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Grain Information -- Amaranth, Barley, Buckwheat, Corn, Flax, Kamut, Millet, Oats, Popcorn, Quinoa, Rice, Rye, Spelt, Triticale and Wheat.
AmaranthAmaranth seeds are tan or light brown in color and are about the size of poppy seeds. Not a true cereal grain, Amaranth is sometimes called a Ďpseudo-grainí and has been referred to as a herb or even a vegetable. There are 60 species of Amaranth on the planet. With itís own genus classification, Amaranthus, Amaranth is a relative of the common pigweed. Some of these species of Amaranth are grown for their spinach-like leaves which are eaten as a salad while other species are grown only for ornamental or decorative purposes. And lastly, still other species produce the tiny seeds that are so nutritious. Sold mostly in health food stores, Amaranth is an extremely nutritious grain that is just becoming known in North America.
Amaranth has a long and interesting history in Mexico where it's been grown and harvested for thousands of years by the Mayan and Incan civilizations. The Aztecs believed Amaranth had magical properties that would give them amazing strength. Because of this, it became one of the main foods of the Aztec royalty. Amaranth also held an intricate role in some of their ancient rituals. In one ritual, the seeds were crushed open, then honey and human blood were added followed by forming this reddish paste into the shapes of birds and snakes then baking it. With the coming of the Spanish into the Americas, this abominable practice was abolished. Every crop of Amaranth that could be found was burned. Punishment for possession of the grain became so harsh that even having one seed was punished by chopping off the hands. Amaranth quickly became a Ďlostí seed for many generations. Presently, Amaranth is grown in Mexico, Peru and Nepal as well as in the United States.
Amaranthís great nutritional qualities are the driving force powering itís comeback. Itís high in protein, particularly in the amino acid, Lysine, which is low in the cereal grains. In fact, Amaranth has the highest lysine content of all the grains in this study with Quinoa coming in a close second. To make your whole wheat bread a complete protein, substitute about 25% of your wheat flour with Amaranth flour. Amaranth, by itself, has a really nice amino acid blend. Just 150 grams of the grain is all thatís required to supply an adult with 100% of the daily requirement of protein. Amaranth is one of the highest grains in fiber content. This makes Amaranth an effective agent against cancer and heart disease. Amaranth is also the only grain in this study that contains significant amounts of phytosterols which scientists are just now learning play a major part in the prevention of all kinds of diseases. Amaranth is also rich in many vitamins and minerals. The following table lists only the nutrients in Amaranth that are higher than those found in wheat. As nutritious as wheat is, you can see that Amaranth puts it to shame...
Amaranth must be cooked before it is eaten because it contains components in itís raw form that block the absorption of some nutrients in our digestive system. You should cook Amaranth whether you plan on giving it to your family or your pets.
For those of you who are allergic to wheat, Amaranth can be your grain of choice. However, Amaranth contains no gluten and because of this, itís not good for making yeast breads by itself. Mixed with 75% wheat flour and 25% Amaranth flour, the resulting dough should give you a nice rising loaf of bread. However, for breads that don't require gluten to raise such as biscuits, muffins, pancakes, pastas or flat breads, you can go as high as 100% Amaranth flour.
Amaranth can be boiled for 20 minutes in itís whole seed form for a morning breakfast cereal. It can also be ground raw or for added flavor, it can be toasted before grinding. Try popping it like you would pop popcorn. Popped Amaranthís uses are many as they add texture and crunchiness to breads, salads, soups and granola. Whole seed, cooked Amaranth also goes well in soups, granolas and as already mentioned, mixes well with wheat flour to make a myriad of different baked goods. Amaranth flour also makes a nice thickener for gravies, soups and stews. Sprouted Amaranth goes well in salads or prepared cereals.
As Amaranth contains fairly high levels of poly-unsaturated fats, itís a good idea to store them in your refrigerator after opening the container. For long term storage, package them with oxygen absorbers in an air-tight container which should extend their storage life for several years if stored in a cool place. Having a hard outer shell, Amaranth should store better than Quinoa or buckwheat which have similar nutritional qualities but have a softer, more permeable shell.
We think you will enjoy experimenting with this ancient grain and will be excited with itís wholesome flavor and the excellent nutrition it will provide for your family.
Barley -- Hulled Barley Pearl Barley
Much like rye, barley
can grow in harsh conditions and poor soils where other grains
wouldn't produce well. Being an ancient grain, barley was one of
the first grains domesticated, even before wheat was cultivated.
Not used as much as it once was as a food, barley is still a very
important crop in todayís market place. Today, barley is
primarily used as animal feed and for making malt in the making of
beer. However, on a smaller scale, barley can be processed for
human consumption in the form of pot or hulled barley, pearled
barley and barley flakes.
It is believed that buckwheat
was first domesticated in China. As it spread across Asia and
Europe during the centuries, it took a particularly strong hold in
Russia where kasha is popular. A relatively new grain, it hasn't
been in cultivation for much more than a thousand years. Saying
it's a grain is a misstatement as it's not really a grain at all.
It's actually, technically, a fruit. It's a hardy plant that
thrives in poor soil conditions and continues to live through
freezing temperatures, droughts and excess rain.
Yellow Dent Corn
Talk with most any corn
farmer and he will most likely argue, should the subject come up,
that corn is the most important grain in production today. There
is twice as much field corn grown in the US than any other single
grain. Aside from eating the kernel itself, corn starch was the
first discovered alternate use for field corn. Soon after this,
developers learned how to turn corn starch into fructose sugar,
the most popular beverage sweetener in North America today which
is twice as sweet as regular table sugars. From this humble
beginning, literally thousands of other uses for corn have been
discovered. This list includes ethanol alcohol, cosmetic and skin
care products, drugs, batteries, rubber, beverages, crayons,
soaps, absorbent materials for diapers, food additives,
biodegradable plastics, food supplements and the list goes on and
on. Many believe that corn, more than any other grain during this
new century, will be instrumental in feeding the world's ever
Flax SeedFlax is truly an amazing grain which is proving itself over and over again as a nutritional wonder-grain. The scientific community is becoming more and more excited as it continues to learn about the healthful and healing effects of flax. Almost half the weight of this small, dark brown tear-shaped seed contains oil. And to a large extent, itís this oil thatís making the big splash among the nutritional experts of today. But itís not just the oil thatís making waves, as flax seed also contains several other remarkable nutritional elements that has everyone talking.
