While whole grains are getting a lot of attention right now, it's possible that sorghum hasn't come onto your radar yet. Do you know it? With more awareness regarding the health benefits of ancient grains — and an easier time tracking down sorghum on grocery store shelves — it, too, is about to have its time in the limelight.
Sorghum is a cereal grain, and while in much of the world people enjoy it as a nourishing part of their weekly diet, in the United States it's been largely relegated to livestock feed. One way to immediately get to know sorghum is to compare it to grains you already know. It's a heartier grain and takes almost an hour to cook, so you can use it in place of barley or farro in recipes (although I find it feels much lighter than both). It's naturally gluten-free and very mild in flavor, so tends to be a hit with both adults and kids alike.
Here are a few ways to dive right in with sorghum today:
5 Ways to Use Sorghum
- Sorghum Bowls! A quick grain bowl is the easiest way I can think to begin experimenting with sorghum at home. This Mexican-inspired bowl from The New York Times caught my eye a few weeks back.
- Baking with Sorghum Flour: If you have a recipe that calls for whole wheat flour, you can easily use sorghum instead. It has a nice neutral flavor and is light in color, so it's super versatile.
- Amp up Salads: We were at a friend's house last weekend and they made a delicious sorghum salad for lunch with tiny little chopped carrots, herbs and warm spices. To get started with sorghum salads, simply substitue the grain whenever you'd be inspired to make Israeli couscous or rice salads.
- Sweeten with Sorghum Syrup: Sorghum syrup has a rich, earthy sweetness and can be used in place of honey or maple syrup in your favorite recipes.
- Make Sorghum Butter: Once you've got your hands on a jar of Sorghum Syrup, this very special butter is in your future. Simply mix anywhere from 2-4 tablespoons (depending on your preferences) sorghum syrup into one stick of creamy butter. You'll never look back.
(Images: Permission to reprint given by Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times )