As the saying goes, “out with the old and in with the new.” It’s time for the Kansas City Dietitian to do some cleaning out. We’ve donated our Richard Simmons’ VHS tapes (although the leg warmers we kept, they are definitely making a come-back) and kissed the food pyramid goodbye. But we’re not quite ready to get rid of this “ancient” food.  No, we are not talking about the turkey you’ve had in your fridge since Thanksgiving. We are talking about ancient grains. These grains are from traditional plant varieties and have existed unchanged for thousands of years in regions outside the United States.  We’ve highlighted a few of these ancient grains. Stay tuned for recipes incorporating these. 

Farro

Farro is an ancient variety of wheat originating in the Fertile Crescent region of the Mediterranean. Considered the “mother of all wheat,” this chewy, nutty-flavored grain was a staple in the diet of the ancient Romans. Studies show ancient varieties of wheat offer a punch of nutritional power.

Amaranth

South America is the home to this small but mighty gluten-free whole grain. Amaranth is one of the grains with the highest amounts of protein. Traditional oats provide 5g of protein per ½-cup serving, Amaranth boasts 16 grams of protein for the same serving size. Boost up your breakfast with amaranth. Simply heat it in a heavy, dry skillet until the seeds pop, and serve it with milk and fruit, for the perfect breakfast cereal.

Millet

The final stop on our ancient grains journey is Asia, the home of millet. Millet is an easy-to-digest gluten-free grain known for its fiber content. It can be easily incorporated into our U.S. diet as a high-fiber alternative to white rice in stir-fry.

Have you tried any of these grains? We’d love to hear about it (@glennamoe and @theKCdietitian)!  In the meantime, The Kansas City Dietitian has taken to twitter to overcome her Richard Simmons’ withdrawal (@theweightsaint).