Flax was already under wide cultivation in the Babylon Empire in 3,000 BC and itís early beginnings are thought to precede this date by a couple of millennia. Through the history of man, flax has also been very important for the strong fibers in itís straw which have been extracted from the stems and woven into linen. Over the centuries, flax has been developed into different strains until today there are two main varieties grown, one for flax seed oil and the other for the fibers in the stem for cloth making.
Over half the oil found in flax seed consists of the highly sensitive fatty acid, Alpha Linolenic Acid (LNA). LNA will harden from the oxygen in the air if not protected from oxidation. This characteristic in flax seed oil has been exploited in industrial applications for hundreds of years. Paint flax seed oil on wood, for example, and over the span of a couple of days the oxidizing oils will harden, forming a protective barrier for the wood. This demonstrates flax oilís great qualities as an oil based coating for both wood and concrete which is still in wide use today in the paint industry. It is also a main ingredient in linoleum and is presently used in making particle board.
Itís not hard to find farmers that feed flax seed meal to their livestock as it aids their digestion and gives them a nice, shiny coat. And high levels of flax seed meal are now being fed to chickens producing eggs that demand a premium price which are rich in this omega-3 oil.
Flax was first brought to North America in 1617. By 1875 flax was being cultivated over much of the inhabited country. Flax was grown in North America mainly for itís oil used in industrial applications. During the two world wars, flaxís production had a marked increase as the need for this oil grew.
Over the centuries, flax oil has been used to coat farm tools to prevent rusting. It's whole seed has been boiled and used as a poultice for boils and other skin infections. The mucilage obtained from boiling whole flax seed has been used as a hair gel. And through the ages, ground flax seed has been eaten for itís healthful properties. Flax production has soared as the demand has tripled in just the last decade for flax as a nutritional supplement. The study of how flax relates to heart disease and cancer is in itís infancy but what has been learned to date shows solid evidence of it's healthful properties. As the nutritional benefits of flax continue to come to light, itís use will only increase.
Flax seed has some truly amazing nutritional characteristics. It is most noted for itís high levels of LNA, lignans and fiber which will be explored in much greater detail later. For a grain, flax seed also has a very high level of protein at 21%. The amino acid list for flax seed lines up fairly closely with wheatís essential amino acids. However, flax contains high amounts of fiber, vitamin E, folacin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and is extremely high in the minerals potassium, calcium and phosphorus. Containing many other nutrients as well, flax seed is an incredibly important nutritional source and contains all the nutrients necessary to correctly digest the oils located within the seed.
Because of the lubricative properties of the oil, flax seed is believed to help reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Current research tends to support the theory that flax seed is beneficial in lowering cholesterol and lowering the risk of heart disease, preventing cancer, correcting auto-immune disorders and the relief of constipation.
Fifty-seven percent of flax seed oil is Alfa-linolenic acid (LNA) which is the highest LNA food known in the world. LNA is one of the two essential fatty acids we must get from eating foods. Our bodies can't make this precursor nutrient our systems need to make other vital fatty acids which perform lifeís functions. Itís estimated that less than 1% of all fatty acids eaten by the average North American contain LNA with a whopping 95% of the population not getting enough of this vital fatty acid to be really healthy. This was not always the case. Technological developments in the last 125 years have largely changed our diets. Before the Industrial Revolution, when Americans hunted and gathered their food, there was as much as ten times more LNA in the diet as there is now. In addition, the intake of saturated fatty acids, and trans-fatty acids which were unknown in those days, has dramatically increased. These two dramatic changes in our diets are now causing real problems with our present day health. This causes all sorts of problems we don't need to have: growth retardation, weakness, impairment of vision and learning ability, motor un-coordination, behavioral changes, high triglycerides (fat) in the blood, high blood pressure, tissue inflammation, skin disorders, mental deterioration, hypertension, low metabolic rate and some kinds of immune dysfunction. Early research also points to LNA as an effective stroke reducing agent. Research is also learning that LNA appears to protect the heart against arrhythmia, a decease of the electrical stability of the heart. LNA inhibits Atherosclerosis, a inflammatory condition. But it is also thought that LNA works with flaxís other nutrients to help bring about this effect in reducing inflammation.
So, how much LNA does a person need? The US has no RDA for it; but the latest information suggests one to two percent of your total calories should consist of LNA. This equates to 2.7-5.5 grams of LNA per day for an adult. One teaspoon of LNA weighs about 4.75 grams. As flax seed contains about 20% LNA by weight, that would equate to 1 to 2 tablespoons of flax seed per day. To further clarify the picture on LNA and how it is affected by the other essential fatty acid, Linoleic acid (LA), see our Essential Fatty Acids pages. LA, which we already get too much of in our diets in North America, if eaten in too large amounts creates an LNA/LA imbalance and can inhibit absorption of LNA. The opposite is also true.
LNA during pregnancy and early growth is vital for correct nerve and visual development of the fetus and infant. LNA is also important in lowering blood triglyceride levels and because of this, it is believed to lower the risk of heart disease. It also reduces the chances of blood clots forming in the vessels. LNA is now under study to gain concrete evidence LNA reduces the risk of cancer.
Flax seedís other primary ingredient we are emphasizing in this report is a group of phytoestrogenic compounds known as lignans. Flax seed contains 100 times more lignans than the next closest food. Lignans get broken down by intestinal bacteria into enterodiol and enterolactone, two mammalian lignans. Lignans contain powerful anti-cancer fighting agents and are especially effective against breast, colon, uterus and prostate cancers by controlling the sex hormones in our systems. As one example, lignans seem to flush excess estrogen from the body. Research has just begun on this fascinating subject. Lignans also seem to have anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-viral properties. Flax seed oil contains practically no lignans - you must eat the flax seed, first ground into a meal. Flax oil also is missing many of the nutrients needed to digest it. But these nutrients are located in the seed. Both from a health and economic standpoint, we suggest eating whole flax seed you grind yourself rather than the high priced flax seed oil.
Flax seed has been proven to markedly reduce cholesterol levels as effectively as oat bran and fruit pectin. This is probably due to itís unusually high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber. Flaxís high quality fiber teamed with LNA and the rich lignans work together to build healthy blood lipid patterns.
