YOUR GRAIN GLOSSARY

GRAINS ARE VERY VERSATILE:

  • USED AS BREAKFAST CEREAL, TO MAKE PANCAKES OR A DISH WITH YOGURT AND FRUIT
  • ADDED TO STIR FRIES OR COLD SALADS FOR NUTTY TASTE
  • TOASTED AND USED AS A BREADING ON FISH AND MEATS
  • ADDED TO CHILI AND SOUPS
  • USED TO EXTEND GROUND BEEF IN BURGERS, MEATLOAF AND MEATBALLS

CHANGE UP YOUR GRAINS AND TRY SOME NEW ONES USING THE COOKING IDEAS BELOW!

Grain

Description

Taste

Cooking Details

Nutritional Facts

Amaranth

Tiny kernels, usually pale yellow. Porridge-like when simmered, making it useful as a food thickener. Can bake or steam, as well. Available as cereal and flour. Earthy and sweet. Compared to beets. Many people add a strongly flavored liquid to this grain when cooking it—broth and tomato juice are good choices. Good when mixed with other grains and mixed with vegetables as a stir-fry. Can toast similar to popcorn and use as a breading. ½ cup (C) amaranth flakes:
67 calories
3 grams (g) protein
1 g fat
14 g carbohydrate
2 g fiber
3 milligrams (mg) calcium
0 mg iron

Barley

Most of the barley in the US is used in beer production. Barley is chewier than rice. Barley flakes are served as a hot cereal. Grits are toasted and broken into small pieces. Earthy flavor. Generally simmered or used as an ingredient in casseroles or soups. Cooking time varies from a negligible amount of time for the preparation of grits to about 1¾ hours for hulled barley. Barley and fruit make a pleasing breakfast dish. Substitute barley for rice or pasta in almost any dish. ½ C cooked barley:
99 calories
2 g protein
0 g fat
23 g carbohydrate
3 g fiber
9 mg calcium
1 mg iron

Buckwheat

Kasha consists of buckwheat kernels that are roasted and hulled, and then cracked into granules. Buckwheat grits are finely ground groats.  Buckwheat flour is available in most markets. Strong, nutty flavor. Pairs well with beef, root vegetables, cabbage, winter squash, and eggplant. Buckwheat flour is commonly used in pancake preparation. Buckwheat is used as an alternative to rice as a side dish or ingredient. Buckwheat grits are served as a hot cereal. Kasha is good as a filling for meat, poultry, or vegetables.  Kasha is also excellent for cold salads. Simmer or bake kasha, whole buckwheat, and buckwheat grits. Cooking buckwheat kernels with a beaten egg prevents the kernels from sticking together. ½ C cooked buckwheat groats:
77 calories
3 g protein
1 g fat
17 g carbohydrate
2 g fiber
6 mg calcium
1 mg iron

Bulgur

Steamed, dried, and cracked-wheat berries. Earthy, nutty, and tender. Cooks like brown rice. Substitute for rice in all dishes. Use the finely ground variety to prepare a hot breakfast cereal. ½ C cooked bulgur:
56 calories
2 g protein
0 g fat
12 g carbohydrate
3 g fiber
7 mg calcium
1 mg iron

Millet

Extremely small, pale yellow or reddish-orange grain. Usually purchased in pearl form. Bland.  Absorbs the flavor of any food that it is cooked with it.  Some people say that millet tastes like corn. Simmer like rice. To achieve a creamy consistency, stir frequently, adding extra liquid during cooking. Steam cracked millet to make couscous. Cook as a hot cereal and add fruit, yogurt, and spices. Use in a casserole with strong-flavored vegetables. Add millet to stew, chili, and bean dishes. Add to any ground-beef mixtures without adding much flavor. Use millet in baked goods that would benefit from added texture. A good choice for grain when making flatbread. ½ C cooked millet:
101 calories
3 g protein
1 g fat
21 g carbohydrate
1 g fiber
3 mg calcium
1 mg iron

Oats

Oat bran is created from the outer layer of oat groats and is usually sold as a hot cereal. Oat groats are whole-oat kernels, which are cooked like rice. Rolled oats are heated and pressed flat. Steel-cut oats are groats that are vertically sliced and have a chewy texture when cooked. Oats are the main ingredient of granola and muesli. Mild flavored. Oat groats and steel-cut oats take a longer time than most grains to prepare. Old-fashioned oats take about 5 minutes to cook, while quick-cooking oats take only about 1 minute. All forms of oats are good eaten as breakfast cereal. Prepare groats into a pilaf and serve as a side dish. Add steel-cut oats to soups and stews. Use rolled oats as a filling for poultry and vegetables. Add toasted oats to salads, use as a breading for poultry, or add to baked goods. Use rolled oats in place of 20% of the wheat flour in yeast breads, and one part to every two parts of wheat flour in most other baked goods. ½ C cooked quick oats:
71 calories
2 g protein
1 g fat
13 g carbohydrate
2 g fiber
13 mg calcium
1 mg iron

Quinoa

Quinoa grains are flat, pointed ovals. Quinoa comes in a variety of colors (pale yellow, red, and black). When cooked, the external germ spirals out, creating a “tail.” Delicate and light flavor. Rinse prior to cooking. Brown in a skillet for 5 minutes prior to simmering or baking. Good when served as a pilaf, in a baked casserole, in vegetable soup, or as a cold salad. Especially good when combined with buckwheat. Add quinoa to puddings. ½ C cooked quinoa:
111 calories
4 g protein
2 g fat
20 g carbohydrate
5 g fiber
16 mg calcium
1 mg iron

Rye

A bluish-gray grain, similar in appearance to wheat, excerpt for the color. Rye flakes are similar to rolled oats. Whole rye berries, groats, and kernels resemble wheat berries. Cracked rye is the quickest-cooking variety. Robust flavor. Simmer rye berries with milder-tasting grains, such as brown rice or wheat berries. Combine cracked rye with cracked wheat. Combine rye flakes with oatmeal. Rye berries are good when cooked in broth with chopped nuts and raisins. Use cooked rye berries as an ingredient in poultry stuffing. Cracked rye is good when cooked in fruit juice with dried fruit. Add rye flakes to ground-beef mixtures. ½ C cooked cream of rye cereal:
54 calories
1 g protein
0 g fat
12 g carbohydrate
2 g fiber
6 mg calcium
0 mg iron

Spelt

A type of wheat. Mild flavored. Excellent for making risottos and pilafs. Easily added to hearty soups, stews, and chili. Best with tomato-based dishes. ½ C cooked spelt:
123 calories
6 g protein
2 g fat
25 g carbohydrate
4 g fiber
9 mg calcium
1 mg iron

Triticale

Crossbred from wheat and rye. Cracked triticale, triticale berries, and triticale flakes are comparable to their wheat or rye counterparts. Most often used as flour in breads. Rich, nutty, flavor. Brown with a little oil and then simmer. Substitute for either wheat berries or bulgur in any recipe. Use in cold salads, pilafs, stuffing, soups, or as a ground-beef stretcher. 1 ounce triticale:
94 calories
4 g protein
1 g fat
20 g carbohydrate
0 g fiber
5 mg calcium
0 mg iron