September is National Whole Grains Month

whole grain pancakes Did you know that the Department of Agriculture food pyramid recommends that US adults have 6-11 servings of grains every day? Since this is a national of whole grains Month, I like to look at the recommendation through new eyes; because, to be honest, 11 slices of whole wheat bread is not simply looks appealing to me, even my homemade bread freshly ground flour.

Wheat is not the only grain

When someone says “grain” most people wheat, rice or corn imagine. But there are so many more options than that. What about the wide range of ancient grains that most Americans have never heard of?

Amaranth -Cultivated for thousands of years, the Amaranth was a staple of the Aztec people. After the Spanish conquistadors invaded Mexico in 1500, almost it disappeared as a crop. Amaranth seeds contain 14-16% protein. And, according to Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute, “protein amino acids is well balanced and has a high content of lysine, an amino acid most grains are deficient.” This ancient grain is also high in fiber and contains high levels of tocotrienols (members of the family of vitamin E). Some people like to cook as porridge. You can also popping like popcorn, ground into flour and added to bread products, and boiled and served like rice. Amaranth is also free of gluten.

millet better known as bird food in this country, millet has been cultivated in Asia for thousands of years. With a content similar to that of wheat (about 11%) protein, this cereal grain is also high in vitamins B. Because it is gluten-free, you can not use millet flour to make raised , yeast breads. However, you can add millet flour your wheat for a comprehensive multi-grain bread or use it to make cakes or pancakes. To cook millet as you would rice, the first toast in a dry pan to enhance the flavor. Then cook three times the water as grain for 30 minutes.

Quinoa Though technically not a true cereal grain because it does not come from the grass family, no grain article would be complete without mention quinoa. Domesticated by the Incas in ancient times, quinoa is one of the few plant foods that contain a balanced set of amino acids which is a complete protein. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this food is valuable for arterial health of a person. To cook quinoa first rinse thoroughly the seeds. Then, combine 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cover. Quinoa should be ready in about 15 minutes. For a nutty flavor, try dry roasting the seeds before adding the water. Add fruits and nuts to make a breakfast cereal. Add the seeds of vegetable soup. Or, ground into flour and add to its comprehensive multi-grain bread.

Spelt ‘Actually a cousin of wheat, spelled has been used in Europe since antiquity. Because this grain usually does not cause problems of intolerance to wheat causes in some people, it has made a comeback as a replacement for wheat in making yeast breads. This grain has a whopping 62% of the daily value of manganese, as well as an impressive amount of protein, B vitamins and copper.

I hope this gives you a couple of new grains think about adding to your diet. I like to buy in small bags at the grocery store and a mill bulk of them mixed together to add to pancake or bread flour to enhance the nutritional value of my wheat. This is one of my favorites.


For an incredible pancake various wheat grains half of which are combined typically used with a mixture of several other grains. Some of my favorites are millet, brown rice and whole oats. Mill this mixture into flour. Make your dough as you normally would. Serve with a generous amount of real butter and maple syrup.

Photo by digiyesica

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