With the popularity of books like Wheat Belly and an increasing awareness of our overconsumption of processed wheat in North America, consumers are starting to look for alternatives to the sea of wheat that washes over most supermarkets. Even the most devoted of bread lovers are looking to enhance both their health and their culinary adventures by sampling these newly popular options. It is not just the bulk aisle that benefits: manufacturers are creating new pastas, breads, crackers and cereals with a variety of healthful grains – so diversify your store’s grain selection and enjoy many healthy returns!
Grocers should get to know these nutritious grains:
Quinoa The original alternative grain, quinoa is a gluten free seed from a plant related to spinach. Quinoa is unique in its higher protein content and is quick to cook with a mild flavour. Look for quinoa in whole grains, flours, cereals, pastas and more.
Amaranth The tiny grains of amaranth (which are actually seeds) are bursting with nutrition. Amaranth is very high in protein, fibre, iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium – in fact, a half cup of raw amaranth contains 14 grams of protein, 150 mg of calcium and 9 grams of fibre.
Einkorn Rising in popularly over concerns about our body’s reactivity to modern wheat, Einkorn wheat is an ancient wheat with a simpler genetic structure, which some believe is a healthier, less allergenic option. Look for whole grains, flours and pastas made from this new (old) staple.
Teff These tiny grains are a staple food in Ethiopia, where they are ground to make a fermented flat bread called injera. Teff has a rich molasses-like flavour and is high in calcium, iron, magnesium, thiamin and zinc.
Sorghum This gluten-free cereal grain has small round seeds that provide a pleasing, wheat-like texture without any off flavours. Find sorghum in breads, cookies and baking mixes.
Millet This traditional component of birdseed has a sweet nutty flavour. Millet is typically found as a flower or as whole seed which can be boiled as a grain or toasted.
Barley It doesn’t get more retro than barley; a staple in our grandmother’s pantry, this grain is being rediscovered as an economical, Canadian grown health food.