My favorite grains & seeds
I’m a fan! A fan of grains and seeds… I make my pancakes with buckwheat, my salads with quinoa and my crunchy crackers are full of amaranth. I even use rye in my breakfast cookies, which is very high in fiber. To give you some insight into which grains and seeds are my favorites, let’s take a tour through my Powerfood kitchen!
The super grain, spelt, has a delicious full, sweet, nutty flavor. I use whole spelt flour in my tastiest banana breads and muffins (try them!) and ‘farro’ (the whole spelt grain) gives my simple salads an upgrade in no time.
I love me some quinoa! Quinoa is actually not a grain, but these seeds can be used in the same way as a grain. Quinoa has a tasty, nutty flavor and did you know that it comes in white, black and red varieties? Don’t overcook your quinoa, otherwise it’ll lose its bite. Fun fact: quinoa contains more protein and fiber than brown rice, so it’ll definitely still your hunger. Oh yeah, you can also puff quinoa… How much fun is that?
Mmm… Oats! They’re my absolute number one. Oats are naturally gluten free, but may not be sold as such as they often come into contact with gluten-containing products during processing. Completely gluten-free oats will be labeled as such on the package. In my kitchen, I most often use oats in their rolled form, as oatmeal or whole oats. They’re perfect for sweet baked goods and tasty smoothies… But as you all already know, I throw them into everything. I can’t help it. I love oats!
Growing up in Friesland, my mem used to give me a slice of rye bread from the local organic store every day. We would dress it up with tahini, honey and some wheat germ – it was like a little cake! And these days I use rye flour in bread and breakfast cake. Delicious!
Tiny and super fine, chia seeds are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. They’re real power seeds! I used them in my vegan baked goods and in puddings – easy and oh so tasty! Once you try them, you’ll be hooked…
Mmm… Amaranth! Even the name is lovely! I use these tiny seeds in cookies, muffins and crackers, but you can also use amaranth to make a warm, porridge. It tastes nutty and this flavor is intensified when the seeds are puffed. Try it! It turns into a sort of mini-popcorn!
If you really want to pay attention to your health, make sure you never forget to add flax seeds to your grocery list. Flax seeds are little fiber and omega-3 fatty acid bombs. They’re super powerful and are a great addition to a vegan diet. Llike chia seeds, flax can be used to bind. Flax has a nutty taste, but is also a tiny bit bitter.
When I’m in Friesland, I’ll sometimes even get to see buckwheat in bloom in my mother’s garden. Buckwheat is everywhere! It’s gluten free and is an excellent source of plant-based protein. There are eight essential amino acids and, guess what… Buckwheat contains all of them! My sister and I used to have buckwheat with syrup for dessert and my mouth still waters when I think back on it. These days, I add buckwheat flour to my banana cake and I’ll even eat buckwheat groats for breakfast, but they do need to be soaked overnight.
Quinoa is my big sister – I’m a bit more robust, less bitter and a lot smaller. Just like quinoa, canihua is perfect in salads, but can also be used in desserts. It’s really worth a try!
Tasty and creamy! Back home, we used to eat millet as a replacement for rice with tasty seasonal vegetables alongside. To be honest, I had basically forgotten about millet, but it’s made its way back in my life now. The beautiful yellow grains have a mild flavor, full and slightly sweet. Millet is delicious in a cold salad and, just like quinoa, you can puff millet too!
Now you know my top 10, but I’m sure there will be additions to this list soon as I love to try new things. Let me know what you use most often in your cooking. Tag your Powerfood creations on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using hashtag #renskroes and @renskroes, as I’d love to see them!