Until recently, I had only experimented with sorghum flour in baked goods but I’d never eaten the whole sorghum grain. I was missing out! It looks a little bit like barley (a no-no for us gluten free folk) or a small black eyed pea and is a delicious substitute for rice, quinoa or other cooked grain when boiled.
In case you need a little more convincing…Why should you eat sorghum?A 1 cup serving of cooked sorghum provides 6 grams of fiber, 10.5 g of protein (of which is made up of numerous amino acids, including large amounts of the essential amino acids valine and leucine). This gluten-free grain is naturally low in fat with only 3.2 g per one cup and contains very little sodium and no cholesterol. Although low in sodium, sorghum contains large amounts of iron, phosphorus and potassium. One serving provides over 50 percent of the recommended intake for iron for men and 24 percent for women. This is more iron than that in an equal serving of either brown rice or quinoa. One serving also supplies 39 percent of the recommended intake for phosphorus and 17 percent for potassium. Sorghum also contains significant amounts of three of the water-soluble B vitamins. One serving contains more than 18 percent of the recommended amount for thiamin, also known as B1. One 1/2 cup of sorghum also contains more than 10 percent of the recommended intake for riboflavin and 40 percent for niacin.How do you cook and eat sorghum?Sorghum can be cooked just like rice or quinoa on the stove top or in a rice cooker; the ratio of liquid to grain is 3:1, meaning that you need 3 cups of liquid for every 1 cup of grain. Sorghum can be cooked into porridge, ground into flour for baking, boiled and used in a pilaf or popped like popcorn: heat a small amount of oil in a pot, add sorghum, cover, and cook until all the grains are popped.Elegant yet rustic and easy but delicious, this vegetarian pilaf is a simple dish that can be served as a main meal or an easy side dish alongside your favorite protein. Button mushrooms and green onions are sauteed with the cooked sorghum and tossed with chopped walnuts and finished with shredded sharp cheese for a comforting combination.Skillet Sorghum Pilaf with MushroomsIngredients1 cup uncooked sorghum grain 3 cups vegetable broth or water2 Tbsp olive oil (or butter)8 oz container of button mushrooms, sliced (about 12-15 mushrooms)3 garlic cloves, minced
7-8 green onions, chopped (could also use 1 sweet onion, diced and caramelize for a different flavor)1/4 cup chopped walnuts (pecans, almonds or pine nuts would be good too)1/2 cup grated parmesan, romano or other sharp cheese + more for serving/garnish (1-2 Tbsp per serving) salt and pepper to tasteDirections
For cooking sorghum – stove method
In a medium pot, bring 3 cups of broth (or water) to a boil (if using water add salt for seasoning). Add sorghum grain, return to a simmer and cook until tender, about 60 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
For cooking sorghum – rice cooker method (this is what I use)
In the bowl of the rice cooker, combine broth (or water) and sorghum. If using water, add salt for seasoning. Set cooker to rice mode and cook according to manufacturers instructions.
1. In a large wok or skillet, heat oil (or butter) over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in green onions and walnuts and cook until mushrooms are golden brown.
2. Add cooked sorghum to the pan until warmed through, about one minute. Stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper. Divide among serving dishes, garnish with additional cheese and enjoy! serves 4 (as main dishes)