An ancient grains salad is one of our favorite sides to make! It's hearty, nutritious, full of fiber and tastes amazing. We like to add roasted peppers to ours and pair it with a pickled pepper oil for added bursts of flavor.
While there is no “official” definition of what makes a grain considered an ancient grain, ancient grains are widely accepted as grains that have appeared naturally throughout time that mankind has fed off of for centuries. These grains differ from many of the grains popular in nowadays because they have not been genetically altered or processed to be mass-produced or distributed.
Some ancient grains that are beginning to become popular again are farro, Kamut, sorghum, teff, millet, quinoa, amaranth, and some kinds of rice such as forbidden black rice and heirloom varieties of wild rice. These grains are revered for their nutrient-dense composition and the ease with which the body can process them. They are also naturally healthier than processed grains because they require less pesticides to survive, and have a smaller carbon footprint.
While there are plenty of ancient grains you can pick from when making this salad, we chose to use a combination of Kamut, farro, and quinoa because of the variation in size and texture that each grain presented.
Kamut: An ancient grain that originated in Egypt. Kamut literally translates to “wheat” in Egyptian and is known for its large size and nutty flavor. Kamut is a great grain to cook because it holds its texture nicely and is packed with protein along with numerous other vitamins and minerals. Kamut can often be tolerated by those who have gluten intolerance even though it is considered to be a relative to wheat.
Farro: Farro is similar to Kamut, but a little smaller, and is packed with both fiber and protein. Farro, which is a staple grain throughout Italy, has a slightly nutty flavor when cooked and maintains a firm bite, similar to al dente pasta when cooked properly.
Quinoa: Quinoa, which has once again risen in popularity, is actually an ancient grain that was considered by the ancient Incans to be a sacred food and has been eaten for thousands of years. Quinoa has become very popular again because of its easy-to-grow nature and the fact that it is packed with vitamins and minerals. Quinoa, unlike some of the other ancient grains, is actually an edible seed that comes from the grain. While it does come from grain, quinoa is still gluten-free and has numerous health benefits such as being a good source of protein, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.
Cheers and eat well!
Made with farro, quinoa, kamut, and roasted red peppers, this Mediterranean Ancient Grains Salad is nutritious, fresh, and easy to make!
Roasted Baby Peppers
Pickled Pepper Oil
To Cook the Kamut:
To Cook the Farro:
To Cook the Quinoa:
To Finish the Salad:
Roasted Baby Peppers:
Pickled Pepper Oil:
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