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Types of Cereals or Grains
There are many types of cereals and every time we have more varieties of cereals or grains available, as they are called in some places. A couple of decades ago, when we wanted to ask someone how many times a week he consumed cereals, he was asked about rice and pasta, there we added the bread he took and if he put corn in the salad and that’s it. Today, in addition to rice and pasta we may be talking to someone who takes cereals in the form of couscous wheat semolina, which consumes quinoa, considered a pseudocereal, but we can even find people who take other varieties of cereal, like buckwheat or millet.
In spite of being used to consuming the wheat once processed and transformed into pasta, bread, flour, types of cereals or grains, you can also take the cooked grain, like other similar cereals such as barley or rye, etc.
Wheat: in spite of the growing expansion of the supply of cereals, wheat continues to be the most consumed type of cereal in the peninsula and with which kinds of pasta, pieces of bread and flours are traditionally made.
Oats: we are used to seeing it in flakes to take it for breakfast or to prepare different preparations and its distinctive nutritional value is a remarkable protein content within the group of cereals.
Rye: it is another grain of appearance similar to wheat that can be used to make stir-fry or stews.
Spelled: we know this type of cereal especially for its use in the preparation of bakery products since it offers good results in this sector and is one of the cereals with the highest content of bran.
Barley: its consumption in the grain is not usual either, but if we find it at an acceptable price it is a very good option to make stuffed vegetables, for example.
Kamut: is the oldest type of wheat known, has a sweet point that goes well to make pastries, although we can also use it in salty.
Some recipes: barley burger with red peppers; rye salad with feta, mint, and prawns; Spelled noodles with broccoli.
Corn is a very interesting type of cereal because of its versatility and the possibilities it offers to people suffering from celiac disease, as it does not contain gluten, just like rice or types of cereals or grains. Corn has great variability in grain color, texture, composition, and appearance. It can be classified based on the constitution of the grain, it’s color, its use, its maturity and the place of cultivation.
The most important types of corn are: hard, dentate, burst, sweet, floury, waxy and tunicate.
So, although when thinking about corn, the typical yellow corn cob comes to mind, we must bear in mind that there are different varieties, and probably the most differentiated among them are their colorful colors.
Some recipes: corn salad, tomatoes, and avocado; corn tortillas stuffed with sautéed vegetables; corn cake with minced meat.
It is an energy food and rich in vitamins. All varieties of rice that we can find on the market today can be classified into three types of grain:
Long grain rice or Indica type: this elongated rice that is difficult to stick is used mainly for salads and garnishes, as well as in some oriental elaborations. Some examples of long grain rice are Basmati, Jasmine or Ferrini.
Medium grain rice: it is the most common in Spanish cuisine, and twice as long as it is wide. Some examples are Bomba rice and Carnaroli rice.
Round grain rice or Japónica type: it is the most round and sticky variety, because the grains stick easily, even at room temperature. The Arborio rice or the Vialone Nano is part of this variety.
In addition, we can find other classifications that tell us about glutinous rice, a particularly sticky round grain rice that due to its capacity of caking is used especially to make sushi. Also, aromatic rice, such as Basmati, is usually medium or long grain and has aromatic compounds that confer the aroma. Or the pigmented rice containing colored compounds in the bran.
Some recipes: chicken curry with basmati rice and coconut milk; Arborio or Carnaroli rice risotto with mushrooms; red rice with chives, pumpkin, and walnuts.
Millet: With this name we know a group of similar cereals that are shaped like small yellowish balls. The millet contains no gluten and has carbohydrates slow absorption and fiber.
Teff: This tiny cereal typical of Ethiopia, is a type of gluten-free cereal with the low glycemic index for the amount of fiber it contains. It is used to make bread and pastries.
Sorghum: This cereal is very similar to millet, it has no gluten and the difference is that its color can range from whitish to dark red, brown even purple.
Some recipes: Risotto with sorghum and parmesan, millet and carrot croquettes in the oven, Injera (Ethiopian spongy bread).
Buckwheat: although it is called wheat, is not properly a cereal and is somewhat less nutritious than cereals, the advantage is its resistance to pests and its rapid growth.
Amaranth: This grain is similar to cereals, but botanically we can not consider it as such, so it is a pseudocereal. It is used to make confectionery, such as “cereal” for breakfast, etc.
Bulgur: The bulgur comes from a type of cereal, but it is not the name of a cereal, but the name
Some recipes: Amaranth and spinach pancakes; Quinoa salad with peppers; Tabulate.
What you should know…
There are many varieties and types of cereals, but usually, it is carbohydrate-rich foods, fiber, especially whole-grain varieties, and B vitamins.
With cereal grains, we can make kinds of pasta and flours that give rise to many preparations, although we can also consume simply cooked grains.
Some of the foods that we use as cereals (millet, buckwheat …) are not, in fact, pseudocereals.