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Every week, Shauna Ahern of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef -- and Gluten-Free Girl Everyday -- will be sharing smart tips and smarter recipes that will please even the most devout gluten-eaters among us. Come one, come all -- we're going flourless.
Today, Shauna's letting us in on a secret the rest of the world has already discovered: sorghum is a stand-out in the world of whole grains.
The first time we cooked sorghum, my husband did a little jig. "I've been looking for a replacement for Israeli couscous. Here it is!"
Of course, sorghum is not Israeli couscous. They don't taste the same, and Israeli couscous contains gluten. But sorghum has the same size and look of Israeli couscous, so it works as an interesting surprise in its place.
However, sorghum doesn't need to be compared to anything else. It is its own whole-grain star.
Most people will look at you funny if you ask if they enjoy sorghum. Until recently, it was primarily grown as feed for livestock in the United States. However, in the rest of the world, especially in Africa, sorghum is widely used to make porridge, flour, and beer. As is true for many grains, sorghum spread through the world via the Silk Trade, and was eventually cultivated in China and India. An Indian flatbread called roti is made with sorghum flour.
I like popping sorghum like popcorn. Get a cast-iron skillet hot, toss in some whole-grain sorghum, and watch the little balls dance and pop on the hot surface. Splash some warm milk over the hot sorghum, with a drizzle of honey, and perhaps some toasted walnut pieces. Breakfast.
Sorghum is full of dietary fiber, which we all need. And it also makes a wonderful flour for gluten-free baking. Its nutty, slightly sweet taste and its high protein percentage has made it part of my baking mix for years.
How to Cook Sorghum
3 cups water
1 cup sorghum
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pour the water into a large pot. Add the sorghum, olive oil, and salt. Set the pot on high heat. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the sorghum simmer, covered, until the it is soft and still chewy, about one hour. If, for some reason, the sorghum grains are still hard after all the water is absorbed, add another cup of water and continue cooking.