Monday, 21 January 2013

January SuperFood of the Month Is...

January Superfood of the month is Sorghum!

Jambo! In case you haven’t noticed (and therefore live under a rock and don’t stalk people on Facebook like the rest of us) I have been living in Kenya for the past few weeks now. After an amazing safari adventure through southern Kenya and Tanzania, we have now settled into life at Egerton University. This beautiful agricultural campus boasts wonderful grounds, a large botanical garden, lots of places to walk, and a small market nearby to buy the juiciest and freshest mangoes and bananas I’ve ever tasted.

Since we are living at a hotel and being served large buffets at every meal, the food has been tasty, healthy and plentiful. While many Kenyans have simply tea for breakfast and ugali (maize mixture with water) for the rest of their meals, we get to dine on fresh to order omelets, trays of tropical fruits, baked beans, sausages and Egerton University Strawberry yogurt for breakfast, with ugali, kale, chicken, mutton and lentil stews for dinner. About a week ago, we noticed a new item on the buffet, it was shaped in e a ball like the ugali, but much darker purplish brown in colour. When I asked the waiter what he was he replied sorghum, something I have baked with as flour before but never seen cooked as a side dish. Not only was this delicious gluten-free grain served for dinner, they also make a yummy porridge out of it for breakfast every morning. In keeping with the local cuisine, I decided to make Sorgrhum the January Superfood of the month!

So what is sorghum exactly?

Sorghum is an ancient millet-type whole grain that originated in Africa over 5000 years ago. This gluten-free grain is high in fiber and protein, low in fat, a good source of  b-vitamins, and several minerals including iron. In Kenya, I have been enjoying this versatile grain in porridge form in the morning, but in North America, it is commonly ground into flour and a major component of GF baking mixes. It can be cooked into pancakes or flatbreads or used to bake in breads or cakes; some gluten-free beers are also made using sorghum. Because sorghum has a neutral flavor, it can be used in a variety of sweet, spicy or savory dishes.

I suggest trying a GF flour mix that uses sorghum, or see if you can find it still in its natural form and make a porridge with fresh or dried fruits and cinnamon for breakfast.

Happy Eating!

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