How to use grains

  • By
    Roxanne Fisher - Health editor - bbcgoodfood.com

From brown rice to buckwheat - good-for-you grains are now widely available, but how do you put them to good use? Chrissy Freer, author of Supergrains, provides a handy guide to grains and how to use them...

Herby quinoa, feta & pomegranate saladQuinoa

Flavour characteristics...
Mild, nutty, slightly bitter.

Goes well with...
Extremely versatile. Great with Middle Eastern spices, Mediterranean flavours, fresh herbs, citrus and even Asian flavours.

Use in...
Salads, pilafs, stuffings for meat or vegetables, soups, stews, porridge and desserts.

Amaranth

Flavour characteristics...
Herbaceous, grassy, sticky.

Goes well with...
Nuts, honey, chocolate and cinnamon. Mexican flavours such as chilli, paprika and corn.

Use in...
Porridge, salads, soups and stews (when combined with other grains).

Cinnamon buckwheat pancakes with cherriesBuckwheat

Flavour characteristics...
Earthy, dark, slightly meaty.

Goes well with...
Foods that have natural sweetness and/or saltiness such as miso, roast beetroot, seafood and mushrooms, as well as creamy foods.

Use in...
Salads, risotto, pilafs, soups and muesli. Flour is used in pancakes and other baked goods.

Chia

Flavour characteristics...
Neutral, mild.

Goes well with...
Provides texture and will team well with almost anything, sweet or savoury. Delicious combined with oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and chocolate.

Use in...
Smoothies, dressings, baked goods and sprinkle over salads.

Miso brown rice & chicken salad Brown rice

Flavour characteristics...
Nutty, slightly sweet, chewy.

Goes well with...
Other foods with nuttiness, saltiness or natural sweetness such as roasted vegetables, dried fruit and nuts, feta cheese and Asian flavours.

Use in...
Salads, risotto, pilafs, stuffings for meat or vegetables, stir-fries and rice pudding.

Millet

Flavour characteristics...
Buttery, corn-like, mellow.

Goes well with...
Cheeses such as Parmesan and feta, fresh herbs, corn, citrus and berries.

Use in...
Salads, pilafs, stuffings, porridge, soups, stews, desserts and to make a polenta-like dish.

Apricot, honey & pistachio flapjacks Oats

Flavour characteristics...
Creamy, slightly sweet, toasty.

Goes well with...
Cheese, nuts, chocolate, brown sugar and milk.

Use in...
Muesli, porridge, baked goods and coatings (instead of breadcrumbs).

Kamut

Flavour characteristics...
Buttery, nutty.

Goes well with...
Foods that are naturally slightly sweet or nutty, such as roasted vegetables and pine nuts.

Use in...
Salads, pilafs and stuffings for meat or vegetables. Flour is used in bread, pasta and baked goods.

Spelt & wild mushroom risottoSpelt

Flavour characteristics...
Nutty, slightly earthy, chewy.

Goes well with...
Nuts, dried fruit and chocolate, and Mediterranean flavours such as basil, olives, tomato, cheese and aubergine.

Use in...
Salads, pilafs and stuffings for meat or vegetables. Flour is used in bread, pasta, baked goods and desserts.

Farro (cracked)

Flavour characteristics...
Nutty, mild, slightly chewy.

Goes well with...
Ideal with Italian flavours such as pancetta, herbs, Parmesan and red wine.

Use in...
Salads, pilafs, risotto, stuffings, soups, stews and pasta.

Hearty lamb & barley soupPearl barley

Flavour characteristics...
Nutty, slightly chewy.

Goes well with...
Very versatile. Perfect with stronger flavours such as lamb, mushrooms, soy and miso.

Use in...
Salads, risotto, pilafs, stuffings, soups, stews and sweet puddings.

Freekeh (wholegrain)

Flavour characteristics...
Nutty, slightly herbaceous, green.

Goes well with...
Can take on quite robust flavours, such as cumin, paprika, pomegranate, lamb and mint.

Use in...
Salads, pilafs, stuffings for meat or vegetables, soups and stews.


Recipe suggestions from BBC Good Food...

Mexican chicken stew with quinoa & beans 
Herby quinoa, feta & pomegranate salad
Spicy vegetable & quinoa laksa
Cinnamon buckwheat pancakes with cherries 
Chicken soba noodles
Teriyaki prawns & broccoli noodles
Miso brown rice & chicken salad
Spring veg & prawn stir-fry
Zingy salmon & brown rice salad
Red pepper, walnut & goat's cheese palmiers
Cinnamon porridge with banana & berries
Apricot, honey & pistachio flapjacks
Spelt & wild mushroom risotto
Porcini, pancetta & spelt soup
Squash & barley salad with balsamic vinaigrette 
Hearty lamb & barley soup
Barley, chicken & mushroom risotto

 

Supergrains book cover

Text taken from Supergrains by Chrissy Freer, published by Murdoch Books.
 

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