How to use grains

How to use grains


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...

How to use grains


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How to use grains


1. Quinoa


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.

2. 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).

How to use grains


3. Buckwheat


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.

4. 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.

How to use grains


5. 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.

6. 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.

How to use grains


7. 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).

8. 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.

How to use grains


9. Spelt


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.

10. 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.

How to use grains


11. Pearl 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.

12. 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.

 

If you need some more grainy inspiration, check out our helpful videos on how to cook quinoa and pearl barley.

How to use grains

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

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