Adding ancient grains to your diet is an excellent option to get in high quality and fiber-rich carbohydrates into your diet. There’s a wide variety of ancient grains out there to help you create eclectic meals when you want to break out of more recognizable grains like rice and want to take a culinary break from your beloved quinoa.
What sets ancient grains apart from regular grains are they are minimally processed and retain primarily the same agricultural and harvesting practices as they were thousands of years prior. This in turn makes ancient grains more nutrient dense and have the added benefits of containing significant amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals along with its high fiber content!
Different varieties of ancient grains will of course bring a different texture and flavor profile to sweet and savory dishes alike. Keep your favorite ancient grains on hand to act as the grain base and up the nutrition of any meal!
Try these simple yet delicious ancient grain recipes.
Savory Kamut Salad
Kamut is an ancient grain from Egypt. Kamut is a large grain and you’ll save yourself cooking time if you soak this fiber and protein-rich ancient grain overnight.
This recipe, which is essentially a stir-fry, uses Kamut as a rice replacement. This large grain makes any meal satisfying and filling. Swap any vegetables in the recipe for any you have on hand.
- 2 cups Kamut, soaked overnight
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- Olive oil
- ¼ cup kidney beans, cooked
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- ¼ cup peas, cooked
- Boil the soaked Kamut in vegetable stock until cooked. This takes approximately 30-40 minutes.
- Sauté the onion in olive oil then add the carrot and bell pepper and continue to sauté until soft.
- Add in the kidney beans and peas and gently mix through, then add in the Kamut.
- Season with salt and pepper, and any herbs and spices of your choice.
Fruit Teff Porridge
Teff is an Ethiopian ancient grain. This gluten-free and calcium grain make it an excellent option for people following a gluten-free diet. The small grains make it an excellent mineral-rich replacement for couscous and rice.
This porridge recipe shows you just how wonderful Teff can be as a substitute for rice, couscous or even quick oats. Investing a little time to cook up this ancient grain will reward you with a hearty and satisfying porridge any time of day.
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ cups filtered water
- 1 ½ cups choice of dairy or non-dairy milk. We recommend coconut milk.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 banana, sliced
- ½ teaspoon ground Ceylon cinnamon
- ¼ cup of nuts of your choice. We recommend hazelnuts.
- 1 cup of whole grain Teff
- Bring a saucepan to low heat
- Mix and stir in the Teff, milk, coconut oil, cinnamon, banana, and salt.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then once boiling, simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
- Once the Teff has cooked, remove from the heat once the Teff is at a consistency of your liking. For a thinner consistency, take it off the heat, for a thicker consistency, simmer it for a longer period.
- Place the Teff porridge into a bowl and top with banana slices and your choice of nuts.
Sticky Spelt Granola
Spelt, when harvested, is referred to as spelt berries, and was first cultivated in Iran. Although not gluten-free, Spelt is a minimally processed wheat that is rich in plant protein and minerals.
This recipe lets you bring a chewy and dense texture to your regular granola. This large hearty ancient grain absorbs flavors beautifully, making it very versatile in the kitchen.
- 5 cups filtered water
- 1 cup Spelt
- ½ cup coconut sugar or sweetener of choice
- 2 cups coconut cream
- ½ cup dried mixed fruit
- 2 cups rolled oats
- Cook Spelt in boiling water until soft. This will take approximately 90 minutes.
- In a separate pot, gently heat coconut cream and coconut sugar.
- Mix in the rolled oats and fried mixed fruit.
- Once the Spelt is cooked, mix it in with the rolled oats and dried fruit until well incorporated.
- Chill it in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.
Ancient Grains make a wonderful addition to any diet thanks to the many nutrients these grains have to offer. Keeping a varied diet helps you to get the full spectrum of nutrients you need. With that, pairing a varied diet with a quality multivitamin like Nature’s Health Complete Multivitamin will help ensure your body gets the full spectrum vitamins and minerals it needs to function its best!