Types of Sorghum Ingredients
Whole grain sorghum – Use sorghum in its whole grain form for great tasting and healthful dishes just like you would use rice. Whole grain sorghum can be used as an addition to vegetable salads or in cooked dishes like tabbouleh. It resembles bulgar or wheat berries and is a hearty, chewy solution to meeting the daily goal of 2 to 3 servings of whole grain.
White sorghum flour – White sorghum flour is made from white food grade sorghum that has the hull removed and milled like traditional flours. This flour can be used in a variety of baking applications in conjunction with other flours.
Whole grain sorghum flour – Whole grain flour is milled with the entire grain without the hull removed. Whole grain flours contain all of the nutrition found in the outer casing of the grain.
Sorghum syrup – Sorghum syrup is a natural sweetener that comes from juice squeezed from the stalks of certain sorghum varieties. It has a rich, dark color and consistency similar to molasses but with a milder taste.
Using Sorghum Flour
Whole grain sorghum flour is a wholesome, hearty grain that possesses a mild flavor that won’t compete with the delicate flavors in other food ingredients. Sorghum improves the texture of recipes and digests more slowly with a lower glycemic index, so it sticks with you a bit longer than other flour or flour substitutes. This makes it a great healthy substitution for more traditional flours. Check out these great recipes for sorghum flour mixes.
Binders and Sorghum
Because sorghum does not contain gluten, a “binder” such as xanthan gum, must be added when gluten is used to create a successful product. Add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum per cup of sorghum flour for cookies and cakes or 1 teaspoon per cup of flour for breads. Other ingredients used as binders in some recipes include egg whites, unflavored gelatin, cornstarch and guar gum.
Getting Started with Sorghum
For baking – if you are ready to try some recipes, start with recipes that use relatively small amounts of wheat flour like brownies or pancakes. Substituting sorghum takes some experimenting and patience, but the results can be very delicious.
For snacking – purchase whole grain sorghum that you can pop as a nutritious, whole grain snack. A little oil in a heavy pan along with whole grain sorghum makes a healthy popped snack.
For entrees – sorghum can also be used as a grain (like rice or barley) and boiled or toasted as a crunchy addition to a tossed salad.
Storing Sorghum Flour
Store sorghum flour in moisture- and vapor-proof, air-tight glass or metal containers or plastic freezer bags. Keep in a cool, dry, dark place if it will be used within a few months; keep in a refrigerator or freezer for longer storage.
All information provided courtesy of the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board.
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