Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Gifted Gourmet

Millet and Quinoa, and Amaranth: not singing trio

Recommended Posts

article from Slate Online

refined grains were valued over history. With less fat to go rancid, white flour has a much longer shelf life than wheat flour, which must be more carefully stored. The particles of germ and bran that circulate in whole grain flours also mess with the magic of gluten, which allows baked goods to rise and pasta to stretch. Gluten provides what's known in the hairspray industry as "elastic hold":

From the '70s on, Americans embraced whole grains as badge of wholesome eating. Thirty years ago, Americans brandished heavy loaves of bread and lumpy granola, made from rather pedestrian wheat and oats; but contemporary interest in more exotic foods has led us to seek out more sophisticated options. It seems to help if the grain is associated with an ancient, presumably healthy civilization: Quinoa has its Incans, and amaranth its Aztecs; kamut is sold as the grain of the Egyptians.

Do you favor unrefined or refined grains in your cooking?

Have examples of some recipes which use one or the other?

Do you enjoy eating and/or cooking with whole grains?

Do you do it for health reasons or simply enjoy the taste and textures?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you favor unrefined or refined grains in your cooking?

Have examples of some recipes which use one or the other?

Do you enjoy eating and/or cooking with whole grains?

Do you do it for health reasons or simply enjoy the taste and textures?

My favorite cereal is Heritage-O's, and it includes all of the above grains. It is delicious and incredibly healthy - a great combination.

Of the above grains, I've only cooked with quinoa - love it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use both quinoa and kamut routinely. I've got some amaranth, but haven't gotten around to using any yet.

As for whether it's a matter of health or taste, well, they're not mutually exclusive in this instance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite whole grain is kasha (buckwheat), which I've always liked for its flavor. I also use bulgur wheat, barley, and whole wheat couscous (does that count)? Occasionally my husband has a craving for wheat berries. I wasn't impressed by millet and quinoa when I tried them. Never tried amaranth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find quinoa very cute! Those little curled up "snails"... :wub: I don't eat it on its own very often, but it certainly works well with other grains. I make a "breakfast fried rice with egg", and have taken to using about half brown rice and half quinoa in that. Less heavy than plain brown rice, maybe more nutritious.

Kamut: never tried it.

Amaranth: Tried it, liked it. Sweetish. It's odd-textured, though - very sticky. The best application I found for it was a recipe from Mollie Katzen (the Moosewood woman). I think it was in her breakfast cookbook (blanking on the title right now).

You cook the amaranth, and then form it in patties and fry them up. Crisp-Y! No need to add eggs or any other binders - the grain is sticky enough to hold together on its own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mix just about all of these grains and cook it as a breakfast cereal, as a side dish, etc.

I also include teff, spelt and triticale.

I like the flavor of the combination.

I also grind the mix and add it to breads.

I will post a photo later, when I discover where I left my camera. I know it is here in the house, I just can't find it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've used whole kamut to make pilafs, and enjoyed it. It would be a little chewy for most tastes, admittedly...if I was making it for company I'd probably break up the grains a bit.

I've cooked millet quite a bit, and enjoy the flavour. It's better if you dry-toast it first, and doesn't "puff" quite as much.

Quinoa I haven't used quite as much, but I've both cooked and baked with it. I like it well enough, and appreciate the little "snap" that the grains have even if I've absent-mindedly overcooked them. When I do that, I'll generally put them into porridge or baking. Cornmeal and quinoa waffles turned out quite well. They're a good combination for yeasted breads, as well.

I use buckwheat in porridges, crepes, and breads; occasionally pilafs. I make barley risotto quite often, as well. Wheat berries are iffier, I've only used them occasionally (my sister-in-law gave me a coffee can full of them once).

Teff is just too damned expensive, at least in my neck of the woods.

I guess you could say that I've used whatever grains came to hand. I like them all, really.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like millet and milo.

I prefer them in the form of wild pheasant.

I used to have a menu item that quinoa and amaranth. Not a big seller but it was good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I aslo had some menu items using quinoa. I made "quinoa caviar" . I'd puree kalamata olives and seaweed together with a little olive brine, then mix it with quinoa then fill enidve leaves with the mixture and garnish with a sqeeze of fresh lemon.

I also did tabuli with quinoa. In fact I have a hard time using bulghur wheat for tabuli since then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use quinoa and have found it very popular on our menu. Many people were concerned about the carb content and after doing research I found out that quinoa is actually a seed and not a grain hence it is much lower in carbs and higher in protein that most grains. I love it since its got a light texture and does not make you feel too full like many other grains. Also good for people with gluten sensitivity. I personally would eat it for taste but I think many people choose it for health reasons.

Would love to use amaranth and have been hearing many people talking about it lately. My boyfriend predicts it will be the new hot thing on all the restaurant menus. A few cooking sites mentioned that it should be mixed with another grain to combat the stickiness. I just posted a new topic about amaranth leaves. Just heard some local farmers chatting about it and am very curious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just made amaranth "grits" last night. Ok, for those of you who love your grits, this might be sacrilege. Really, it was not that bad. Google "amaranth grits" and you'll get several recipes.

Obviously not a replacement for regular grits, but for some variety, it's worth at least one try. You can of course doctor them up the same as corn grits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bumping up an old thread with updated info ...

For 'ancient grains,' a future in the American diet

CNN today reports:

sales of products with whole grain claims on their packages for the year ending April 22 increased 9.5 percent from the previous year.

