I’m a total keener when it comes to trying out new foods and experimenting with new recipes. In my quest to broaden my culinary palette, it also means testing out different and unusual ingredients that I may have never heard of before. Finding healthy and nutritious options is a priority for me, so I jumped at the chance to take part in a cooking demo with the Food Network’s Chef Lynn Crawford.
What ingredients did she share? Five healthy and nutritious ancient grains that will make a difference in your diet. And don’t feel bad if you don’t know what they are – I only knew two of the five items.
Quinoa is a superfood that has become very popular in recent years. It help you feel fuller longer and is a complete protein source. It’s also high in fibre and minerals while being low on the glycemic index which is good for your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Amaranth is also high in protein and can be eaten raw. It contains lysine, an amino acid lacking in many grains. Chef Lynn likes to use it as an alternative flour, sprinkled on cereal or as a breading on fish and meat.
Teff is as strong as it sounds. It has more iron and calcium in it most other grains. This poppy seed-sized grain is originally from Ethiopia and is known as the “grass of life.”
Sorghum is known for its crunch but can be a little chewy when you cook it. It’s high in antioxidents which can help lower risk of diabetes and heart disease. Chef Lynn describes it as a rice alternative so great for things like risotto.
Millet is a nutty-flavored, heart healthy grain. It was cultivated 4,000 years ago from the wild West African grass. Chef Lynn finds that it is light and starchy which is perfect for stuffings, pilafs and salads.
Having had the chance to smell, touch, and taste these ingredients, I will definitely be adding these items to my pantry. Now time to find some recipes to go with them…