You could say that American agriculture is enjoying a renaissance in the twenty-first century. Most of us had only ever heard of a small number of grains ten years ago, including wheat, rice, and couscous. Currently, grocery store shelves are stocked with new (or, more precisely, ancient) grains. The rise in popularity of unusual grains has been fueled by interest in exotic ingredients and a rise in gluten-free eating. Visit our grain marketing page if you’re interested in buying or selling grain.
When coming up with dinner ideas, there are countless possibilities to choose from, including freekeh, quinoa, and bulgur. This guide to the nutrition and cooking techniques of common and uncommon grains can help you if you feel a little lost in the sea of different grains. But first, let’s quickly review what grains are and the health benefits they provide.
Why are grains beneficial?
A grain is a tiny, edible seed that is obtained from a grass family plant. These seeds can be found in wheat, rice, and barley. These more well-known original plants are actually derivatives of several grains that go by various names.
Sometimes, foods that we typically classify as grains don’t actually fall under this heading because they don’t actually derive from grasses and are more appropriately referred to as “pseudocereals.”
Here are a few of the most popular grains available today
- Amaranth – Although amaranth is a seed, it essentially has the same nutritional value as entire grains. Additionally, it is a rich source of magnesium and phosphorus, two nutrients that support strong bones.
- Barley – When purchasing barley, make sure it is hulled (still wearing its outer husk) rather than pearled, which means it has been polished.
- Brown rice – Remember that brown rice takes significantly longer to prepare on the stovetop or in a rice cooker than white rice when you’re craving rice. Brown rice is a fantastic gluten-free go-to when you’re craving rice. Expect 40–45 minutes.
- Bulgur wheat, which is frequently used in Middle Eastern cuisine, has a consistency akin to couscous or quinoa.
- Couscous To receive the greatest nutrition, make sure the couscous is whole grain by checking the brands and nutrition labels. Instead of whole wheat, refined couscous can alternatively be prepared.
- Freekeh – It is a common ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine and is bursting with nutrients, including calcium, iron, and protein as well as fiber.
- Quinoa – Although quinoa is naturally gluten-free, several studies have found that its components may irritate some celiac disease sufferers. According to other studies, it has no effect on people who are gluten intolerant.
- Wheat berry – These chewy, nutty whole wheat kernels give food a pleasant texture and flavor.
- Whole wheat pasta -Compared to refined white pasta, whole-wheat pasta has fewer calories, carbs, and grams of fiber, so consider switching it out for a quick, healthier alternative.