Grains of tomorrow

Amaranth and kamut

The popularity of whole grains continues to grow, and once exotic quinoa and farro have become quite mainstream. Food & Wine magazine highlights three grains that are poised to ride the next wave of popularity.  “I’ve always felt like I’ve been a little bit ahead of my time with my interest in health food,” says chef Aimee Oxley of Philadelphia’s Talula’s Table. She believes that the future belongs to kamut, spelt and amaranth.

Of course these grains aren’t “new” in an evolutionary sense; in fact, they’re some of the oldest grains on Earth. And while they might not be as mainstream as barley and oats, each of these has been used by chefs for years, as evidenced by the showing in the EYB Library. In particular, spelt is quite popular with over 1,000 recipes.

Amaranth and kamut lag behind, with 108 and 35 recipes, respectively. What is interesting is how varied the recipes are. You’ve got everything ranging from Maple-cider popcorn balls from Tasting Table and Food & Wine Magazine to Kamut salad from Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2013 (photo top right) to Amaranth crackers with cheddar and pepitas from Crackers & Dips: More Than 50 Handmade Snacks by Ivy Manning (photo top left) and Vanilla amaranth with peach compote  from Cooking Light Magazine.

What’s your favorite new (or old) grain?

Post a comment


  • adrienneyoung  on  February 27, 2015

    Farro! Barley! Yum!

  • Queezle_Sister  on  February 28, 2015

    I like millet, even if my sister suspects its just bird seed. I wonder if this whole and alternative grain thing could ever go so far that wheat would feel new again? If so, someone would probably give it a different name.

  • darcie_b  on  February 28, 2015

    I suppose technically emmer (and some types of farro) are whole hard wheat kernels, just old varieties. I wonder if regular "wheat berries" from hard red wheat would be much different? But you're right, the marketers would give them a new name.

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!