinner

  • As healthy vegan hors d’oeuvre (for example, top a rice cracker with beans, spices and a raw vegetable garnish).
  • As sides.
  • In casseroles.
  • In stir-fries.
  • With pizza: top the crust topped with beans, then mozzarella and toppings.
  •  
    For Snacks

  • As a protein pick-me-up at home or work.
  • As a spread with crackers.
  • Paired with guacamole and corn chips.
  • With crudités.
  •  
    GET YOUR FREE SAMPLE

    Try the the tub of your choice free. Just download the website coupon.

    Better Bean is carried by Whole Foods stores nationwide, Amazon Fresh and other retailers. Here’s the locator for retail store and e-tail websites.

    Head to BetterBeanCo.com for more on this very welcome line.
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF BEANS

    Beans are one of the oldest-cultivated plants, an important source of protein. Cultivated bean fossils found in Thailand date to the early 7000 BCE.

    Cultivation came later in the west: Wild beans that had been initially gathered in Afghanistan and the Himalayan foothills were cultivated by 2000 B.E.E. in the the Aegean, Iberia and transalpine Europe (modern Belgium, France, parts of Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland).

    The oldest-known domesticated beans in the Americas date to the same time [source]. In fact, most species in the bean genus Phaseolus originated in the Americas, and were grown from Chile to the northern United States.

    In the New World, indigenous peoples grew beans together with maize and squash. The beans would be planted around the base of the developing corn stalks, and would wind their way up, with the stalks serving as a trellis. The beans, in turn, provide essential nitrogen for the corn.

    Bean trivia: Beans are a heliotropic plant, meaning that the leaves tilt throughout the day to face the sun. At night, they fold into a “sleep” position.
     
     
    THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BEANS

    Check out the different types of beans in our Beans & Grains Glossary.
     

      

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    PRODUCTS: 5 New Favorite Specialty Foods

    Four of this month’s roundup of favorite products will brighten your dinner table, and the last will satisfy your sweet tooth.

    In alphabetical order, they are:

    1. CRACKER BARREL Oven BAKED MACARONI & CHEESE

    Cracker Barrel Cheese’s premium mac & cheese line has launched Oven Baked Macaroni & Cheese (photo #1) in three flavors:

  • Sharp Cheddar, seasoned with paprika and ground mustard.
  • Sharp White Cheddar, seasoned with black pepper and ground mustard.
  • Cheddar Havarti, seasoned with garlic and chives.
  •  
    Fans of oven-baked mac and cheese prefer it for the crispy edges and the toasted bread crumbs. The bread crumbs are included, as well as flavorful seasonings; and the level of crispiness is up to you.

    Just boil the noodles and mix the seasoning packet with melted butter and milk. Add the cheese sauce and the flavor mix, spoon into a baking dish and top with the toasted breadcrumbs.

    Get yours at major retailers nationwide. Suggested Retail Price is $3.99 for a 12.34-ounce package.

    For more information visit the Cracker Barrel Cheese website.
     
     
    2. DELTA BLUES RICE GRITS

    Delta Blues Rice (that’s the Mississippi Delta) is a fourth-generation family business that grows artisan rice. If you think that all white rice tastes the same, you won’t believe how much more flavorful it is than supermarket brands.

    The company sells the rice in white and brown rice and rice grits, all made in small batches and milled for freshness.

    We’ve enjoyed cornmeal grits since we were small fry, but had never tasted rice grits until the folks at Delta Blues Rice sent us a sample (photos #2 and #3).

    We devoured the package and ordered more. For those who avoid corn-based foods, they’re a real find.

    If you come from a grits-loving family, load up on them as gifts or favors for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

    Get yours at DeltaBluesRice.com.
     
     
    3. ENTUBE FLAVOR PASTES

    Big flavors come from little tubes. Entube is a line of flavorful pastes in three international flavors: curry, harissa and umeboshi (photos #4 and #5).

    These are great to have on hand and are so easy to use. Instead of adding more salt when a dish needs some pizzazz, just add a bit of flavor paste—to anything from grains to cheese fondue to soups and stews.

