Pseudograins


246353b24d55bd9ee4a810a9c74cBy: Nikki Nies

False grains, also known as pseudograins, are often associated with their whole grains counterparts, such as wheat, corn, barley, rice, millet and sorghum.While buckwheat has the word wheat in it, it is not composed of wheat! Confusing right?! Yet, pseudograins–amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa and wild rice are becoming more popular with the more shelf space allotted Although pseudograins have different botanical origins, pseudograins are similar in composition to grains, but often superior in nutrient content–high in protein, fiber, magnesium, potassium and more! Pseudograins are seeds and grasses that are often mistaken for grains.

Quinoa has received a lot of attention, rightfully so, but how much experience do you have with buckwheat or amaranth? Did you know you can make your own soba noodles with buckwheat? Who’s up for that challenge?

Pseudograin Description Nutrition Content Use
Amaranth
  • staple of Mayan and Aztec cuisine
  • pleasant, nut like flavor
  • tiny kernels–4000/teaspoon
  • Gluten free
  • Can toast the seeds prior to use to additional flavor and crunch to any dish
  • Protein
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • vitamin A
  • vitamin e
  • vitamin C
  • Lysine–an essential protein
  • Breads
  • Can be popped like corn
  • Veggie Patty
  • Add to soups or chilis
  • Pudding
  • Cookies
  • Biscotti
  • Smoothies
  • Porridge or oatmeal
  • Substitute for rice, couscous, orzo or risotto
  • Without gluten, will have to mix with other flours for baking, with ratio 1:3; ¼ cup amaranth, ¾ cup additional flour=1 cup
Buckwheat
  • Is a broadleaf crop–in the same family as sorrel and rhubarb
  • seed is triangular shape
  • Dark hull is usually removed before milling–called groats
  • Kasha: toasted buckwheat groats
  • Dark buckwheat flour includes hulls
  • Protein
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • vitamin e
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • Breads
  • Pancakes
  • Granola
  • Blinis
  • Crepes
  • Muffins/rolls
  • Soba noodles
Quinoa (keen-wa)
  • sacred staple of Incan empire
  • mild corn and bean flavor
  • fruit of the herb–does not contain gluten
  • most of quinoa consumed in U.S. is imported from South America–when grown above 12,000 feet, it has the whitest color and sweetest taste
  • Protein
  • Potassium
  • vitamin e
  • Folic Acid
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • As a complete protein, quinoa contains all essential amino acids
  • Stews, pilafs, salads or bread
  • Tabbouleh
  • Chili
  • As a side: i.e. to salmon
  • Quinoa crab cakes
  • Baked tomatoes with quinoa, corn and grilled chiles
  • Meatballs
Wild Rice
  • An aquatic seed found in freshwater lakes in Canada, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota
  • Has a rich, nutty flavor
  • Color can vary from medium brown to almost pure black
  • Protein
  • B vitamins
  • Folic Acid
  • Lysine–an essential protein
  • Stir fry
  • Rolls
  • Dressing/Stuffings
  • Soups
  • Casseroles/pilafs
  • Quiche
  • Salads
  • Risotto

Now that you have a better understanding of the versatility of pseudograins, make sure to add these foods to your grocery shopping list if you don’t have on hand already! I’m going to try my hand at making buckwheat soba noodles using the following recipe:

Homemade Buckwheat Soba Noodles:

Homemade Soba NoodlesServings:

Ingredients

  • 2 generous cups stone-milled buckwheat flour 
  • 1/2 generous cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup  filtered or mineral water
  • Buckwheat starch or tapioca starch, for rolling the soba

Directions:

  1. Combine flours:  Sift through strainer into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add water to the flour: Measure water and pour over the flours.
  3. Knead until a crumbly dough is formed: Work flours and water together with hands and knead n the bowl until it is a rough and slightly crumbly dough.
  4. Knead dough on the counter until smooth: Turn dough out onto the counter. Continue kneading until it holds together easily, does not crack while kneading, and becomes smooth.
  5. Shape the dough into a disk: Shape dough into a pointed cone, like a mountain peak. Press straight down on the peak with the palm of your hand, squishing it into a disk about 1/2-inch thick. The bottom should be very smooth. This step helps ensure that the dough is even and in a uniform shape before rolling.
  6. Roll out the dough: Sprinkle counter with a little starch and place dough on top. Sprinkle the top of the dough and the rolling pin with starch. Begin rolling out the dough, working from the center of the dough outward in long, even strokes. Gently tap the edges of the dough with your rolling pin to shape them into straight lines as you roll, gradually shaping the dough into as close a rectangular shape as you can make it. Use more starch as needed to prevent sticking. Continue rolling the dough into a rectangle longer than it is wide and 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch thick (as thin as possible!).
  7. Fold the dough: The next step is folding the dough to make it easier to cut straight, thin noodles. Spread a generous handful of starch over half of the dough. Fold the dough in half, like closing a book. Spread the bottom of the dough with more starch and fold the top down. Spread starch over the entire surface of the dough and fold the top down again.
  8. Slice the soba: Place a pastry scraper, ruler, or other thin, flat utensil over the top of the folded dough. Use this as a guide when cutting the noodles. Using chefs knife, begin cutting noodles 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch thick — the same thickness as your dough. Move the pastry scraper back with every cut to help you cut noodles with an even thickness. Toss the cut noodles with a little more starch to prevent sticking. Cook or freeze the soba within a few hours.→ Make-Ahead Moment: At this point, the soba can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before cooking.
  9. Cook the soba: Set strainer in your sink. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes, and set this near the sink. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously and drop in the soba. Cook for 60 seconds, then drain through the strainer in the sink. Rinse thoroughly under cool water, lifting and gently shaking the soba until the cooking film is rinsed away. Immediately dunk the soba in the bowl of ice water. Drain and serve with dashi, soy sauce, and sesame oil, or use the soba in any recipe.

Recipe adapted from Kitchn

What’re your thoughts on the soba noodle recipe? Willing to join me in the fun?

Photo Credit:Chatelaine, New Fin My Soup

Sources: https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/meet-the-better-for-you-pseudograins-101346565775.html

http://sproutpeople.org/seeds/nuts/

http://www.wheatfoods.org/sites/default/files/atachments/grains-truth-ancient-and-pseudo-grains-513.pdf

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