This is the basic recipe for preparing whole grains. Choose from rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, teff or other exotic grains you might come across in your travels. Be sure that you buy organic grain.
Grains are easy to cook. Use half the amount of dry grain as you need cooked; if you need two cups cooked, use one cup dry. Rinse the grain very well. Grains such as millet and quinoa may be roasted before cooking; though not necessary, roasting brings out the unique and aromatic flavor of each grain. To roast, spread the washed and drained grain in a cast iron pan; turn heat to medium high and roast, stirring regularly, until grain browns and smells nutty.
|rinsed, preferably soaked, grain
Put the grain in a bowl or the pan you are going to cook it in. Measure twice the amount of water as dry grain. This is the standard 2:1 ratio. Let the grain and water soak for 6 hours or more to reduce cooking time.
Add the salt. Cover tightly, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook until the grain has absorbed the water. Grains stuck to the bottom of the pan are more concentrated in nutrients, and in some cultures, are given to the elderly and sick.
If you do not have thick-bottom pans, buy an inexpensive heat diffuser. When using a diffuser, bring the mixture to a rolling boil directly over the burner; boil for one minute, turn to the lowest setting, and put heat diffuser under the pan for the duration of cooking time. It will keep the grain from burning.
Grains are considered by many cultures to be a perfect food, the staff of life. Leftover grains may be stored covered at room temp for a day if the room is cool, or refrigerated for up to a week.
Approximate cooking times:
Brown rice: 45 minutes
Quinoa: 15 minutes
Millet: 30 minutes
Buckwheat: 15 minutes
Teff or amaranth: 20 minutes