What Are Ancient Grains, Why You Should Eat Them, and 13 Ways to Cook Them from What Are Ancient Grains, Why You Should Eat Them, and 13 Ways to Cook Them

What Are Ancient Grains, Why You Should Eat Them, and 13 Ways to Cook Them

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What Are Ancient Grains, Why You Should Eat Them, and 13 Ways to Cook Them

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What Are Ancient Grains, Why You Should Eat Them, and 13 Ways to Cook Them

What makes a grain ancient? Grains have been a part of the human diet since the middle Stone Age, and grains themselves were around long before that, so does this culinary buzzword have any meaning?

According to the Whole Grain Council, the nomer, “ancient grains” is given to any grain that has remained relatively unaltered over the last several hundred years. This matters when you consider all the discussion and debate over GMO seeds and the rise in gluten allergies (which many blame on modern wheat hybrid crops).

Consider swapping your usual bowl of brown rice with nutty-flavor of farro, add buckwheat for added nutrition to your weekend pancake recipe, or trade the subtle toasted flavor of spelt for Arborio rice when making risotto.

For more ways to incorporate these nutritious grains into your everyday diet, check out our roundup of 13 recipes that will have you cooking with everything from sorghum to quinoa.

Beef Ribs With Sorghum Glaze

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Beef Ribs With Sorghum Glaze

Sorghum is a grass with a high sugar content, making it an ideal candidate to be turned into a sweet syrup. These beef ribs are glazed in the fruity, sweet, gluten-free syrup and slowly cooked until tender.

For the Beef Ribs With Sorghum Glaze recipe, click here.

Blueberry Chia Overnight Oats

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Blueberry Chia Overnight Oats

A combination of wholesome oats, superfood chia seeds, sweet blueberries, and delicious honey provides the perfect healthy breakfast loaded with antioxidants to give your brain the boost it needs. — Nature’s Path

For the Blueberry Chia Overnight Oats recipe, click here.

Blueberry Spelt Muffins

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Blueberry Spelt Muffins

The classic blueberry muffin gets an update with spelt flour and a flavor boost from orange juice and zest. — Whole Foods Market

For the Blueberry Spelt Muffins recipe, click here.

Chanterelle, Green Bean, and Freekeh Salad With Huckleberry Vinaigrette

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Chanterelle, Green Bean, and Freekeh Salad With Huckleberry Vinaigrette

I discovered freekeh during a time in my cooking career when I was searching for new grains to work with. I love the roasted green wheat’s earthy, smoky flavor and ability to act like farro in a grain salad or like rice in risotto-type dishes. Here, I serve the toothsome grain in a late-summer salad with crisp green beans and chanterelles cooked in brandy and butter. The full-flavored huckleberry vinaigrette ties everything together with a hint of sweetness. (You can substitute blueberries if you can’t find huckleberries.) You will have leftover vinaigrette; use it to punch up every day green salads or spoon it over grilled chicken or pork. — Adam Sappington

For the Chanterelle, Green Bean, and Freekeh Salad With Huckleberry Vinaigrette recipe, click here.

Cinnamon-Scented Millet With Grilled Summer Vegetables

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Cinnamon-Scented Millet With Grilled Summer Vegetables

If you're a fan of couscous, then you might like this healthy summer vegetable whole-grain pilaf. Millet is a grain that cooks up nice and dry like couscous but with a chewier texture. Many historians point to its origins in China, where millet was used to make flour for noodles. Unlike many whole grains, millet cooks quickly, in 20 minutes or less.

The dressing for this recipe has a touch of honey in it; it's not cloying or candy-like in its flavors as honey-based dressings can sometimes become. Instead, it delivers a subtle sweetness to the pilaf that doesn't mask the naturally smoky flavor of the grilled vegetables. — Will Budiaman

For the Cinnamon-Scented Millet With Grilled Summer Vegetables recipe, click here.

Farro and Feta-Stuffed Peppers

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Farro and Feta-Stuffed Peppers

The farro adds a hearty, nutty flavor that complements the briny feta. Simply stuff the peppers with the filling, and then roast until soft, tender, and slightly charred for added flavor.

For the Farro and Feta-Stuffed Peppers recipe, click here.

Kamut With Andouille Chicken and Turkey Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Kale

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Kamut With Andouille Chicken and Turkey Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Kale

A mixture of cool and spicy, this healthy recipe is flavor-packed and perfect for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Although it takes a little time to make, you can make it in bulk and keep it in the refrigerator to spice up your meals for the week. — Tyler Sullivan

For the Kamut With Andouille Chicken and Turkey Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Kale recipe, click here.

Quinoa and Chickpea Burgers

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Quinoa and Chickpea Burgers

These delicious vegetarian burgers are full of protein from the quinoa and chickpeas. Ingredients like cumin, red chile, and egg round out the burgers. — The Daily Meal Staff

For the Quinoa and Chickpea Burgers recipe, click here.

Quinoa Sticky Toffee Pudding

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Quinoa Sticky Toffee Pudding

Soaked in sweet honey molasses saucequinoa flour adds a nutty component to this simple toffee pudding recipe. — Brian Mercury

For the Quinoa Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe, click here.

Seared Sirloin With Red Onion Jam and Cucumber-Radish Farro Salad

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Seared Sirloin With Red Onion Jam and Cucumber-Radish Farro Salad

A simple, fresh dinner for those busy weeknights when you need a quick wholesome meal. The farro adds texture and nuttiness to the bright flavors of the cucumber and radish.

For more satisfying, easy-to-make recipes, click here.

For the Seared Sirloin With Red Onion Jam and Cucumber-Radish Farro Salad recipe, click here.

Spinach and Ricotta Farro Pasta Salad

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Spinach and Ricotta Farro Pasta Salad

Swap traditional pasta for gluten-free farro in this simple salad, perfect for potlucks, picnics, or as side to serve alongside grilled chicken.

For the Spinach and Ricotta Farro Pasta Salad recipe, click here.

Teff Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Teff Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Just because you are trying to avoid gluten doesn’t mean you should miss out on dessert. Enjoy these peanut butter cookies that swap traditional wheat flour for the ancient grain teff.

For the Teff Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, click here.

Wild Mushroom Fall Vegetable Farro Risotto

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Wild Mushroom Fall Vegetable Farro Risotto

This risotto is made without the traditional Arborio rice, but the recipe retains that creamy texture you crave from risotto while incorporating wholesome whole grains.

For the Wild Mushroom Fall Vegetable Farro Risotto recipe, click here.

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What Are Ancient Grains, Why You Should Eat Them, and 13 Ways to Cook Them

What Are Ancient Grains, Why You Should Eat Them, and 13 Ways to Cook Them