Learn how to cook with sorghum, including sorghum grain, sorghum flour and even sorghum syrup in this sorghum cooking guide with sorghum cooking tips, sorghum benefits, and sorghum recipes.
Chances are, you might not have heard of sorghum. Indeed, sorghum is an undervalued and certainly underutilized whole grain. This plant food originated in Africa, and from there it traveled on the Silk Road to Asia and India, eventually making its way to the United States on slave ships. Today, it is primarily used as livestock feed and fuel for ethanol. In Africa and Asia, however, its primary purpose is for human consumption. We should all take note and include this grain in our diets more often too! It thrives in drought-like conditions, therefore requiring very little water or maintenance, making it a perfect grain for the dry African climate. It is resistant to many plant diseases as well. Though it comes in many varieties, white, brown and bronze colored sorghum grains are the most common.
This grain is a nutritional powerhouse. Unlike other grains it has no inedible hull, which allows us to eat the entire grain and reap the benefits. Just ½ cup of cooked sorghum packs 6.4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein! The high fiber content helps slow digestion and results in a steady source of energy without blood sugar spikes. Black sorghum is also packed with anthocyanin, an antioxidant that is not found in many other grains. It is rich in iron (15% DV) and phosphorus (13% DV), which foster red blood cell development and bone health.
It has a hearty, chewy texture, making it a rich and satisfying addition to your whole grain rotation. It can be eaten like oatmeal or porridge or used in a cold grain salad, and is an excellent substitute for rice in risotto recipes, although it does call for more water (Use a 3:1 water to sorghum ratio for cooking). When ground into sorghum flour, whole grain sorghum is an excellent substitute for whole-wheat flour and can be used to make pancakes or quick breads. You can even use sorghum syrup as a replacement for liquid sweeteners in your cooking.
Check out my five favorite ways to use sorghum.
1. Cook it up as a Whole Grain Breakfast Porridge
Instead of a bowl of steel cut oats, you can hunker down to a bowl of freshly cooked whole grain sorghum, which is rich in protein, fiber, and other nutrients that help stave off hunger. You can even cook it in a slow cooker for overnight porridge! Top it with seasonal fruit, a handful of nuts or seeds, and a splash of plant-based milk and you’re good to go!
2. Stir it into Soups and Stews
The next time you make up a big batch of soup, stew, or chili, toss in a handful of sorghum along with your beans, veggies, broth, and seasonings. It will add texture, nutrition, and flavor.
3. Sprinkle it in Salads
Tossing in precooked whole grains, such as sorghum, is a great way to add slow-digesting carbs, fiber, and nutrients to a light meal.
4. Whisk it into Baked Goods
Instead of using 100% wheat flour in your next baked recipe, why not try substituting half of it with sorghum flour? You’ll be surprised at how tender and moist the results will be with this gluten-free flour.
5. Serve it as a Healthy Side
Skip the rice and potatoes at your next meal and serve a hearty side of simmered sorghum. It makes a great pairing for stir-fries, curries, nut loafs, and lentil patties.
Check out my video on cooking with sorghum here.
For other tips on how to use plant foods, check out the following:
How to Cook Kohlrabi
Persimmons 101: Health Benefits, Recipes, and More
How to Use Cherimoya
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
How to Cook All Greens
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