Of flaxís 28% fiber content, 2/3rds of it is mucilage, a soluble fiber. As an experiment, boil 1 tablespoon of whole flax seed in a cup of water. In about 5 minutes, a thick, clear liquid will appear. This soluble fiber acts as a wonderful lubricant in moving food through your intestinal system. It also carries with it cholesterol that has been expelled into the large intestine, preventing itís re-absorption. The mucilage alone is a great boon to health. Flaxís other fiber - itís insoluble fiber - also keeps things flowing though your intestinal tract.
Itís been shown that the fiber in 50 grams of flax seed eaten in muffins increased the number of bowel movements helping prevent constipation. The two types of fiber in flax seed maintain the fecal bulk and keep it moving through the colon.
The LNA and lignans in flax seed both support and strengthen the bodyís immune system. Through processes beyond the scope of this report, flax seed bolsters the immune system in several different ways strengthening it to fight off disease.
Flax seed is an important grain that will improve just about everyoneís health. Even healthy people can improve their health by eating ground flax seed. When the author started eating flax seed, he was in the US Army and considered himself to be as healthy as anyone. After eating 3 tablespoons of flax seed each day for about a month, he noticed some remarkable things begin to happen. Instead of coming back almost dead from a five mile run, he noticed his vitality increase to the point that on finishing a long run like this, he felt as fresh as he did before the run. He also noticed a big difference in his vision. Colors became much bolder as if they were Ďjumping outí at him.
Evidently, he was suffering from an LNA deficiency. Had he been getting enough LNA he probably wouldn't have noticed any changes which brings up a story.
A guy added 3 quarts of oil to the engine of his car and found that it ran better. He was so excited about it that he told everyone he met that if they, too, added three quarts of oil to their engines their cars would also run better. Of course, most people know if their oil level is already up to the Ďfull lineí on the dipstick, that adding 3 more quarts of oil isn't going to make their cars run better. Rather the opposite will happen and their engine will likely blow a seal.This little analogy goes a long way to show that no nutrient is going to make you feel better unless you have a deficiency in it. If your body is already getting plenty of a certain nutrient, giving it more won't make it feel better. And sometimes it will make the body feel worse if itís an oil soluble vitamin or some other nutrient that can cause a toxicity if itís eaten in over-abundance. (The author believes the real secret to good health includes eating good, wholesome foods containing all the nutrients needed for good health, coupled with exercise.) Flax certainly plays a role in this. As a full 95% of the population in North America are not eating enough LNA, it's a fairly safe bet that you will feel better after you start yourself on a diet of flax.
For flax to do any good in your system, the seed must be broken open. The outer shell on the flax seed is so hard that unbroken, it just passes right through you, retaining all itís nutrients. (So much for all those recipes that have whole flax seed as an ingredient!) Don't be tempted to buy expensive flax seed oil as it contains none of the lignans or fiber found in the seed. And Don't buy flax seed meal already ground. The outer shell of the flax seed is natureís perfect container and breaking it open exposes the delicate fatty acids to rapid oxidation. Grind only as much flax seed as you plan on using that day. Thereís several ways of breaking the seed open. The easiest way is to grind a small amount of dry flax seed in a blender or coffee grinder. When making bread, it can also be mixed with your other whole grains before grinding. Don't try to grind flax seed in a grain grinder by itself. It contains so much fat that the oily flax seed pulp will plug your grinder.
You can add flax seed meal to many different dishes. Mix it in yogurt, salad dressings, on prepared or cooked cereal and you can bake it into many different desserts or breads.
Much like putting too much oil in a car, it is possible to eat too much flax seed. Tipping the scales with too heavy an ingestion of LNA will prevent the proper digestion and use of itís sister essential fatty acid, LA. Three tablespoons of flax seed a day should be enough to take care of anyoneís LNA needs. And after several weeks or months of usage, you can probably cut it down to 1 to 2 tablespoons of flax seed per day after you've gotten over the LNA deficiency. How can you tell if you're getting too much? Your fingernails will get thin and break easily. But it would take months of ingesting too much LNA for this to happen.
Unlike some nutrients that are destroyed with heat, the LNA and lignans in flax can safely be heated up to baking temperatures without harming them. Studies have shown the LNA and lignans in flax seed can withstand temperatures up to 350 degrees F for 2 hours. These temperatures and times are worse than most home baking conditions.
How long can you store flax seed? The author is presently eating five year old flax seed that was stored in cans sealed with oxygen absorbers. He says itís still Ďjust fine.í Whole, un-ground flax seed should store in the kitchen without any special care given to it for a year. Stored in the absence of oxygen in a cool room, flaxís storage life will be increased to many years. With flaxís vitamin E content which is a good antioxidant, you can consider your flax seed a good storing commodity if you take good care of it.
Containing no gluten, flax seed should be perfectly safe to eat by those with wheat allergies. If you are in poor health, please consult your doctor before starting a diet of flax seed. If you are already under the care of a physician, we strongly recommend you first get your doctor's approval before eating flax seed.
Kamut is a
close relative to wheat whose kernel. Its about the same shape as
a wheat seed but a Kamut kernel is more than twice as big. Even
though Kamut is very closely related to wheat, many people who are
wheat intolerant can eat Kamut with no problems. Kamut also has
some pretty amazing nutritional strengths. And as an amazingly
versatile grain, Kamut can be used in place of all the different
wheats; the hard and soft varieties and also durum wheat.
seed is a small, round, ivory colored seed about 20 mm in
diameter. There are 6,000 varieties of millet grown around the
world. The variety sold in North America for human consumption is
called Pearl Millet. It has a rather alkaline pH which makes it a
really easy grain to digest. Used mainly as bird feed, millet has
a rather bland flavor.