    We tried two of the three flavors: Curry and Harissa. Here’s how we used them.

    3a. Entube Harissa Paste

  • Dip: Combine with yogurt to your desired spice level and use as dip for crudités or tortilla chips.
  • Sauce: Stir some paste into pasta sauce or the hollandaise sauce for Eggs Benedict (quite wonderful). With a mushroom sauce for roast chicken, add 1-1/2 teaspoons for 1 cup sauce.
  • Spread: Add to mayo for a great sandwich spread.
  •  
    Roast Chicken: About 15 minutes before the chicken is due to come out of the oven, combine harissa-flavored plain yogurt with the hot drippings. Baste the chicken twice, five minutes apart. For the second basting, add the juice of 1/2 lemon to the yogurt and drippings, along with a bit of kosher salt to taste. This will slightly caramelize and crisp the skin.

    Grilled Lamb: Morroccan lamb dishes are classically made with a harissa spice rub. We made a rack of lamb with the yogurt-Harissa Paste mix (4 tablespoons yogurt with 1 teaspoon paste) and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Brush it in on at the start of roasting and once more 5 minutes from the end. It perks up the slightly gamy flavor of lamb beautifully. (Cooking time for medium rare lamb is 22 minutes in a 425°F oven.)

       

    Cracker Barrel Baked Mac & Cheese

    Delta Blues Rice Grits

    Rice Grits

    Entube Flavor Pastes

    Paella With Harissa

    [1] We love baked mac & cheese with crispy edges (photo courtesy Cracker Barrel). [2] Calling all grits lovers for great rice grits (photo courtesy Delta Blues Rice). [3] Rice grits (photo courtesy Neniemi Food). [4] Entube flavor pastes and [5] Entube harissa spices up paella (photos courtesy Entube | Facebook).

     
    Moroccan Chicken Kabobs: Cube 1 pound of chicken breasts and marinate for 3-4 hours in 3 teaspoons Harissa Paste, juice of 1 lemon, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, with an optional teaspoon of smoked paprika. Skewer onto pre-soaked (30 minutes) wooden skewers or lightly oiled metal skewers. Broil or grill, turning often. Brush with the marinade halfway through and continue until browned and cooked through, 16 minutes total. Serve hot.

    3b. Entube Curry Paste

    Mushroom Sauce: Boost the umami flavor in creamy mushroom sauces. Add as much paste as you like, tasting as you go in 1/2 teaspoon increments. The curry flavor was not overpowering and added depth to the character of the mushrooms. This combination also works in mushroom tarts.

    Grilled Shrimp: Marinate 1 pound deveined shrimp in a yogurt marinade made with 1/2 cup yogurt and 2 teaspoons of curry paste, the juice of 1 lime, mustard oil or coconut oil, chili powder to taste and 2 teaspoons of grated, peeled ginger root. Marinate in the fridge for 2-4 hours. Just before grilling (on medium-high), remove shrimp and wipe off the excess marinade with paper towels. Grill until black spots begin to appear, about 3 minutes per side. Delicious!

    The one complaint we have with the pastes is that there is too much added ascorbic acid (vitamin C)—almost 20%. If you have a sophisticated palate, you may notice a slightly medicinal acidic tang that is not as clean and lively as would have been given by lemon or lime. You can mask it by adding some real lemon or lime juice.

    Find a store locator on the company website.

     

    Salt With Sea Vegetables

    Werther's Cocoa Creme Caramels

    Werther's Sugar Free Caramels

    [6] Sea salt meets seaweed in these tasty blends (photo courtesy Sea Veg). [7] Werther’s new Cocoa Crème Soft Caramels and [8] longtime favorites, the sugar-free caramels line (photos courtesy Werther’s Original).

     

    4. MAINE MADE SEA SEASONINGS

    This naturally iodized sea salt has a little something extra: sea vegetables, including dulse and kelp, seaweeds known for their high vitamin and mineral content.