NuWorld Amaranth, one of the country's main buyers of amaranth, reported a 300 percent increase in sales in the past three years. Bob's Red Mill, which sells alternative wheat-free grains, saw a 25 percent increase in sales in the past year, with quinoa driving the bulk of the growth. Amaranth, grown for millennia by the Aztecs, has twice as much iron as wheat and is higher in protein and fiber. Quinoa, an ancient Andean crop, has less fiber but more protein and iron than wheat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love quinoa and use it a lot. Now that it is summer I use it, instead of pastas to make salads. Its got such a yummy nutty flavor. I also use quite a bit of cracked wheat. I need to try these others!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used a lot of quinoa and millet when my oldest child was allergic to wheat and oats. His favorite wheat free bread was a millet, rye and rice flour bread, and we used quinoa flakes as a substitute in things one would normally use oatmeal for. His favorite pasta was a quinoa/corn blend.

Quinoa, amaranth and millet are fairly popular on the food allergy forums I belong to as wheat substitutes.

I haven't used them as much since he outgrew his wheat allergy though.

I did really like using whole quinoa in pilafs though, just as a change from all that rice and potatoes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sometimes make quinoa pilaff for a change. Millet, I could never like; it tastes cheesy to me somehow, and not in a good way. Then I read that people with under-active thyroids shouldn't eat millet - that's me, and maybe that's why it doesn't taste good to me. There is a lot of wild amaranth growing around here, and I keep saying I'm going to pick the grains and dry them out to cook...but I don't. Maybe I'll try some supermarket amaranth (oh shameful). Not too worked up about it. I consider our diet adequate in protein, and make everyone take supplements of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants because Some of Us won't eat their vegetables.

Miriam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The uses of quinoa are myriad, and it seems someone else likes the appearance of the grain perhaps even more than I do.

I like that little spiral of almost white that accompanies each cooked grain.

But, I never would have thought of this.....Quinoa - showcased for all the world to see, from The Hunger Site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love wholegrains and eat tonnes of them - in fact I don't eat any refined grains.

My favourites are whole barley, millet, rye groats, oat groats, buckwheat, red rice, brown rice, black rice, kamut and wheat berries. Quinoa is ok, but it's not my favourite, and I find amaranth's grains just too small!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far I have very little experience with grains like Quinoa.

However, the brewer in me is wondering loudly if they can be had in malted form (Google turns nothing up..yet..)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So far I have very little experience with grains like Quinoa.

...

I just tried making a quinoa dish at home for the first time this past week. We really enjoyed the dish using it: red bell peppers stuffed with quinoa, walnuts and provolone cheese. I'm pretty excited to try other recipes with it; nice texture and flavor and it cooks up quickly.

Here's a link to that recipe: click

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We get a slightly different range of "minor" grains here in Japan, all expensive. I use them because I have a minor allergy to rice, and don't like to eat it 7 days a week.

Apart from the price, compromise is necessary because 2 family members like white rice and lots of it, while the other 2 prefer whole grains, in smaller amounts. This means that I prefer flavorful grains that can be frozen in small amounts for son1 and I to reheat and eat instead of rice - while I like quinoa, it is very mild tasting and best freshly cooked.

As it cooks up "fluffy" and absorbent, it goes well with curries.

Amaranth - I hear that some people eat it sprouted, haven't tried that yet.

Amaranth and some types of millet which are particularly sticky when cooked, and in Japan are eaten as "awa-mochi" - the thick porridge-like cooked grain is pounded briefly in a mortar, and served either with bean jam, or in a sweetened azuki soup. A very old-fashioned home-style winter treat here.

Because the grains are so fine, I most often cook amaranth together with white rice, and plan to try it steamed along with sweet potatoes, or as a coating for meat chunks or meatballs to be steamed or simmered in soup.

Millet is also good cooked like sweet (sticky) rice together with ingredients like dried funghi, bamboo shoots, Chinese preserved meats or sausages etc.

Millet...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've used millet only ground into a flour--I like to use half a cup when I make a semi-whole grain bread. A friend's substituted millet flour for wheat flour for breading chicken and has enjoyed what she calls the "nutty" flavor of millet combined w/the chicken.

Deborah Madison has a very good soup recipe using quinoa. It's in her "Vegetable Soups" cookbook (I think there's a version of the recipe in one of her earlier cookbooks)--besides the quinoa, it includes spinach, feta cheese, a jalapeno pepper & corn. Delicious. I was paging through the book when I saw her describe this soup as comfort food--had to try it because it didn't look as though it'd be a comfort food. But after I made the soup, I agreed with her. I think I've tried only one or two other ways of using quinoa. The seeds tend to bounce and roll away (prior to cooking), that can be a bit exasperating if I'm in a hurry (or get clumsy).

Haven't tried amaranth yet. I eat oat groats regularly (hot breakfast) & often include some cooked steel cut oats when making bread. Haven't tried teff or kamut yet.

azurite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I make Ina Garten's curried couscous( using quinoa instead) for a client with gluten allergies. She loves it!!

I've eaten Kasha( buckwheat) since I was a kid. Its very prevelant in Jewish homes, most notably for Kashi Varnishkes( we call it Kasha and Bows)

I just bought some Millet the other day, dont know what to do with it.

I buy Bob's Red Mill 8 grain( or is it 12 grain) cereal for Cook's Illustrated's multi grain sandwich bread( amazing bread)

I don't think I like Teff based on the fact that I hated Injera( ethiopian flat bread) and I believe its made with Teff.

I've had wheat berries in a pilaf, I love barley in soup. Dont think I've had amarath or kamut unless it was in cereal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×