New trends in ancient grains

By
Eve O'Sullivan
Added
11 May, 2016

If you’ve got to grips with bulgur, pearl barley and quinoa, then try swapping them out for a few of the oldest new grains on the block. We spoke to Belazu to find out a little more about freekeh, kaniwa and siyez.

Freekeh


Pronounced ‘free-kah’, Freekeh is wheat that’s harvested while young and green then roasted over an open fire, burning off the outer straw and chaff. The grain on the inside is too moist to burn, so what you're left with is a firm, slightly chewy grain with a distinct flavour that's earthy, nutty, and slightly smoky.
Best with: Grilled meats, goat’s cheese, whole roasted peppers
Swap for: Farro, pearl barley, bulgur wheat
Price: £6.60 for 850g

Kañiwa



From Peru, it’s an excellent source of protein and amino acids, is exceptionally high in iron, and is gluten-free. Dark reddish-brown in color and about half the size of a tiny quinoa seed, kañiwa cooks up quickly to resemble a smaller version of red quinoa.
Best with: salad leaves, roasted veg, pulses
Swap for: quinoa, couscous, amaranth

Price: £9.45 for 1kg


Siyez


The world’s most ancient grain, Siyez is the oldest cultivated form of wheat and would have been a staple part of our ancestors’ diet. Siyez is known to be high in protein, phosphorus, vitamin B2, vitamin B6. Reminiscent of brown rice, it has an earthy and very slightly sweet flavour with nutty and woody notes.
Best with: stir-fried veg, grilled fish, curries
Swap for: brown or even white rice in a pilaff
Price: £13.50 for 1.5kg


Try swapping the grains in some recipes from the library

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