Origin: Middle East.
Health Benefit: Kernels are harvested while young, so freekeh has a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals than brown rice – and up to four times the fiber.
Use: As rice or pasta substitute or in soups and burger patties.
Black Forbidden Rice
Health Benefit: Anthocyanins, powerful antioxidant plant pigments that lend the grain a dark color (careful, it stains easily). Gluten-free.
Use: Flour in baking or cooked grains in side dishes and salads.
Health Benefit: Gluten-free and contains gut-friendly prebiotics.
Use: In baked goods, porridge, formed into patties or cooked as hot cereal.
Origin: Mediterranean regions, China and the Middle East.
Health Benefit: Manganese, a trace mineral necessary for bone health.
Use: As a meat substitute or added to pilafs, soups and baked goods.
Try: Coconut Curry Chili
Health Benefit: Selenium, an immune system–supporting trace mineral.
Use: As a flour in baking or add grains to pilaf-style dishes, salads, soups, stews and stir-frys.
Origin: No specific origin.
Health Benefit: Lignans, plant nutrients that may help reduce risk of breast cancer.
Use: In salads, hot cereal and baked goods, or sauté with mushrooms for a hearty side.
Health Benefit: Cyanogenic glucosides, a carbohydrate that may stabilize blood sugar, lower cholesterol and stimulate the immune system.
Use: Semi-pearled grains in soups, pastas, risottos and casseroles.
Origin: South America.
Health Benefit: Gluten-free and contains lysine, an amino acid that promotes growth and tissue repair.
Use: In hot cereal, casseroles, baked goods, pancakes, crackers or as a rice substitute.
See alsoShould You Avoid Gluten?
Health Benefit: Bone-building calcium, gluten-free
Use: In baked goods, soups, stews, hot cereal, porridge and polenta. Traditionally used to make injera, Ethiopia's signature flatbread.
Whole grains contain natural oils, so they can go rancid quickly. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, ideally a pantry or refrigerator, where they will last for 3 to 6 months.