What is sorghum and why should you try it?

If you’re a fan of freekeh or love quinoa, here’s a new grain for you to try. Sorghum is the latest ancient grain to gain attention of foodies and healthy food fans, and for good reason.

This naturally gluten-free grain is easy to cook, tastes delicious in a nourish bowl and has some impressive health credentials.

Sanitarium dietitian Eliza Baird answers the most common questions about this latest go-to grain.

What is sorghum?

Sorghum is an ancient wholegrain that is small, round and can come in a variety of colours from white to red and even purple. Native to Africa, today sorghum is grown and used worldwide - it’s Australia’s third largest grain crop.

Is sorghum healthy?

While sorghum has been farmed for centuries, it is the grain’s nutritional benefits that have led to its recent popularity. Sorghum is a source of protein, a good source of fibre and contains important vitamins and minerals such as a range of B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium.

These vitamins and minerals help the body fight tiredness and fatigue, support nerve and muscle function, help maintain regular mental function, and protect against cell-damaging free radicals.

Is sorghum gluten free?

One of the main reasons people are adding sorghum, and foods made with sorghum, to their shopping trollies is that the tasty grain is naturally gluten free and also low FODMAP. It is ideal for using in place of more common gluten-containing grains like wheat.

Sorghum is the grain we use in Weet-Bix™ Gluten Free, putting Australia’s favourite breakfast cereal back on the menu for Aussies following a gluten-free diet or low FODMAP diet.

Cooking with sorghum

Sorghum is a versatile grain to have on hand for home cooking. Sorghum cooks like rice, barley or quinoa – you can cook it in a rice cooker, slow-cooker or on your stovetop.

Sorghum’s delicious nutty flavour and texture is a great addition to breakfasts, salads, or meals.

Here’s 6 ways I like to use sorghum:
  1. Try starting your day with a warm, creamy sorghum porridge. Or a quick brekkie with sorghum-based Weet-Bix™ Gluten Free topped with yoghurt and berries.  
  2. Try popping sorghum for a morish snack. It looks just like popcorn but smaller.
  3. Add sorghum as a good quality carb base for nourish bowls. Simply swap out the rice or quinoa. 
  4. Get baking with sorghum flour. It’s a great option for making gluten free pancakes, muffins, pizza bases, or cakes. 
  5. Using sorghum-based Weet-Bix™ Gluten Free to make bliss balls or breakfast smoothies.  
  6. Serve up sorghum as a deliciously healthy side with curries or stir-fries.  

Where can I buy sorghum? 

Sorghum cereal biscuits, sorghum grains and sorghum flour are becoming more available in local supermarkets across Australia and New Zealand, especially in the breakfast or health food aisles. But if you’re struggling to find it, try buying your sorghum from health food stores. 

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