Sunday, January 20, 2008

Whole Grains

Everyone knows, or at least I hope everyone knows, that flour comes from ground up grain. But, did you know that whole grains make a delicious addition to your meal?

We decided to add cooked whole grains to some of our meals when we found small packages of various grains at Homestead Organics located in Berwick, Ontario. We started conservatively with a couple of different flours and whole Quinoa to test the waters so to speak.

The flours took a little getting used to, and in most cases have to be added to regular wheat flour to make breads as they don't have enough gluten by themselves. Kamut flour is very similar in texture to corn meal and tasted great substituted into a corn muffin recipe in place of the corn meal. Spelt can be used as a replacement for wheat flour but is quite sticky. The solution is to use less liquid or to add more flour to the recipe.

The Quinoa was a different animal. Being a whole grain I had no idea how to cook it or to serve it. So I cruised over to Recipe'zaar where I was able to locate several recipes for cold salads. I used a recipe I found there as a jumping off point and soon discovered a recipe that PeterC and I both enjoy as a side dish and as a light meal in itself.

Quinoa Salad
2 cps cold cooked Quinoa
2 tsp powdered garlic
2 tsp grey sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1/4 cp diced green onions
1/4 cp raisins
1/4 cp dried cranberries
1/4 cp chopped walnuts or almonds
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Add all ingredients except the olive oil and lemon juice and mix well. Add the olive oil and lemon juice and mix to coat. Serve as a side or eat as a light meal.

Now we have happily added whole rye, wheat, kamut, spelt, and kasha - which is toasted buckwheat kernels, to our must try list. It is interesting to note that the latest Small Farm Canada magazine has an article on growing grains in your backyard, and includes a recipe or two that we want to try. Maybe when plans for the garden get finalized this year, we'll include a small section of grain as well.

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