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The Health Benefits of Sorghum

Despite its name, sorghum is not a chewing gum. It's actually an ancient grain and one that you just might want to swap for your beloved quinoa.

What Is Sorghum?

This gluten-free ancient grain has a neutral, slightly sweet flavor, and is also available as a flour. As a whole-grain flour, it is a nutritious and gluten-free option for baked goods, but some kind of binder, such as xanthan gum, egg whites, or unflavored gelatin, will likely be needed to make sure the final product stays together well.

The Health Benefits of Sorghum

Half a cup of uncooked sorghum provides 316 calories, 10 grams of protein and 6.4 grams of fiber, which is quite impressive for a grain. Protein helps your body build and repair muscle, and the fiber helps keep your gastrointestinal system regular and on track. Dietary fiber also satisfies your hunger longer and helps lower cholesterol levels. Packed with vitamins and minerals, sorghum is a nutrition powerhouse. It contains B vitamins (niacin, riboflavin and thiamin), which are needed to help convert food into energy, as well as magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous which are important for bone health. Sorghum grain also contains iron, which is needed to produce red blood cells, and potassium, which is critical for regulating blood pressure.

How to Eat Sorghum

Whole grain sorghum specifically, with its hearty, chewy texture, can be used instead of rice, barley, or pasta as a simple side dish (Like in this recipe for Toasted Sorghum with Shiitakes and Fried Eggs), in a grain bowl, tossed into a salad, stew, or soup. (Try this Kale, White Bean, and Tomato Sorghum Soup.) It can even be "popped," similar to popcorn, resulting in a tasty, healthy snack.

Popped Sorghum

Directions:

1. Place 1/4 cup sorghum in a small brown paper lunch bag. Fold down the top twice to close, and microwave on high 2-3 minutes, depending on your microwave. (Remove when popping has slowed to 5-6 seconds between pops.)

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