    The entire line of seaweed-based products are harvested in Maine waters; and the line is targeted to people who want to get the most nutrition they can from their foods.

    Here are the nutritional values of both seaweeds.

    Not that we don’t want the best nutrition; but we like these sea salts for their flavor, especially with rice and other grains and starches. And, we’re big flavor fans of Japanese seaweed, dried or fresh [which is actually reconstituted dry seaweed].

    The company offers variations of the sea salt with added cayenne or garlic; and with other seaweeds. Another product of interest is the applewood-smoked nori sheets.

    Find out more at SeaVeg.com.
     
     
    5. WERTHER’S ORIGINAL NEW COCOA CREME SOFT CARAMELS

    Werther’s newest flavor can be attributed to American palates: a survey of more than 1,000 American adults found that 44% chose caramel as their favorite candy flavor to combine with chocolate. The next closest is mint, at 19%.

    Werther’s Original Cocoa Crème Soft Caramels pair their yummy soft caramel with a cocoa crème filling.

    They join Werther’s other dual-flavor caramels, including Caramel Apple and Coffee Caramel.

    We love soft caramels. Aside from the pricey ones from artisan chocolatiers, Werther’s is our favorite everyday brand.

    Another thing we love about the brand is the sugar-free options.

    The line includes hard, chewy, soft and filled caramels, as well as the sugar-free caramels in seven flavors (the chewy sugar-free caramels and chocolate caramels are a must-try) and caramel popcorn.

    As they say at the company, they’re a treat that’s truly “werth it.”

    For more information visit Werther’s Original USA.

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Irish Lamb Stew For St. Patrick’s Day

    Irish Lamb Stew

    Pint Of Guinness

    Arthur Guinness

    [1] Irish lamb stew, made with pearled barley. [2] A pint of Guinness, once the world’s top-selling beer†. [3] Arthur Guinness founded the brewery in 1759. It’s the world’s oldest continuing brewery (all photos courtesy Guinness).

     

    If you like lamb, there’s no better excuse to make lamb stew than St. Patrick’s Day. Lamb shoulder, the best stew cut, is also far less pricey than lamb chops or leg of lamb.

    This traditional dish is served on St. Patrick’s Day at the restaurant in Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, which provided the recipe below. Is so easy to make, that even a young cook can throw it together.

    The Guinness Storehouse is the original property leased in 1759 by Arthur Guinness for his brewery. It’s a 9,000-year lease, by the way, leading one to wonder if the landlord refused to write a 10,000-year lease.

    The property has been converted into a museum on the history of brewing and the history of Guinness.

    RECIPE: IRISH LAMB STEW

    Note that the recipe cooks the meat and the vegetables for the same time. This creates soft vegetables, the old-fashioned style.

    If you prefer your veggies al dente, add in the vegetables after 45 minutes, but cook the full amount of stock from the beginning.

    Similarly, our mom always browned stew meat before adding it to the pot. Browning helps develop more depth of flavor; some cooks even brown the vegetables and herbs. This step isn’t required in Guinness’ recipe, so we didn’t do it; although next time we will for comparison.

    Serve the stew with a side of the pearled barley, some Irish soda bread and a Guinness (or brand of choice).

    While the stew is cooking, check out the different cuts of lamb.

     
    Ingredients For 4-6 Servings

  • 2-1/4 pounds lamb shoulder cubes
  • Bouquet garni* of parsley, thyme and bay leaf
  • 3 large onions, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 3-4 carrots, diced (if carrots are slender, you can cut coins instead)
  • 2 sticks of celery chopped
  • 1 small turnip, diced
  • 1 small leek, diced
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 pints chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons pearl* barley
  • Parsley, finely chopped
  • Garnish: sprig of thyme
  • ________________

    *See the last sections, below.

     
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the meat, bouquet garni, barley, onions, carrots, celery and turnip in the pot; cover with chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for one hour.

    2. SKIM off the scum on top of the pot. Add the potatoes and continue cooking for ½ hour. For the last 5 minutes, add the leek.

