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Ancient Grains

October 23, 2013

Amaranth

This ancient grain of Mexico is the size of a poppy seed and richer in protein than most grains with a fairly good amino acid profile. Amaranth can also be popped like corn for a tasty snack.

Nugget Markets' Favorite: Bob’s Red Mill Organic Amaranth

Barley

A high–fiber grain with a nutty taste. Soaking whole barley kernels overnight helps speed cooking time.

Nugget Markets' Favorite: Bartolini Pearl Barley

Buckwheat

A native grain to Northern Europe and unrelated to wheat (so gluten free), buckwheat is actually a cousin of rhubarb. A one–cup serving cooked supplies about 20% of the daily value for the mineral magnesium, which may help steady blood sugar control, along with the compound inositol found in buckwheat.

Nugget Markets' Favorite: Wolff ’s Kasha Buckwheat

Bulgur

This grain is partially cooked (parboiled) durum wheat typically used in Armenian and Turkish dishes. As part of a diet rich in whole grains, eating bulgur may help lower risk for heart disease thanks to bulgur’s rich fiber content.

Nugget Markets' Favorite: Bob’s Red Mill Bulgur Wheat

Farro

An ancient grain from Roman times, farro has its roots in Italian cuisine. Fiber rich and with a nutty taste, farro works well in salad, soups and cooked up slowly like risotto.

Nugget Markets' Favorite: Bartolini Farro

Kamut

Looking like a large kernel of wheat, kamut has been found in Egyptian tombs and now is cultivated for widespread use. Kamut supplies a wealth of energizing carbs along with B vitamins.

Nugget Market s' Favorite: Bob’s Red Mill Organic Kamut

Millet

A favorite for bird–seed mixes, millet cooks up nice and fluffy, making it excellent for pilafs.

Nugget Markets' Favorite: Bob’s Red Mill Millet

Polenta 

This old–style Italian porridge is made with fine ground yellow corn. Loaded with complex carbohydrates, polenta makes for a great post–workout meal that helps restock glycogen stores.

Nugget Markets' Favorite: Food Merchants Polenta and Golden Pheasant Polenta

Quinoa 

An ancient grain of the Incas, quinoa is loaded with the mineral manganese (60% of Daily Value) that helps protect muscle cells from oxidative damage. Quinoa comes in red and other rich hues signifying presence of health–boosting phenolics.

Nugget Markets' Favorite: Tru Roots Quinoa

Spelt 

Believed to be an ancient wheat variety dating back to 5000 BC, this grain is loaded with minerals such as manganese and copper, which are both vital for maintaining the body’s protection against damage caused by daily exposure to pollutants. 

Nugget Markets' Favorite: Bob ’s Red Mill Organic Spelt

Teff

This Ethiopian grain has a mild molasses taste, comes in different colors including a deep brown/purple, and is rich in iron, about 40% of DV in 1 cup cooked.

Nugget Markets' Favorite: Bob ’s Red Mill Teff 

Wheat Berries 

Believed to first be cultivated 10,000 years ago, whole wheat “berries” pack glycogen–rebuilding carbs–60 grams per 1 cup cooked (20% of Daily Value).

Nugget Markets' Favorite: Bob ’s Red Mill Wheat Berries

Enlarge Images

Amaranth

Amaranth

Bulgar

Bulgar

Kamut

Kamut

Millet

Millet

Spelt

Spelt

Teff

Teff

Wheat Berries

Wheat Berries