Whole Oats Hulled Groats Rolled OatsOats, like barley, have a hard outer hull that must be removed before itís ready for human consumption. Even though the outer hull of an oat kernel comes off easier than a barley kernelís hull, itís still not within reach of the average consumer to accomplish this. For this reason, if you want whole oats to eat, purchase them already hulled. Hulled oats, called oat groats, look very much like rye or Triticale. Unlike barley which must have itís hull sanded off damaging the seed, an oat groat kernelís outer bran layer is still intact after de-hulling. This somewhat protects the inner nutrients and also permits it to sprout. From this stage of processing, oats are most often rolled. Sometimes they are cut into two to four pieces before rolling and are called Ďsteel cut rolled oats,í or quick rolled oats. Opening the seed in this way permits oxidation of the inner nutrients causing them to go rancid. Long ago, it was learned if oat groats were steamed first destroying the enzymes that permitted rancidity to happen, the rolled oats could be stored for long periods of time and stay fresh. Here at Walton Feed, we've heard more than one story of a family opening up a well stored 25 year old can of rolled oats thinking they'd only be good to feed the chickens. But to their surprise, their rolled oats were still fresh and wholesome after all that time.
Oats have been around for quite some time, dating back to around 2,000 B.C. in the Middle East. Oats date back in Germany to 1,000 B.C. and because oats contain little gluten, they were considered not good for much more than animal feed. However, because oats can grow in conditions where wheat and barley won't produce, they made a place for themselves though history during harsh years and were considered a grain for the poor. Today, about 95% of all oats grown are used as animal feed.
Through modern science won't learned that oats are a remarkably healthy food. With a relatively high soluble and insoluble fiber content of 10%, oats are an excellent food in lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease. Containing over 4 times the fatty acids of wheat, oats can be considered a high calorie food containing 19% more calories than wheat. One third of those fats are the polyunsaturated type which are required for good health. Oats are also rich in the B vitamins, contain the anti-oxidant vitamin E and oats are mineral rich as well. The following table shows the nutrients in oats that are higher than the nutrients found in wheat...
Oats are considered a Ďcleansing grain.í They not only cleanse your intestinal tract but your blood as well. Oats contain an excellent balance of amino acids. Itís proteins are almost in perfect proportion to the bodyís needs. High in lysine which is often low in other cereal grains, oats bring a real balance to your protein needs without the need of mixing foods. Oats contain high levels of complex carbohydrates which have been linked to reducing the risk of cancer and the better control of diabetes.
In the grocery stores of North America, oats are most often found as either regular or quick rolled oats. However, if you have a flaker, you can produce your own rolled oats from our oat groats producing a fresher, tastier, and more nutritious cereal. You can also run oat groats through your grain grinder to get oat flour for baking or for use in other dishes. Using 25% oat flour, the natural vitamin E in oats will help keep your breads from going stale so quickly. Oat flour can also be used as a preservative for ice cream and other dairy products (itís that vitamin E again). Itís also used as a talc replacer in skin care products.
Oat bran contains Ŗ glucans, a cholesterol lowering chemical through a mechanism still unclear to the scientific community. This soluble fiber in oat bran may also aid in regulating blood sugar levels by forming gels that slow the absorption of glucose sugar in the intestinal tract. It only takes 2 minutes to cook oat bran in boiling water. Itís almost a convenience food when thinking of things to have for breakfast.
It takes about 10-15 minutes to cook regular rolled oats. Quick rolled oats, being thinner, cook much quicker in 2-3 minutes. And instant rolled oats, which have already been cooked then dehydrated, just need hot water added. As instant rolled oats are the least nutritious, you should think seriously about using them in your every day cooking habits instead of using the slower cooking quick oats. Instant oats certainly have their place, however, such as on camping trips and in your 72 hour kits.
Using rolled oats as a meat extender in meat loafs is a well known practice. And then there's oatmeal cookies. But aside from eating oatmeal for breakfast, oats aren't used too much in mainstream North America today. This is too bad as oats are so extremely healthy! The Scots and Irish base much of their cooking on oats, showing us Americans by good example that oats are a more versatile food than we seem to think. Oat flour makes rich thickeners for soups, gravies and stews. Oat flour will also add nutrition to your breads, muffins, crackers, beverages and desserts. And everybody knows oats are the main ingredient in granola.
Because of the antioxidants in oats, they are a good storing grain. However, for best storage conditions, pack them in airtight containers, use oxygen absorbers and store them in a cool place.
already a very familiar food to almost everyone. A special strain
of corn, popcorn has been in existence for thousands of years. In
fact, the oldest popcorn found to date was discovered in a bat
cave in New Mexico and was 5,600 years old. Popcorn has also been
excavated out of tombs in South America and it was so well
preserved it still popped. Thousands of years old popped corn,
still white and fresh looking has also been found in ancient
burial sites. Popcorn kernels from those early times had a tougher
hull and were not as round looking as today's popcorn. When the
first Europeans made their mark on the Americas, popcorn was grown
by most of the Indians living on the continent. Ancient natives
wore popcorn in their hair and around their necks and used it in
many different rituals honoring their Gods and their dead. When
the Europeans arrived, it became a favorite food for them as well.
It was found at that first Thanksgiving Day feast in Massachusetts
and later in it's popped form was the first ever puffed breakfast
cereal. Later, during the latter part of the 19th century, popcorn
was very popular in the cities. Vendors pushed their little carts
containing gas powered poppers up and down the streets and at
fairs and horse races. During the Great Depression, popcorn made
another upswing as this 'extra' was one of the few treats people
could afford. During W.W.II when sugar was rationed, popcorn made
another surge in popularity. The 1950's were not good years for
popcorn. But when the 60's came along and North America fell in
love with their televisions, popcorn made it's return to
popularity which has only increased until the average American now
eats a whopping 68 quarts of popcorn per year.
QuinoaLike some of the other exotic grains, Quinoa isn't a grain at all but is technically a fruit. Quinoa might be a new and exotic item here in North America, however, this isn't so in South America where it has grown for more than 5,000 years in and around the Andes Mountains. The Incas called Quinoa 'the Mother Grain' as eating this food tended to give long life. Quinoa can be grown just about anywhere - presently being grown in the US and Canada. But North American growers, so far, are unable to match the quality of Quinoa that comes from the high mountains of South America. Farmers trying to grow this variety of Quinoa, called Altiplano, haven't been able to get it to produce in the lower elevations of North America. Instead, North American farmers grow a darker brown, more bitter tasting variety of Quinoa called 'Sea Level Quinoa.' The really good, light colored, sweetly delicate Quinoa comes from the highest mountains in the Andes. This 'Golden Grain of the Andes' is such a rugged little plant that it can even grow at high, extremely dry elevations where even grass won't grow. Yet, the most sought-after strains of Quinoa are so fragile that they won't produce at lower elevations on good soil. Interestingly enough, much of the worldís Quinoa is grown in Bolivia at elevations around 12,000 feet.