    3. REMOVE the bouquet garni. Stir in the chopped parsley. Serve in bowls.

    ________________
    †According to The Street, the world’s best-selling beers are now:
    1. Snow (SABMiller/China Resources Enterprises)
    2. Tsingtao (China, Tsingtao Brewery)
    3. Bud Light (Anheuser-Busch InBev)
    4. Budweiser (Anheuser-Busch InBev)
    5. Skol (Carlsberg, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Unibra)
    6. Yanjing (Beijing Yanjing)
    7. Heinecken (Heineken International)
    8. Harbin (Anheuser-Busch InBev, China)
    9. Brahma (Anheuser-Busch InBev, Brazil)
    10.Coors Light (MolsonCoors)

    Times change: We remember back in the 1970s that Guinness was the number one beer in the world.

     

    HOW TO MAKE A BOUQUET GARNI

    A bouquet garni (French for garnished bouquet) is a bundle of herbs tied with a string. It is used in the preparation of soups, stews and stocks.

    The herbs are tied for easy removal after cooking. In situations where some ingredients can’t be tied (peppercorns or garlic cloves, for example), a small muslin drawstring bag or piece of cheesecloth is used.

    The bouquet is cooked in the pot with the other ingredients, but is removed when cooking is complete.

    There is no generic recipe for bouquet garni, but most French recipes combine bay leaf, parsley and thyme.

  • Depending on the recipe, it may also include basil, burnet, chervil, rosemary, savory and tarragon.
  • How many pieces of each? That’s up to you, similar to adding “a handful” of something. We use four of everything.
  • Vegetables such as carrot, celery (leaves or leaf stalks), celeriac, leek, onion and parsley root are sometimes included.
  • Don’t hesitate to include flavors you’d like in your recipe. In Provence, dried orange peel can be added.
  •  

    A Tip For Parsley

    Keep the parsley leaves for garnish, but tie the stalks in the bouquet garni. They have lots of flavor.
     
     
    WHAT IS PEARLED BARLEY?

    Pearl barley, or pearled barley, is barley that has been processed to remove the hull and the bran.

    All barley must have its fibrous outer hull removed before it can be eaten; but pearl barley is then polished to remove the bran layer.

     

    Bouquet Garni

    Pearled Barley

    [1] Don’t worry if your bouquet garni doesn’t look this pretty (from Recreational Witchcraft | Tumblr). [2] Pearl or pearled barley (photo courtesy BBC Good Food).

     
    With the bran removed, the barley is no longer a whole grain, but is still nutritious. Hulled barley, the whole grain form, is also known as barley groats.

    Pearl barley is still chewy and nutritious, but less so than hulled barley, which still has its bran layer.

    The polished grains are also softer and take less time to cook, about 40 minutes. That’s why pearl barley is most often used in recipes.

    You can substitute hulled barley in recipes, by adjusting for a longer cooking time.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Fun With Rice Colors

    Tricolor RIce

    Tr-Color Rice Cake Recipe

    Brown Basmati Rice

    Italian Black Rice

    Red Rice

    Green Bamboo Rice

    [1] A tricolor rice dish made from white rice, using vegetables for color (photo courtesy Nephroplus). [2] These are the natural colors of brown rice, [3] black rice and [4] red rice. [5] Green bamboo rice is white rice infused with bamboo extract, combining the health benefits of chlorophyll with a delightful color (uncooked rice photos courtesy rice specialist In Harvest).

     

    All rice starts as a whole grain, which means that the germ and bran layer are intact. When these are removed, you have white rice.

    The most common bran layer for rice is brown; remove it and you have white rice. But there are also red and black rice brans. The darker the bran layer, the more nutritional value the rice has.

    Some rices are only partially milled, so some of the bran layer is left on. These rices tend to be light tan, pink or even a striated color. Our Madagascar Pink Rice is an example of rice that is partially milled. It still retains a high level of nutrition, but cooks faster and has a texture that is closer to white rice.

    But you don’t have to by naturally colored rices to serve colored rice. You can color white rice with vegetables, as in the recipe below.

