Sorghum is one of the most important cereal grains in the world. An ancient grain, originally cultivated in Africa and parts of Asia, but also a mighty grain, with it's incredibly strong tolerance to drought and harsh weather conditions. It has been a staple source of fuel for centuries, gluten-free, readily available and packed with healthy nutrients. The average person now-a-days may not recognize the same, but it's guaranteed they've eaten sorghum in some form.
Sorghum is the worlds little ancient secret, that is now seen as a miracle to the Celiac community with the demand for more gluten-free options in the mainstream. Varieties of Sorghum now range in color from white, pale yellow, bronze, even deep reds and purples. Sorghum in its native regions of Africa (Egypt), is also commonly refereed to as "guinea corn". Its nutritional content is outstanding for such a small kernel grain. And ultimate source of healthy carbohydrates, 36g per serving, 3g of fiber, and 5.4g of protein. Sorghum is a great way to fuel up with healthy energy and promote healthy digestion with it's fiber content. Sorghum is also a rich source of antioxidants, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, iron, and copper. These nutritional stats make it great for regulating blood sugar, boosting metabolism, lowering cholesterol, good bone and immune health, and promoting good cardiovascular health.
Sorghum can be eaten and cooked in many ways. You can simply boil the dry grain in either it's pearled or cracked form. Toasting it in a dry pan before boiling gives it a nuttier flavor, just like millet. This was it can be eaten as a swap for any other grain like rice or quinoa. It makes a lovely porridge, warm or cold grain salad. It's most commonly ground and made into a flour which is a wonderful stand-by substitute for wheat in many recipes; converting relatively easy in baking with the addition of some starch and a good binder or gum. It has a very light, neutral to sweet taste, is very soft, and keeps baked goods light in color and texture. Perfect for any type of bread, muffins, brownies, cakes, savory flatbreads, etc.
Another fun way to use sorghum, playing on its nickname of guinea corn, it can be "popped" into "popcorn"! You can pop it just as you would homemade corn. In a pot with a bit of oil (or in the microwave), over low heat and wait a bit for the popping to take place! Popped sorghum will result in a much smaller "puff", but still light, crunchy, and delicious! A super fun alternative or great substitute if you're allergic to corn. If you can get your hands on some puffed sorghum, like puffed millet or rice, it's a great granola bulker too!
Shame on me, I realized I didn't have any sorghum recipes on the blog yet, not even a baked good! So I took it upon myself last week to make some! I'll be sharing one of the recipes with whole pearled sorghum next week, so stay tuned! And to seal the deal for you on loving this new grain, here's a fun fact! Broomcorn, a variety of sorghum introduced to the U.S. by Ben Franklin, was used and named for making brooms! Grains are so versatile! From bird seed to brooms, to EATING!
In the meantime, you can stock up on sorghum goodies!
+ Whole Grain Sorghum (not pearled or cracked, this takes the longest to cook, 50-60 minutes.)
+ Pearled Sorghum (cooked in 25-30 minute.).
+ Pearled & Cracked Sorghum (cracked means it will cook even faster and be a bit creamier, 15-20 minutes.)
+ Sorghum flour is also in many all purpose gluten-free flour mixes, like my favorite from Bob's Red Mill!
So tell me:
+ Have you cooked or baked with sorghum? Any favorites dishes?
+ Want to meet me for a movie date so we can pig out on popsorghum? Hahahaha!