What’s that grain?

Pretty much everyone is familiar with and most likely has tried at least one or two whole grains such as wild rice, brown rice, barley, oats, wheat berries and quinoa. Whole-Grains-ChartBut not too many of us have heard of sorghum, let alone tried it. It is one of the ancient grains. Historically it first popped up about 8,000 years ago around the area of Egypt. From there it spread throughout the rest of the African continent as well as India and China. Sorghum is still around today and is a healthy power grain. It is rich in protein, iron and antioxidants. It helps manage cholesterol and diabetes, aids with heart and digestive health, helps maintain strong bones and is gluten-free.

In the developed world sorghum has been mostly ignored as far as people food goes, but that’s changing as more health-conscious people are turning to whole foods. One company is marketing it under the name “Wondergrain”. It is also available from Bob’s Red Mill and is even showing up at places like Walmart!

A field of sorghum

Cooking sorghum is relatively simple, but it does require about an hour. Once you get the setting down on your stove, it’ll be pretty straightforward. You basically rinse a cup of sorghum and place it in a pot. Add 3 cups of water or broth. Bring it to a boil, then cover and let it simmer for one hour. It will be firm but chewy, and has somewhat of a nutty flavor. It accepts the flavors of whatever else you add to it or serve it with. I enjoy it both hot and cold. Recipes are readily available on the internet.

Here’s one to get you started:

Roasted Cherry Tomato Sorghum Salad

I tweaked the recipe by leaving out the arugula and using fresh mozzarella pearls in place of the feta. But I’m sure it would be good as written too!




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