Not too expensive cereal and also suitable for celiac disease sufferers, the sorghum is a valuable food and versatile that is worth knowing and integrating into our diet, if it is not already part of it.
The scientific name is Sorghum vulgare, we are talking about an annual herbaceous plant belonging to the Graminaceae family, considered the fifth most important cereal in the world agricultural economy. First there are wheat, rice, corn and barley.
The name of this food comes from the Latin frozen, which means getting up, because of his considerable rapidity of development, but it is also known for its ability to withstand drought. It was one of the first plants to be cultivated, its origins are to be found in the tropical areas ofCentral-Eastern Africa and in the mountains of central and western China but over the years it has conquered the west, also offering itself in the form of a sweetener.
It is currently grown mainly in tropical areas of Asia and Africa, in South America and North America, so much so that the United States is the world's largest producer of this cereal. There is no comparison with the numbers that are recorded in Europe where the grain variety is grown in France and Italy, in particular in Emilia Romagna, Marche, Tuscany, Umbria.
Sorghum, or rather yours dried grain, it really contains a lot of fiber, about 80%, a lot carbohydrates (20-30% amylose and 70-80% amylopectin), some protein (7-14%). It is gluten-free, which is why it can be eaten peacefully even by celiacs, and in terms of lipids it contains a higher quantity than that of wheat and rice but lower than that of corn.
On closer inspection it is true that there are not many proteins, but in fact they are of quality because they are represented by some essential amino acids. Unfortunately, there is not much lysine, for example, and this is why sorghum is often recommended in combination with legumes that are rich in it.
Appreciated why highly digestible and easily assimilated, this cereal contains several mineral salts including some important ones such as iron, calcium and potassium. At the level of vitamins we find niacin (Vitamin B3) and vitamin E, as natural antioxidants and phytocompounds, phenolic acids, phytosterols and flavonoids.
Still investigating the properties, scientists from the University of Georgia have tried to understand the effects of sorghum against inflammatory states and they noticed that there are 23 to 64 milligrams of polyphenols in this food. A considerable amount even compared to blueberries and apple juice which are rich in it.
One hectogram of sorghum contains 327 kcal. Always in the same 100 grams of cereal we find
Protein 11.5 g
Lipids 2.3 g
Carbohydrates 70 g
Iron 2.7 mg
Calcium 25 mg
Sorghum in the kitchen
Let's take into consideration, for the recipes, only the white sorghum. It is necessary to specify in order not to be confused with other varieties that are still used for animal feed, for the production of fuels and brooms.
Cheap, digestible and gluten-free, therefore also suitable for celiacs, sorghum can be used in many culinary contexts, proving to be very versatile. On the market we find it both in the form of grain sorghum and as sorghum flour. We can buy it in stores specializing in natural products but also in some traditional supermarkets that are increasingly supplied with this type of products once considered niche.
If we take the grain sorghum, we must rinse it and boil it for about 35-40 minutes and then serve it hot or cold, accompanied by vegetables. Alternatively, you can think of preparing a sort of risotto with sorghum, given that in some West African countries it is served as couscous.
Sorghum flour is extracted from the grain, it always is gluten-free, it has a slight yellowish color and is often mixed with other flours to prepare bread products and polenta. This is the case with some types of Indian bread. The possibilities of using it are not over, we can also make it ferment to obtain a type of sweetener malt, but also beer and other fermented drinks typical of the African and Chinese tradition.
Let's try this cereal right away with a tasty summer recipe: sorghum in pepper cream with beans and vegetables. The ingredients for 4 people are 250 grams of sorghum soaked for 2 hours, 2 yellow peppers, 400 grams of green beans, 200 grams of cooked borlotti beans, 200 grams of cherry tomatoes, 4 shallots, 100 grams of black olives and 2 bay leaves .
Chop the shallots and brown in a pan, peel the peppers making them into small pieces and add them to the shallots, letting them both cook for 20 minutes. We blend the vegetables to obtain a cream. Separately we boil the green beans and then let them cool. We can now drain the sorghum from the soaking water, rinse it and put it in a saucepan with the bay leaf and 750 ml of the green beans cooking water, then boil everything for 20 minutes. Ready the sorghum we can put it in a bowl seasoned with the pepper cream. The dish should be completed with green beans, tomatoes, beans and olives.
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