Pseudo-grains, or pseudo-cereals as they’re also known, have increasingly been enjoying the limelight as our awareness of grains expands beyond wheat, oats and barley and new grain varieties become more and more popular.
So what is a pseudo-grain?
Pseudo-grains like quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat are actually seeds and just like regular grains have similar overall nutrient compositions, being a great source of protein, fibre and minerals. This group of ‘grains’ also has the benefit of being gluten free for those who need to avoid gluten.
How do I use them?
Pseudo-grains are used in very similar ways to ‘true’ grains and are becoming more accessible in foods like breads, cereals and snacks, as well as in their whole form. To mix up your grains, try using pseudo-grains anywhere you would normally use a ‘true’ grain, think buckwheat groats in risotto, quinoa flour in home baking and amaranth mixed in porridge. Why not try our Lemon & Olive Quinoa Dolmades, Buckwheat, Kale & Chicken Soup and Adam Liaw’s Whole Grain Rice Mix.
Are pseudo-grains better for me?
In short, neither variety is any better for us with all types of grain showcasing a great nutrient profile. Whichever grains you enjoy though, it’s important to choose mostly whole grain to benefit from more than 26 nutrients and phytonutrients and to try and eat a range of different whole grains to boost the variety of nutrients you’re consuming!