The Quinoa seed is a small oval disk about 1.5-2 mm in diameter. As it grows, the seed is coated with a dark, almost black layer of 'saponine' that has a bitter, soapy taste. Saponine is the plantís natural defense against insects, birds and other small animals that might want to eat it on the stock. Before Quinoa can be eaten, the saponine must me washed off. (As saponine acts as a crude soap, the locals who grow Quinoa, save the saponine-water and wash their clothes in it!) Virtually all Quinoa sold in North America as food already has the saponine removed. This leaves a very nutritious food that has been called by many, Ďnatureís perfect food.í Quinoa is one of the few foods with a relatively balanced protein. Quinoaís high level of the amino acid, lysine, complements wheat nicely. By mixing Quinoa into your wheat at a ratio of 25% Quinoa to 75% wheat, the Quinoa will make your wheat breads a complete protein. Quinoa contains a long list of nutrients. The following table lists the nutrients found in Quinoa that are higher than what is found in wheat:
Quinoa has a high oil content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Because of this, itís important to store Quinoa in a cool place, and if you are going to store it for the long term, place it in airtight containers and remove the oxygen with oxygen absorbers. Removing the oxygen doesn't stop the aging process of foods, but it goes a long way to extend it several times.
The Quinoa that Walton Feed offers comes from the Altiplano strain grown between 12,000 and 14,000 feet in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia. Itís saponine has been carefully washed off so you can still sprout the seed if you like.
Some Quinoa processors use steam
during the de-saponine process which kills the seed. Our Quinoa
comes directly from the subsistence farmers of the high mountains
of Bolivia. Getting our Quinoa directly supports these farmers who
work hard, toiling by hand without the aid of machines to plant
and harvest this crop, wishing only to provide you with an
outstanding product that can only be grown in this unique area of
This amazing ancient food is now in the process of being rediscovered by modern peoples. In South America, a renewed respect for indigenous crops and traditional foods has reversed a 400-year decline in quinoa production that began with the Spanish conquest. And within the past three years quinoa has begun to be grown for the first time outside South America...
Additional Information: Quinoa is a small seed that in size, shape, and color looks like a cross between sesame seed and millet. It is disk shaped with a flattened or depressed equatorial band around itís periphery. It is usually a pale yellow color but some species may vary from almost white through pink, orange, or red to purple and black. Quinoa is not a true cereal grain but is technically a fruit of the Chenopodium family. Chenopodium plants have characteristic leaves shaped like a goose foot. The genus also includes our common weed, lambís quarters. Quinoa is an annual herb that grows from three to six feet high, and like millet its seeds are in large clusters at the end of the stalk.
The seeds are covered with saponin, a resin-like substance that is extremely bitter and forms a soapy solution in water. To be edible, the saponin must be removed. Traditionally, saponin has been removed by laboriously hand scrubbing the quinoa in alkaline water.
The edible seed of the quinoa plant has been called both a pseudo-cereal and a pseudo-oilseed because of itís unique nutritional profile. It is high in protein compared to other grains, although it is also high in oil and fat.
Some wheats come close to matching quinoaís protein content, but cereals such as barley, corn, and rice generally have less than half the protein of quinoa. Also, quinoa has a good balance of the amino acids that make up the protein. Quinoa, like soybeans, is exceptionally high in lysine, an amino acid not overly abundant in the vegetable kingdom. Quinoa is also a good complement for legumes, which are often low in Methionine and Cystine. In addition, quinoa is a relatively good source of phosphorous, calcium, iron, vitamin E, and several of the B vitamins. In addition to all this, quinoa tastes good.
Rice Brown Rice Par-Boiled RiceRice, a traditional staple food of the Orient, has gradually become a food that is used around the world. A primary food in many parts of Asia, rice makes up anywhere between 55% and 80% of the caloric intake in countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam where the average person eats up to 300 lbs of rice a year. Up to 95% of the worldís rice is consumed in Asia, grown within 5 miles of where it is consumed. As another example of how much a local crop rice is, of the worldís 520 million metric ton crop grown world wide, only about 10% of it grown in the United States, yet the US is the largest exporter of rice in the world.
Yes, rice has been an important food in the Orient for thousands of years. But because of itís ease of cooking, good taste and itís high diversity in making literally thousands of different dishes, rice is becoming an ever more important part of the diet here in North America. Rice can be used as part of every meal of the day and in every dish served. Rice milk and rice crispies for breakfast, a rice snack at lunch and boiled rice in place of potatoes and rice pudding at dinner. Rice goes well with any vegetable and with most of the fruits. There are literally thousands of uses for rice in casseroles, salads and desserts.
It is believed that rice was first cultivated in central India but was quickly put into large cultivation by the Chinese. This happened as long as 5,500 years ago with rice quickly spreading throughout Asia. It took rice over 4,500 years to reach Europe in the 12th Century, AD. Then rice was brought to the Americas in the 1690s.
Most of us here in America only know of two kinds of rice - long grain brown rice and long grain white rice which is refined long grain brown rice. However, there are over 7,000 varieties of rice around the world. There are different varieties of medium length rice, and short grain rices as well whose kernels can be so stubby that the seed is almost round in shape. As 99% of the rice eaten in North America is long grain brown or white rice, we will restrict most of our comments to these two rices. However, you will see a small section on Basmati rice at the bottom.
Brown rice is turned into white rice by polishing the outer layers off. With the outer layers removed, the rice cooks a little quicker, is easier to chew and because itís flavor is a bit more bland, can be more easily made into more foods than brown rice. In itís unrefined form, brown rice has a very short shelf life of 6 to 12 months. This is because the fatty acids, unprotected from the air in the outer layers of the kernel go rancid relatively quickly. In itís refined form, white rice will store for many years if carefully preserved. But thereís a big problem with white rice. The majority of the nutrients in the rice kernel are in the layers that are removed. Whatís left is mostly starch. As refined rice is 81%-83% carbohydrates, itís considered a high energy food. But on the flip side of this, many of the nutrients needed for correct digestion of white rice were removed during the milling process which forces the body to 'steal' from itís reserves to digest it. Compared to brown rice, white riceís nutrients have been greatly reduced in fatty acids, fiber (which is already low in brown rice compared to some of the other grains), vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folacin, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper. The amino acids remain relatively unchanged. (See the rice comparison table at the bottom of this paper.) As white rice is so poor nutritionally, it is usually fortified with several of these same nutrients that were removed. These fortified vitamins are usually in the form of a powder on the outside of the rice. If you wash your white rice before cooking it, you will wash off the majority of these added nutrients. When you eat brown rice, you eat all the natural nutrition that comes with this grain. After becoming accustomed to brown rice, many people like it just as much or better with itís more robust flavor and more hardy texture. We, at Walton Feed have come to understand brown rice will stay fresh for years if it is packed in the absence of oxygen then stored in a cool place. With the oxygen removed, thereís little oxygen to oxidize the fatty acids. This greatly retards the aging process.
