By Lauren Harris-Pincus, MD, RDN
It’s easy to fall into a home cooking rut. Many of us cycle through the same handful of recipes, made with the same ingredients, week after week. Here is something new to add to the rotation that your entire family will love: sorghum.
Sorghum needs to become a household ingredient. It’s filled with nutrients and user-friendly, even if you’ve never tried it before. And while it is versatile enough to use for any meal, most people are surprised to learn there are many ways to enjoy it at breakfast. These include my favorite Strawberry Vanilla Sorghum Parfait and another family favorite, Apple Cinnamon Raisin Sorghum Bake. Sorghum can also be used as a substitute for oatmeal or other cereals. Just add almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla and a little sweetener.
So, what exactly is sorghum?
Sorghum is an ancient whole grain, grown by U.S. farmers. It is very sustainable and drought resistant. It is naturally gluten free and low FODMAP. What I like about sorghum is it is a great source of plant-based protein and prebiotic fiber, as well as antioxidants and polyphenols. It takes on whatever flavor you add to it, and is easily used in place of rice, pasta or anywhere you’d use a grain.
Today’s widespread use of instant pots and pressure cookers makes adding sorghum into your cooking repertoire even easier. It usually takes just 50 minutes to cook on the stove or about 20 minutes in an instant pot. For good time management, you can cook a large batch for the week and freeze what you don’t need. It won’t get soggy or lose its texture. The beauty of cooking sorghum is that you don’t need exact proportions of water-to-grain. Just get it to the point where it’s cooked thoroughly. If there’s extra water, simply drain it.
Why changing up your meal routine is really important
We want to include a variety of foods in our diet because each item provides a different benefit. If you eat the same foods week in, week out, you’re only consuming one set of nutrients. Certainly sorghum deserves a place in that rotation.
Similarly, our bodies need a balance of nutrients to stay healthy. For example, many people are afraid of carbs. The truth is we need them. The trick is choosing the right ones in the appropriate amounts. Aim for about a half cup to one cup serving of whole grains with your meal.
And while sorghum is a good ingredient to include in dinner entrees or side dishes, people may forget about it when preparing breakfast and lunch. The fiber in whole grain sorghum is very satisfying and will help to reduce hunger throughout the day. And sorghum syrup, which resembles molasses, deserves a place on the breakfast table because it contains more calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron than many common sweeteners.
For more ideas about adding sorghum into your cooking repertoire, visit http://www.simplysorghum.com.
Biography: Lauren Harris-Pincus
Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, is a nutrition communications specialist, speaker, spokesperson, corporate consultant and Registered Dietitian in private practice. She is the founder and owner of Nutrition Starring YOU, LLC where she specializes in weight management and prediabetes.
Lauren is the author of the cookbook, “The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club: Easy High Protein Recipes with 300 Calories or Less to Help You Lose Weight and Boost Metabolism”. Formerly an obese child, Lauren dedicates herself to combating the growing adult and childhood obesity epidemic. She loves to play around in the kitchen creating waistline-friendly dishes and developing recipes for corporate clients. She holds both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in nutrition from Penn State and New York University.
Lauren is regularly featured in major publications including The Huffington Post, Fox News, The New York Post, NBC News Better, Shape, SELF, Fitness, Prevention, Women’s Health, Good Housekeeping, U.S. News and World Report, Everyday Health, Reader’s Digest and more. She is also a contributor to Today’s Dietitian Magazine and Food and Nutrition Magazine and is a frequent guest on radio shows and podcasts.
Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube @LaurenHarris-PincusRD or on Facebook at Nutrition Starring YOU. Lauren Harris-Pincus may be compensated to educate and express her professional opinions, through the media, about certain products.