    Tricolor rice is a popular dish in India, but we haven’t yet seen it in the U.S.—probably because it’s a bit more work.

    We did find a sweet dessert versions to join the savory rice below.

    You don’t have to use Indian flavors if it’s not your thing. Just add your own favorite herbs and spices, using the recipe template as a guide.

    This special-occasion recipe from Nephroplus.com as an Indian specialty called a rice sandwich.

    Since most of us in the U.S. don’t want to labor over six individual servings, we made it in one large Pyrex bowl.

    Prep time is 25 minutes, cook time is 25 minutes, baking time is 20 to 25 minutes. The wonderful aroma will have everyone waiting in anticipation!

    RECIPE: TRICOLOR RICE

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

    For The Orange Rice

  • 1-1/4 cups cooked rice
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1 tsp finely chopped green chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt to taste
  •  
    For The White Rice

  • 1-1/4 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 tablespoon ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped green chiles
  • 1/4 cup chopped paneer (substitute drained ricotta or small curd cottage cheese)
  • Salt to taste
  •  
    For The Green Rice

  • 1-1/4 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup cooked green peas
  • Salt to taste
  •  
    For The Green Paste

  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  • 2 green chillies, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon amchur (mango powder—substitute ginger powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • A bit of water
  •  
    Plus

  • 2 teaspoons oil for greasing
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  •  
    Preparation

    For The Orange Rice

    1. COMBINE the tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of water in a deep non-stick pan. Cook over a medium flame for 5 to 7 minutes or till the tomatoes are soft.

    2. BLEND the tomatoes in a blender to a smooth pulp and strain it using a strainer; set aside.

    3. HEAT the ghee in a wide non-stick pan. Add the onions and sauté over a medium flame for 1 minute. Add the carrots and sauté for 1 more minute. Add the prepared tomato pulp, green chiles, sugar and salt. Mix well and cook on a medium flame for 2 minutes.

     
    4. ADD the rice, mix well and cook over a medium flame for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
     
    For The White Rice

    1. HEAT the ghee in a wide non-stick pan and add the caraway seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the green chiles and sauté on a medium flame for 30 seconds.

    2. ADD the rice and paneer, mix well and cook over a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
     
    For The Green Rice

    1. HEAT the ghee in a wide non-stick pan. Add the onions and sauté on a medium flame for 1 minute.

    2. ADD the green paste and again sauté over a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rice, green peas and salt, mix well and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
     
    To Assemble

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 360°F. Grease a microwave safe baking bowl with oil and spread the green rice evenly over it using the back of a spoon. Add the white rice and spread it evenly using the back of a spoon. Top with the orange rice and spread it evenly using the back of a spoon.

    2. POUR the milk evenly over the rice, cover the bowl with a lid and bake for 15 to 20 minutes (or microwave on high for 5 to 7 minutes).

    3. SERVE: Turn the bowl upside down on a serving plate. Serve immediately.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Cook Sorghum For Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    When we first saw the word sorghum, it was as a tween, in the reading of “Gone With The Wind.”

    There was no sugar available in the blockaded, war-torn South, so Scarlett O’Hara sweetened her coffee substitute, chicory, with sorghum syrup, a molasses substitute.

    For decades, we thought of sorghum as a sweetener. After all, it’s not something you come across in the American diet.

    That is changing, with the rise in demand for gluten-free whole grains.

    Sorghum is an ancient Old World whole grain that has been cultivated for millennia.

  • It’s an energy food that’s gluten free, cholesterol free and non-GMO.
  • It’s a good source of fiber and iron.
  • It has 5g of protein per serving.
  • Its neutral flavor can be paired with any foods; it can be substituted for rice or lentils in dishes like paella and biryani.
  • You can find whole grain sorghum, pearled sorghum, sorghum flour and sorghum-based flour mixes.
  • It cooks, freezes and reheats easily.
  •  
    You can also pop sorghum seeds. The result looks just like popcorn.

    COOKING SORGHUM: WHERE TO START?

    Click to the links featured in the photos, and/or pick up a sorghum cookbook.