There are a couple of different ways white rice can be processed. The parboiling process takes brown rice, soaks it then steams it which drives many of the nutrients from the outer layers into the main endosperm part of the seed. Itís then dried. After drying, the outer layers and germ are removed, turning it into parboiled, white rice. Parboiling the rice first increases itís nutrient value but parboiled rice still falls far short of the nutrition found in brown rice. But enough of the B vitamins have been driven into the kernel to prevent beriberi, a deficiency disease caused by a lack of thiamin. Eating only white rice, beriberi is almost a certainty.
Instant rice has been fully cooked and is then dehydrated. It requires little more than hot water to reconstitute it. Being pre-cooked, instant rice could go well in your 72 hour kit or the small survival unit you keep in your car or boat. However, as it has been further processed, itís generally more expensive and although it has been fortified, is the least nutritious of the different kinds of white rice you can buy.
Taking about 90 minutes to cook (20 minutes if itís been pre-soaked), rice is customarily cooked once a day in the orient and eaten in various ways during the day. White rice is the least nutritious of all the grains. Should you decide to make rice one of the staples of your food supply, care should be taken to insure adequate vitamins and minerals are received from other sources. Although rice has itís problems nutritionally as a stand-alone food, itís a great energy source. And although itís low in protein, as compared to some of the other grains, the protein rice does contain is more available than the amino acids in wheat. The good news is you wouldn't get a protein deficiency even if the only thing you ate was rice. And among the grains, riceís amino acid balance is only bettered by oats. Lastly, although not as cheap per calorie as wheat, rice is a great buy when considering energy VS cost and is much more versatile in itís whole grain form than wheat. Permit rice to add a lot of diversity to your food supply and day-to-day diet.
Basmati rice, traditionally a special strain of rice from India and Pakistan, it's starting to be grown in North America as well. Indistinguishable from brown rice to the untrained eye, all one needs is a quick whiff of the Basmati rice to know they are not the same. Basmati rice has a strong, pungent odor that also has a much stronger flavor than regular long grain brown rice. When cooking Basmati rice, itís always a good idea to wash it first in water which washes away a bit of itís starch, making it less sticky when cooked. Sought after for Asian cuisine, many people have grown to love the flavor and texture of this rice grown half way around the world.
A kernel of rye
has many of the characteristics of a wheat seed but is a little
less plump, is a little longer and has a darker, grayer color.
Chewing seeds from each, they also taste quite similar, although
rye has a little stronger flavor. When cooked, rye takes on it's
distinctive flavor that makes this bread such a treat. A very
popular grain in East Europe and Germany, breads made from rye
have a distinctive flavor that is prized by many. A relatively new
grain, it's estimated that rye has only been in cultivation for
2,000 to 3,000 years, probably originating in Asia Minor. In the
past, rye was a very popular grain as it grew so well, even on
poor soils, under dry, cold conditions and at high altitudes - on
lands where other grains didn't produce well. For many in the dark
ages, rye was a grain that could most often be counted on to give
them enough of a return that they wouldn't starve. Rye made it's
debut into the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries and has
been a minor cereal grain here ever since. During the 19th century
and into the 20th century with the advent of more hardy, quicker
maturing and more abundant producing strains of wheat, rye has
markedly decreased in popularity and production. But rye continues
to hold it's 'nitch' with the distinctive flavor it gives breads
in Europe as well as here in North America.
from a wheat-like plant whose seed somewhat resembles wheat but is
a bit longer and more pointed. Just like hard red winter wheat,
Spelt must be planted in the fall of the year, maturing the
following summer. It is an ancient grain that has been grown all
over Europe for the last 9,000 years and is also referred to in
the Old Testament of the Bible. In fact, it is believed that only
the grains Emmer and Elkorn have preceded Spelt in being
domesticated. Here in the United States, Spelt was brought by
Swiss Immigrants to the Eastern Ohio and from that time spelt was
a very common grain grown for hundreds of years throughout the
United States. During the 20th Century, it was almost completely
abandoned for the more modern varieties of wheat which had a
higher yield, shorter growing season and better resistance to
disease. In Europe, especially during the Middle Ages, Spelt was
grown for human consumption and also animal feed. Here in the
United States, until recent times, Spelt was grown mostly as feed.
However, since the mid 1980's, Spent has made a real inroad into
the health food market as a wheat substitute.
is a new grain that was created by crossing rye and durum wheat.
It's kernels are longer than wheat seeds and are plumper than rye.
It's color can range from the tan of wheat to the gray-brown color
of rye. Triticale is a new, man-made grain first grown in 1875.
But it's development didn't really begin until the 1930's. It took
scientists over 30 years to get it perfected to the point they
felt they could release the grain for commercial production. This
happened in 1969. Triticale is still in the middle of it's period
of accelerated evolution which will continue into the future.
Hard Red Wheat Hard White Wheat Durum
Wheat has been called the 'staff of life' for hundreds of years because of itís excellent nutrition, storability and versatility. Aside from just a couple of limiting nutrients which can easily be made up with small quantities of other foods, wheat has long been considered the focal point of home food storage. Nutritional bang for the buck, wheat is the cheapest food available in North America. Just $90 of wheat at 2001 prices will provide the energy needs, all the protein requirements and many of the vitamins and minerals an adult needs for a whole year to stay healthy. No other food can even come close to this claim for such a low price. Wheat is the most versatile whole food grown in North America and is found in a high percentage of todayís prepared dishes.
