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12 Grains That Will Give Your Salad Mad Street Cred

Kale is so 2013.

1. Bulgur

kalynskitchen.com / Via kalynskitchen

Sure it sounds like that the name of that friend you didn’t want to invite to the party, like ugh Bulgur, you’re drunk again, go home but tastes like toasty walnuts. It’s perfect in soups and salads but unfortunately wheat based, so a no-go for the gluten free. BUT it is chock full of Vitamin B6. So, trade off?

Bulgur Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Parsley, Mint, and Lemon: HERE

2. Farro

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Or rather Fertile Cresent Farro — thanks 7th grade. Since the Mesopotamians probably didn’t have herb vinaigrette to top their tasty farro, do, and throw in some sauteed shallots while you’re at it. Mmm. Serve this at your next friendly gathering and consider your taste buds tickled and company impressed.

Recipe here.

3. Amaranth

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Ama-WHAT?

Originating from South America, it’s nutty, malty taste is perfect in place of rice, and fun for games like what am I eating again? It’s rich in vitamins and minerals and contains more than 16% of your daily calcium. Throw in some avo, a dash of citrus and WOW — EAT ALL THE FOODS.

Recipe here.

4. Wheatberries

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Not a berry, not a nut, Wheatberries are the whole grain of the wheat plant. You know, that stuff from which they make whole grain flour… Knowledge is POWER! Wheatberries are too. They have a tan to reddish brown color and are available as either a hard or soft processed grain. Like chewy rice, but WAY more meaty. Paired with apples, feta and cranberries — do I dare call this an ideal lunch?

Recipe here.

5. Spelt

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Sure spelling errors are no fun, but spelt is actually how you spell it. Har. Take that, grammar nazis! Spelt-ing can be fun….and also used in place or rice and pasta. Need an oatmeal alternative? Or something special to hide in your muffins? Spelt it is. Curried chicken, some ancient grains and a pinch of greens for color.

Curried chicken salad recipe here.

6. Kamut

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Ok, this one had me stumped as well. But it’s real, promise. Hailing from Egypt or Asia, this grain is bigger than your average wheat — 20 to 40% bigger — which means it packs a mean punch of vitamins, fatty acids, and essential nutrients. Soak these puppies before you cook ‘em and toss with some citrus, celery and cheese to round out their hearty texture.

Recipe here.

7. Millet

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For being one of the tiniest grains out there, millet is packing some serious heat. Gangster style. Like a bodyguard for your heart, millet has been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Along with being shown to decrease the incidence of stomach ulcers, millet is also gluten free. Alll riiiight.

It’s spicy, it’s vegan, it’s, it’s HERE. Click for curried millet salad.

8. Barley

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Warm salad hot, warm salad cold, warm salad — FILLED MY MOUTH WITH DELICIOUS THINGS - And you thought barley was only for beer. Barley is a rich, bulky grain originally from Ethiopia and Southwest Asia. It’s high in fiber, B vitamins, iron, copper, and selenium…which in this carefully constructed tiny, amazing grain, is linked to all things awesome, like an increased metabolism. BURNING IT UP IN HERE.

Sauteed veggies with barley, basil and feta: Here

9. Buckwheat

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Not just for pancakes, or cute little rag-tag ragamuffins, Buckwheat is one of the few ancient grains that contains all the essential amino acids. making it, dum dum DUM— a perfect protein source — cue trumpeting angels.

So when you’re done at the gym, making it rain with your perfect reps, put down the muscle milk and reach for something natural, something wholesome, something the average blogger can’t make fun of you for: buckwheat. It’s natures milk. From plants and stuff.

HERE

10. Freekah

sbs.com.au / Via Modern Australian

Gettin’ freekah with it…couldn’t resist. So this is less like salad and more like oatmeal, but still seriously delicious. Freekah is the name used for any wheat, which many ancient grains are, that are harvested when still green. Baby freekahs! It’s healthy, heart friendly and fun to say. Let’s try again. Free-kay. Free-kah? Fuck-yeah.

Bircher-style freekeh with pistachios and dried sour cherries: Here

11. Ryeberries

bluekaleroad.com / Via bluekaleroad

Rye you lookin’ at me, grains? Probably because they’re related….to wheatberries that is. As the wheatberry’s bastard cousin, rye is the tough, chewy, nutty and everything you hoped it would be, or dreaded . Cook it long, slow and feel rewarded when you eat something that actually doesn’t taste like it’s namesake bread. Ok, it’s pretty good.

Just trust. Recipe: here.

12. Quinoa

threemanycooks.com / Via Three Many Cooks

Well obvs everybody loves quinoa. It’s almost more popular than kale. Red, white, rainbow, what have you, it’s kick ass. Found high, high in the Andes mountains, indigenous peoples have been eating quinoa far longer than you’ve been able to find it at your local Whole Foods. It’s got every nutrient known to man and is one of the few grains really, really considered ‘whole’. Pop it in some water, mix away and you’ve got everything from a quick salad topper, to GASP ingredients for a veggie burger.

Breaking away from the salad game: HERE

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