Ancient grains are making a comeback—and for good reason. Not only are they nutrition powerhouses, many fit into gluten-free diets. These five grains can go a long way in adding menu variety.
This tiny yellow grain is actually a seed that has been cultivated and eaten for 8,000 years. Amaranth has the advantage of being gluten-free and a complete protein. Use it in polenta, tabouli salads and porridges, or ground and blended with other grains in breads.
Italian in origin, farro is a wheat grain with a nutty flavor and chewy texture. The pearled variety has the quickest prep time and cooks up much like brown rice. Substitute it for rice in recipes, including risotto.
This wheat grain, long cultivated in the Middle East and harvested when it’s young and green, remains green after roasting. A rich source of protein, freekeh boasts an earthy, slightly smoky flavor.
Widely consumed in Asia and Africa, sorghum was used mostly as livestock feed until consumers discovered it is gluten-free. The hearty grain, similar to the wheat berry, can be used in salads, pilafs and soups.
Often labeled as spelt berries, spelt is the size and shape of orzo pasta but cooks up more like rice. Spelt can be ground into flour and adds a boost of protein and fiber.