Some may be completely unpronounceable, but don’t hold that against them. Just go with the grain
You’re probably on board with a bowl of chia seed porridge for breakfast by now, right? But with contenders for the 'new quinoa' crown coming thick and fast, it can be hard to keep up – let alone know what to do with them.
It’s time to get acquainted with those wholegrains.
Or 'baby quinoa', as this grain is known. Close cousins, if you will, the two are pretty much interchangeable when it comes to cooking, so try swapping your quinoa for kaniwa when making those salads and veggie casseroles. PS: it’s pronounced 'ka-nyi-wa', apparently.
This Ethiopian golden grain is poised to topple quinoa’s crown as the grain du jour. Gluten-free teff can be substituted for wheat flour in anything from bread to pasta.
If you’re a fan of Ottolenghi (and, let’s face it, who isn’t?), you’ll have come across freekeh. It has a smoky, nutty taste that works well with spices – try adding some to soups, salads and chicken dishes.
According to ancient Chinese legend, black rice was so rare, tasty and nutritious that only the emperor was allowed to eat it. Treat yourself like a noble and try black rice in sushi, noodle dishes or desserts (hello, black rice pudding).
Chances are you’ve had a buckwheat galette. They’re flipping delicious and the gluten-free grain is also pretty darn good in salads, noodles and breakfast dishes.
First of all, farro and spelt are not the same thing. Farro comes from emmer wheat, is firmer and has a nuttier taste than spelt. Eaten in Italy (rumour has it that it sustained Roman legionaries), it works well in soups and salads and for stuffing vegetables. Note: if you’re looking for an alternative grain to make a creamy risotto with, spelt is your friend here, not farro.
No, we’re not talking about what you feed the birds. This tiny oval grain, which is a staple in India, can be served as part of a warm salad, with chicken, used to make porridge or even in baking.
Don’t let your familiarity with this grain put you off. Yes, it may have appeared in the broth your gran used to make, but give this underdog of the wholegrain world a chance. It's been around for centuries and doesn’t have a fancy name, but it absorbs flavours of liquids very well and will make a light addition to heavier meat dishes.
It’s more common to feed animals with this than humans, but don't let that stop you – this firm and round grain is good with brothy stews and porridge.