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All About Sorghum: Nutritional Profile and Recipes

Limits in life inspire creativity. The same is true for nutrition – when you eliminate just one component from your diet, you can find a multitude of varieties to replace it. Anyone who is vegetarian, anyone with allergies, or anyone who follows a special diet, such as a Mediterranean diet or a low-sodium diet will tell you that.

In this article, we will learn about sorghum, an ancient wild grain compatible with gluten-free and diabetic diets.


What is sorghum?

The United States is the largest producer of sorghum in the world. It is grown mainly as a feed for livestock, as a fodder plant, for sorghum syrup, and recently as an alternative grain for a gluten-free diet. Sorghum syrup is a delicious natural sweetener made from the cane and leaves of the sorghum plant. Much like honey, it does not require cooling. It is often compared with molasses, which is made from the sugarcane plant, but it is much sweeter and contains much less total sugar.



Sorghum is a long distant relative of corn. It is essentially the wild raw form of corn before it was cultivated into its current form of sweetcorn. When it grows, the stems and leaves look just like those of a corn plant. You can even pop it on the stove as you would corn. The result is much smaller and crunchier, but mighty tasty.

There are three main types of sorghum: black, white, and red. You will most likely find white sorghum in nature stores or online.


What can you make with it?

Apart from giving us fodder, syrup, and livestock feed, sorghum can be incorporated into a great many recipes. It is a highly versatile grain thanks to its mild taste. You can incorporate it as an alternative grain in your soups, pilaf, risotto, salads, or as a side. Sorghum flour is suitable for flat breads and porridge. To use it in baked goods, you’ll have to mix it with other gluten-free options, since it doesn't rise as well as other flours. Alternatively, you can use sorghum flour to cut wheat-based flour recipes, if you’re not sensitive to gluten.

In addition to B1 and B6, sorghum also contains copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc. One cup of cooked sorghum contains 5 g of fiber, which makes up 20% of the daily recommended value for adults.

Related: 5 Warm Breakfast Ideas to Inspire a Gloomy Fall Morning

It has more protein and more iron than quinoa, which is highly praised for its high-protein content, but where sorghum truly shines is its high content of polyphenols. These are natural plant compounds associated with the reduction of various chronic diseases, which determine the antioxidant value of a plant food. Among all grains, sorghum has the highest content of polyphenols, making it comparable to the antioxidant potential of fruits!

Basic recipe

When it comes to food security, sorghum does not fall behind. It is a highly drought-resistant ancient grain that gives an exceptionally high yield. In the US, 91% of sorghum is watered by rain.

Basic recipe for sorghum

Sorghum is usually cooked in a 1:3 or 1:4 water ratio. You can either soak it overnight or skip straight to cooking it.

For every cup of sorghum boil three or 4 cups of water with some salt for taste. Wash and strain the sorghum and add it to the boiling water. Boil again, reduce heat to a gentle simmer, and cook uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes, until the greens are soft and chewy.

You can also check out these recipes:

For dinner and lunch - Sorghum Pilaf

For a festive yet easy dessert - Strawberry Vanilla Sorghum Parfait

For homemade gluten-free bread - Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Source: 1, 2

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