We are always searching for variety in our foods as we move towards healthy eating, and as we move towards whole grains and unrefined foods, brown rice and oatmeal starts to take its toll on our sanity. So, I put together a little summary of some not-so-well known grains that a great in taste, gluten free (for those who need that), and easy to prepare!
As nutritious as wheat is, Amaranth puts it to shame. Amaranth is high in vitamins and minerals. It’s also high in protein, and particularly high in the amino acid, Lysine which is an amino acid that is commonly not readily accessible in the Standard American Diet (SAD). In fact, Amaranth along with quinoa (mentioned later) are the only grain that have such complete amino acid blend. This makes it a great source of protein, superior to meat in fact. In addition, amaranth is one of the highest grains in fiber content, therefore making it effective agent against cancer and heart disease. Amaranth also contains significant amounts of phytosterols which play a major part in the prevention of all kinds of diseases.
Despite it’s grainy appearance, quinoa isn’t a grain at all but is technically a fruit. With it’s seedy appearance it too is extremely rich in minerals and vitamins. Second to amaranth it has the highest lysine content of all the unrefined grains/fruits containing a complete amino acid blend. It is extremely high in protein also, but also has a high fiber content. Quinoa along with amaranth can be eaten as a breakfast cereal or as a tasty side along with other vegetables and legumes. It’s great in soups and even as a side with fish and poultry.
Although it lower in protein than the previous mentioned foods, it is an amazingly nutritious food. It is high in fiber and contains 8 amino acids. Also, buckwheat is rich in the B vitamins. Combined with wheat flour, buckwheat flour can meet your body’s needs even more closely than lean beef. Buckwheat tastes good in soups particularly, but can be eaten as a breakfast cereal as well.
Of all the grains mentioned Kamut while very nutritious takes the longest to prepare. Like the other grains it’s high in proteins, vitamins, and minerals. This grain is great as a breakfast cereal or in soups and can be eaten like rice on the side. It has more of a chewy consistency and if not fully cooked can feel tough. But if cooked to completion, this nutritious grain is both tasty and nutritious.
These are just a few of the wonderfully nutritious unrefined high protein, high fiber grains available. Some other grains you might want to experiment with are Millet, Barley, Cracked Wheat, and Spelt. There are countless recipes that can be made from just these grains alone. Take a look at some of the recipes by searching online.