Wheat has been a valuable crop for many thousands of years. It is believed that wheat was first domesticated from wild grasses as long ago as 9,000 B.C. in what is present day Iraq where it's still growing wild. From Iraq, wheat spread over the ancient world. By 2,000 B.C. wheat had spread through much of Asia, Europe and North Africa. Slowly during this same period, the different varieties of wheat we know so well today started to emerge - the hard and soft wheats and durum.
Around 2,500 B.C. the Egyptians learned how to exploit the gluten in wheat flour making the first raised breads from yeast. This discovery alone pushed wheat to the forefront ahead of the other prized grains of the day, oats, millet, rice and barley. The Egyptians grew huge amounts of wheat. They eventually started exporting wheat to other parts of the new world. This turned into such a huge trade that massive sailing barges were built, large enough to carry 1,300 tons of grain in their holds. Their main trade route plied between Alexandria and Rome. After the fall of Rome, these massive sailing ships disappeared and nothing of their size was again seen until the early 19th century. Pasta, first believed to be invented in China, quickly became a mainstay in Rome and the rest of Italy where it remains an important staple item to this day. Wheat came to the Americas with Christopher Columbus and again by the Pilgrims in 1620. Through the centuries, wheat remained a labor intensive crop to grow and harvest but all of this changed in 1831 when Cyrus McCormickís binding machine went into production which was followed by the early threshing machine. Today, these two pieces of equipment are combined into one machine in the form of the modern combine which can do the work that took hundreds of men to accomplish with a scythe, flail and the wind.
The different varieties of wheat grown today probably show little resemblance to wheat grown thousands of years ago. Plant breeders have had hundreds of years to carefully modify this grain to produce quicker in areas of short summers, be more drought resistant and have higher yields. Each variety has been enhanced with the positive characteristics for itís intended use. Wheatís productivity has been tweaked to the point that a yearís harvest on one small acre of wheat can make all the bread a family of 4 eats in a ten year period! Wheat is the grain of versatility. More foods have their origins in wheat than any other single food source contributing to 10-20% of the daily energy needs of people in over 60 countries.
Wheatís secret to itís vast popularity lies in itís high gluten content - higher than any other grain. Gluten comes from the two amino acids, Gliadin and Glutenin, which make up about 80-85% of the protein in the hard wheat varieties. Gliadin and glutenin are also found in rye, oats and barley but at much lower levels. Gluten, when mixed with water, forms stringy, elastic strands which permits the dough to trap expanding gasses produced by yeast. This permits light, fluffy breads. Because the amino acids forming gluten make up so much of the protein in wheat, you can generally determine the gluten strength of hard wheat varieties by the total protein content. Although itís not true in all cases, generally speaking, when the protein content rises, the gluten content follows it. If you are going to mix other, non-gluten or low gluten flours with your wheat flour to make yeast breads, be sure to mix them with high gluten wheat flour. Gluten makes dough Ďtoughí which is good for bread flours but not good for pastry and cake flours.
Refined gluten such as our Vital Wheat Gluten has a gluten content of around 45%. Next in gluten content comes flours made from the high protein hard wheats which contain gluten levels of 12.5-13.5%. All purpose flour contains about 10-12% gluten and is actually a mix of high and low gluten wheat flours. Pastry flour contains about 9-10% gluten and lastly, cake flour contains about 7-9%. Both these last flours are made from soft wheats. Flour high in gluten content doesn't make very good cakes as the cake would lose itís soft, easily cuttable characteristics. Good angel food cake requires the lowest gluten flours.
Wheat is grown over much of North America but different types of wheat produce better in different parts of the country. The soft wheats which produce low gluten flours are grown east of the Mississippi River and in the Pacific Northwest where the humidity is usually high and temperatures remain elevated during the night. The hard wheats require low humidity, hot days and cool nights to develop their high protein levels. The Intermountain West has the best conditions for this although Kansas is also a major producer of the hard wheats. Perhaps the best areas, however, are the mountain valleys that don't freeze too early in the fall of the year or the plains of Montana and Alberta where hot days, cool nights and low humidity are the norm. These are the areas where we get our hard wheats for bread making.
There are two major groups of wheats - the hard and soft varieties with a third major division for durum wheat.
The hard wheats generally contain smaller kernels and are harder than soft wheat kernels. They contain high protein and gluten levels primarily designed for making bread flours. Depending on variety and growing conditions, hard wheats can have vastly different protein levels. For bread making, your wheat should have a minimum of 12% protein. The hard varieties of wheat can have protein levels up to 15 or 16%. Generally speaking for bread making, the higher the protein content the better. The two main types of hard wheat are the hard red and the hard white varieties. Hard white wheat is a relative new-comer that tends to produce a lighter colored, more spongy loaf of bread and because of this, it is gaining quick popularity among home bread makers. However, we have talked with bread makers who prefer the hard red wheat for itís more robust flavor and more traditional textured loaf of bread it makes.
The soft wheats are just that - not quite so hard. If you want to roll your own wheat, you should buy soft wheat. The hard wheats tend to crack and break in the flaking machine. Containing less protein and gluten, soft wheat flour is ideally suited for making biscuits, pastries and quick breads. Typical protein levels for the soft wheats are 9-11%. Flour made from the soft wheats can also be used for cake flours. If you want a really low gluten cake flour, mix your soft wheat flour with other low gluten flours such as oat flour, barley flour of buckwheat flour.
Durum wheat is a botanically separate species from the hard and soft wheat varieties. Itís kernels are a little larger and are shaped a bit differently than the other wheats. Durum wheat has very hard, high protein kernels but itís the wrong kind of protein to form a strong gluten. Durum has been used for centuries to make pasta; whether itís macaroni, egg noodles or spaghetti noodles.
These different wheats can be further broken down into the winter and spring wheats. Winter wheats are planted in the fall of the year and must begin growing before winter comes. The top 'winter kills,' but just as soon as spring arrives, they jump back into life. Winter wheats can be harvested earlier in the year than spring wheats. Some people claim that hard red winter wheat has a better protein content than the hard spring wheats. However, this is not necessarily so. It all depends on the growing conditions and farming methods.
The spring wheats are planted in the spring of the year then are harvested in the fall and can have excellent protein profiles. For example, all hard white wheat the bakers love so much is a spring wheat. There is also hard red spring wheat.
