Just Add These NEW SUPERGRAINS (Set 1)
Whole grains support a balanced, healthy diet1. Traditional whole grains that consumers have typically bought include whole wheat bread, brown rice and oatmeal. However, there are several new whole grains called ‘supergrains’ that are making their way to local grocery stores. These include amaranth and buckwheat, and the newest stars: freekeh and teff. This article explores the latter supergrains and explains their nutritional value, health benefits and how to prepare them for you and your family.
A ‘grain’ contains 3 parts: germ, bran and endosperm. Whole grains contain all 3 parts of the grain. This is in contrast to ‘refined grains’ that only contain the endosperm (only 1 of 3 parts of the whole grain). Typical refined grains that we find at the grocery store or bakery include white flour and white rice just to name a couple. The reason why new supergrains and whole grains are better than refined grains is that the bran and germ contain not only a denser food but also a much higher nutrient profile for better nutritional value. Refined grains have no germ or bran and therefore, the product loses much of the essential vitamins, minerals and fiber which make supergrains and whole grains far superior.
Here are the new supergrains that you should check out. Just Add these new supergrains into your diet to reap the benefits of the incredible nutrients and flavour that they bring to the table.
Just Add Freekeh Supergrains!
What is Freekeh Supergrains?
This valuable supergrain is native of the Middle East (think Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Syria) and it is the ‘newest-oldest’ superfood in the world as described by some dieticians. Freekeh is actually the name of the process in which young, soft, under ripe and green wheat is harvested and then roasted and dried before processing into a supergrain. Because there is high moisture content when the wheat is harvested, the seeds don’t burn through the roasting process. Freekeh is not the name of the grain, as it is derived from wheat itself. However, by harvesting wheat early through freekeh, the highest nutritional content can be preserved for consumption.
Why You Should Add Freekeh Supergrains to your Grocery List
There are so many freekeh health benefits that we won’t be able to talk about all of them in this blog article. However, in general, freekey has a low glycemic index (for slowly releasing sustained energy) as well as high fiber content (up to 4x the amount found in brown rice). As well, freekeh is known to act as a prebiotic to help maintain a good level of healthy bacteria in your digestive tract (important for both immune function as well as bowel health.
In addition, the freekeh supergrain features high levels of calcium, iron and zinc and is very low in fat. As well, freekeh supergrain is a very good source of plant based protein and is also rich in both lutein and zeaxanthin which are phytonutrient carotenoids that support vision and eye health.
When you compare quinoa versus freekeh, the latter supergrain actually yields a slightly higher content of protein and calories per serving. However, freekeh contains 2x the amount of fiber when compared with quinoa.
Freekeh Supergrains Nutrition Info
(3/4 cup cooked)
How To Eat Freekeh Supergrains
Just cook the freekeh and add to your pasta or salad dish. You can easily use freekeh in place of quinoa or rice and you can certainly add it to a soup. PLEASE NOTE, however, freekeh is NOT gluten-free!
Just Add Teff Supergrains!
What is Teff Supergrains?
First of all, the teff supergrain is absolutely GLUTEN-FREE (unlike freekeh)! Secondly, the teff supergrain comes from Ethopia and Eritrea in Africa. It’s a lovegrass grain of the genus Eragrostis and is thrives especially on harsh weather conditions regardless of moisture, sunlight and humidity. Because of its unique ability to survive in various climates, the teff supergrain is now harvested worldwide! It’s also one of the smallest grains in the world and it’s been consumed for over 4,000 years!
Why You Should Add Teff Supergrains to your Grocery List
The first thing to note is that Teff is not a refined grain… it’s way too small to be processed in any way, which is great. Therefore, teff is a whole grain, or what we call a supergrain because of its many health benefits and nutritional profile. One of the unique properties of the teff supergrain is the resistant starch content which is a type of dietary fiber that maintains blood sugar levels, benefits the colon and supports weight management. In addition, teff is very high in iron, calcium, protein, fiber and B vitamins.
The Teff whole grain can be found in nearly all health food stores and some local grocers. It can be stored in a cool, dark place like all other grains or even in the fridge or freezer.
Teff Supergrains Nutrition Info
How To Eat Teff Supergrains
If you’ve been to an Ethiopian restaurant, you’ve probably ordered injera, a pancake-like tortilla made primarily from the Teff whole grain. You can easily use Teff in place of white flour or other grains to make crepes and pancakes yourself too. You can add it to salads and soups, cookies and soups.
1 O’Neil C., et al. (2010). Whole-grain consumption is associated with diet quality and nutrient intake in adults: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 110:1461