    WHAT IS SORGHUM?

    Sorghum is a genus of plants in the grass family—the family that includes the other grains (see the list below).

    Seventeen of the twenty-five sorghum species are native to Australia. One species, Sorghum bicolor, native to Africa, has become an important crop worldwide.

    Most varieties of sorghum are drought- and heat-tolerant, and are especially important crops in arid regions, where the grain is a dietary staples for the poor and rural populations.

    Sorghum is not only used for food (as grain and sorghum syrup, similar to molasses), but is brewed into alcoholic beverages, used as animal fodder, and made into biofuels.

    Nutritionally, it is similar to raw oats. A serving contains 20% or more of the Daily Value of protein; the B vitamins niacin, thiamin and vitamin B6; and several dietary minerals, including iron (26% DV) and manganese (76% DV).

    HULLED VS. PEARLED GRAINS

    When you see a grain labeled “hulled,” such as barley or sorghum, it indicates a whole grain.

    Hulled means that the the three parts of the seed—the bran, germ and endosperm—are intact, or “whole.” A whole grain provides optimum nutrition—vitamins, minerals and fiber.

    Only the inedible outermost layer, the hull, has been removed. This is true for all grains for human consumption: We can’t digest the hulls.

    Pearled grains are processed, like white rice. The polishing (pearling) removes the nutritious bran layer. The flavor is more delicate, not earthy; and it cooks faster. But a good amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber are lost in the process.

    Here’s more about whole grains and their nutrition.
     
    WONDERGRAIN: A LINE OF PREMIUM SORGUM PRODUCTS

    In 2012 Patricia Alemdar was given a taste of crushed sorghum from Haiti, where it’s considered a medicinal food. Although she liked the taste, she didn’t really care for the texture.

    (The common variety of sorghum is too dense to be cooked whole, so it needs to be crushed.)

    After months of research and testing, she and her mother produced a better, premium version of sorghum.

    It didn’t have to be crushed to be eaten whole. It had the softest bite and fastest cooking time. They launched it in 2014, and branded it Wondergrain.

    It’s a delicious addition to our table! The line is certified kosher by OU.

    Discover more at Wondergrain.com.
     
    FOOD FUN: NAME THE WHOLE GRAINS!

  • Amaranth
  • Barley (but not pearled barley)
  • Buckwheat (Kasha®)
  • Bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • Chia/Salba®†
  • Corn (whole grain corn or cornmeal, yellow or white)*
  • Farro (emmer wheat)
  • Flaxseed
  • Grano
  • Hemp
  • Kamut® (Khorasan wheat)†
  • Millet
  • Oats (oatmeal, whole or rolled oats)
  • Popcorn
  • Quinoa
  • Rice: black, brown, red, wild
  • Rye (whole)
  • Spelt
  • Sorghum
  • Teff
  • Triticale (barley/wheat hybrid)
  • Whole wheat
  • Wild rice
  • ________________
    *Grits are refined and are not whole grains.

     

    Sorghum

    Pearled Sorghum

    Sorghum Hot Cereal

    Sorghum Grain Bowl

    Sorghum Salad

    Roast Chicken With Sorghum

    Sorghum Squash Pilaf

    [1] Sorghum (photo courtesy Wondergrain). [2] Pearled sorghum cooks faster, but is not a whole grain (see the discussion below—photo courtesy Healthy Nibbles And Bits). [3] BREAKFAST: A bowl of hot sorghum (here’s the recipe from Clean Eating Magazine). [4] LUNCH: Sorghum grain bowl with beans and avocado (here’s the recipe from Street Smart Nutrition). [5] Sorghum salad with kale pesto (here’s the recipe from Healthy Nibbles & Bits). [6] DINNER: Serve chicken or fish with a side of sorghum (here’s the recipe from Bon Appetit). [7] Add some grated cheese to this sorghum and squash pilaf (here’s the recipe from Cooking Light).

    †Salba is a trademarked name for chia, Kamut® is a trademarked name for khorasan wheat.

      

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