We know of no food that stores as long as wheat. Stored in a cool, dry place, wheat has been known to store for 30 years. Prepared for long-term storage, wheat will last even longer than this if carefully stored. Modern food storage methodology suggests, however, that you rotate your wheat like you should rotate all your other foods to keep it as fresh as possible.
There are a couple of fractional wheat products available aside
from white flour we'd like to mention; wheat bran, wheat flakes,
wheat germ and germade (Cream of Wheat).
flakes are made by rolling wheat in a flaker and cracked wheat
is made by cracking open the wheat kernels. Both of these items
can be cooked as a breakfast cereal. The wheat flakes also go well
in breads, casseroles and granola.
Nutrition content of Macaroni, Triticale, Wheat Types: Hard Red Winter, Hard White, & Durum
Nutritional Values for 100 Grams of food. Scroll right to see RDA for a 174 lb man or a 138 lb woman. Wheat Wheat Hard Red Hard Wheat Male Female Macaroni Triticale Winter White Duram RDA RDA Nutrient Unit -------- --------- -------- ------- ------- ---- ----- Food energy KCal: 371.000 336.000 327.000 342.000 339.000 2900 2200 Protein Gms: 12.780 13.050 12.610 11.310 13.680 63 50 Total lipid (fat) Gms: 1.580 2.090 1.540 1.710 2.470 100 78 Carbohydrate Gms: 74.690 72.130 71.180 75.900 71.130 470 366 Total saturated fat Gms: 0.225 0.366 0.269 0.277 0.454 33 25 Monounsaturated fat Gms: 0.186 0.211 0.200 0.203 0.344 Polyunsaturated fat Gms: 0.647 0.913 0.627 0.750 0.978 Cholesterol Mg : 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 300 300 Sodium Mg : 7.000 5.000 2.000 2.000 2.000 388 388 Total dietary fiber Gms: 2.400 12.600 25 25 Vitamin A Re : 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 1000 800 Vitamin A IU : 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 Alpha Tocopherol Mg : 0.900 10 8.2 Ascorbic acid Mg : 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 60 60 Thiamin Mg : 1.029 0.416 0.383 0.387 0.419 1.2 1.1 Riboflavin Mg : 0.444 0.134 0.115 0.108 0.121 1.7 1.3 Niacin Mg : 7.508 1.430 5.464 4.381 6.738 20 15 Vitamin B6 Mg : 0.106 0.138 0.300 0.368 0.419 2 1.6 Folacin Mcg: 18.000 73.000 38.000 37.600 43.300 200 180 Vitamin B12 Mcg: 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 6 6 Nutrient Macaroni Triticale Wheat Red Wheat Wht Duram Male Female Potassium Mg : 162.000 332.000 363.000 432.000 431.000 2000 2000 Calcium Mg : 18.000 37.000 29.000 32.000 34.000 1000 1000 Phosphorus Mg : 150.000 358.000 288.000 355.000 508.000 800 800 Magnesium Mg : 48.000 130.000 126.000 93.000 144.000 400 330 Iron Mg : 3.860 2.570 3.190 4.560 3.520 10 18 Zinc Mg : 1.210 3.450 2.650 3.330 4.160 15 12 Pantothenic acid Mg : 0.431 1.323 0.954 0.954 0.935 10 10 Copper Mg : 0.254 0.457 0.434 0.363 0.553 2 2 Manganese Mg : 0.694 3.210 3.985 3.821 3.012 3.5 3.5 Ash Gms: 0.700 2.230 1.570 1.520 1.780 Water Gms: 10.250 10.510 13.100 19.570 10.940 Food energy KJ :1553.000 1408.000 1370.000 431.000 1418.000 Caprylic Acid (8:0) Gms: 0.018 0.015 Lauric acid (12:0) Gms: 0.014 Myristic acid (14:0) Gms: 0.003 0.009 0.001 0.003 Palmitic acid (16:0) Gms: 0.197 0.274 0.234 0.261 0.422 Palmitoleic acid(16:1) Gms: 0.018 0.008 0.009 Stearic acid (18:0) Gms: 0.025 0.031 0.013 0.016 0.022 Oleic acid (18:1) Gms: 0.186 0.178 0.192 0.203 0.335 Linoleic acid (18:2/n6) Gms:0.591 0.853 0.600 0.715 0.930 3.0 2.5 Linolenic acid(18:3/n3) Gms:0.056 0.061 0.027 0.035 0.048 2.0 1.6 Gadoleic acid (20:1) Gms: 0.015 Nutrient Macaroni Triticale Wheat Red Wheat Wht Duram Male Female Histidine Gms: 0.259 0.311 0.285 0.322 0.95 0.76 Isoleucine Gms: 0.494 0.479 0.458 0.533 1.10 0.63 Leucine Gms: 0.874 0.911 0.854 0.934 1.00 0.88 Lysine Gms: 0.245 0.365 0.335 0.303 0.84 0.76 Methionine Gms: 0.199 0.204 0.201 0.221 Cystine Gms: 0.361 0.275 0.322 0.286 Methionine+CystineGms: 0.560 0.479 0.523 0.507 1.00 0.82 Phenylalanine Gms: 0.621 0.638 0.592 0.681 Tyrosine Gms: 0.336 0.383 0.387 0.357 Phenylalanine+Tyrosine Gms: 0.957 1.021 0.979 1.038 1.11 .88 Threonine Gms: 0.338 0.405 0.365 0.366 0.55 0.88 Tryptophan Gms: 0.164 0.157 0.160 0.176 0.50 0.40 Valine Gms: 0.545 0.609 0.556 0.594 0.85 0.63 Arginine Gms: 0.471 0.671 0.595 0.483 Alanine Gms: 0.375 0.486 0.450 0.427 Aspartic acid Gms: 0.522 0.785 0.640 0.617 Glutamic acid Gms: 4.609 4.006 3.998 4.743 Glycine Gms: 0.404 0.559 0.528 0.495 Proline Gms: 1.406 1.184 1.289 1.459 Serine Gms: 0.602 0.593 0.586 0.667
Here are tasty Baking Products to help you make the most delicious wholesome whole grain breads, cakes, rolls, pancakes, cornbreads etc.
Grain Information is used with permission from our Supplier, Walton Feed.
Copyright © 2000 AAOOB Products. All rights reserved.
Revised: January 07, 2012 .