What are all of these things? What is the difference between them? How would you even begin to build a meal around one of them (that wouldn’t take up precious hours of your lazy Sunday)? Paralyzed in your tracks, taking in the wide expanse of options, you feel the anxiety sweats coming on—so you grab a box of brown rice and head for the checkout line as fast as humanly possible without looking like you’ve planted a bomb in the grain aisle.
But the halo of confusion surrounding ancient grains is really unnecessary; as the name implies, they are nothing new. While some of them may be a recent addition to the menu of the farm-to-table restaurant in your neighborhood, they’ve been on people’s tables for centuries.
They are nothing to be intimidated by.
If you can cook pasta, you can prepare any of the grains taunting you from the shelf—boil water, add grain, watch them cook—and with a slight adjustment in cooking time, they can be subbed in for rice in pretty much any recipe. So if you go in for millet and grab farro instead, it’s not the end of the world.
And the health nuts are on to something: there are some definite perks of incorporating them into your diet. Not only will experimenting with different grains keep meals interesting, and in turn satisfying (preventing cravings), but they also offer up pretty impressive nutritional profiles, including a hefty dose of fiber and protein, satiating nutrients that aid in weight loss and maintenance and help keep mood and energy levels stable. So the next time you host a dinner party, add a super-grain to the spread and await the praise and admiration of your guests (no one has to know the extent of your effort was lifting your glass to sip your Cabernet while you watched the grain cook).
It’s time to expand your culinary horizons (sorry Minute Rice). Add one of these trendy super grains to your shopping cart this week: