We touched on the difference between whole grains versus refined grains in Part 1 of Just Add Supergrains and in Part 2, we introduce 2 more fabulous new whole grains packed full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and nutrients. They include farro and amaranth. Continue reading for more information about these 2 super grains you can add to your diet!
Just Add Farro Supergrains!
What is Farro Supergrains?
Not many people have heard of farro. The supergrain originates from Egypt and the Middle East and it is a chewy, wheat-like grain that tastes similar to barley. Although it may seem trendy right now, it’s actually an ancient nutritional grain first domesticated over 10,000 years ago. It now grows in central and northern Italy and throughout the Middle East. Sometimes, people mistaken the farro supergrain with spelt which looks familiar but is an entirely different grain. Please note that “farro” is often called ‘faro’ as well. The Faro Supergrain is exactly the same as Farro (spelt with a double ‘r’).
Why You Should Add Farro Supergrains to your Grocery List
In a nutshell, the farro supergrain is often used as substitute for rice or pasta, and for good nutritional reasons. Farro is a supergrain with a nutty flavour (like brown or dark rice) and it is extremely high in fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C and E. According to Ashley Koff dietitian, magnesium is often called ‘natures muscle relaxant’ and can be used to treat tension and cramps. The fiber content is very high compared to other grains as well which aids in your digestion. Farro’s complex carbohydrates also break down slowly, which help to keep your energy levels very stable. The farro grain also contains cyanogenic glucosides which is a type of carbohydrate that boosts your immune system.
Farro Supergrains Nutrition Info
How To Eat Farro Supergrains
The farro grain is easy to cook and prepare and goes well with a kaleidoscope of dishes. Taking over menus by storm the farro supergrain is now seen as a main ingredient in soups, salads, main entrees and even desserts. Here is an example of how farro is cooked and served: Soak the grains overnight, and drain. Combine 2 cups water with 1 cup farro and bring to a boil; then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 25 to 35 minutes. This is much like quinoa don’t you think? For 6 to 8 servings of a hearty vegetarian dish, chef Heap mixes 2 cups cooked farro with 1/2 pound sautéed shiitake mushrooms, ¼ cup cream, and ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, then simmers until thick, adding salt to taste. YUM!
Just Add Amaranth Supergrains!
What is Amaranth Supergrain?
There are over 60 species of amaranth supergrain that come in a variety of colors. Many of the species are actually considered weeds, but there are just as many that are cultivated as grains for consumption. The origination of the amaranth supergrain is from South America and Mexico and the growth of this supergrain has seen crop yields throughout Asia and the Caribbean. It’s definitely making its way to menus in North America and Europe now for good reason!
Why You Should Add Amaranth Supergrain to your Grocery List
The nutritional benefits of eating amaranth is why it’s been launched into the superfood category. Firstly, amaranth is high in vitamins with a good source of Vitamin A, B6, K and C as well as folate and riboflavin. In addition, the amaranth supergrain is high in numerous minerals that include calcium, potassium, iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorous and manganese. The amaranth supergrain also contains large amounts of easily digestible proteins, and are unusually complete when compared with other plant sources of protein. Lots of amino acids, dietary fiber and low fat are other great features of this ancient supergrain. It’s also very palatable and easy/quick to cook. The oils in the amaranth supergrain have been shown to prevent hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases in addition to lowering cholesterol. It’s also an immune booster and prevents grey hair in early testing stages.
Caution: Amaranth’s moderately high content of oxalic acid inhibits much of the absorption of calcium and zinc. It should be avoided or eaten in moderation by those with gout, kidney disorders or rheumatoid arthritis. Reheating cooked amaranth is not recommended, particularly for consumption by young children, because the nitrates in the leaves can be converted to nitrites, as in spinach.
Amaranth Supergrain Nutrition Info
How To Eat Amaranth Supergrain
Bring 3 cups water or broth and 1 cup of amaranth seeds to a boil; cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cooked amaranth has an oatmeal-like consistency. Enjoy amaranth supergrain as a hot cereal, or use it to stuff mushrooms or tomatoes. When baking, replace up to ¼ of the white flour with amaranth flour.