Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quinoa Sisters Celebrate Flavourful Ancient Grains in New Cookbook 'Grain Power'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quinoa Sisters Celebrate Flavourful Ancient Grains in New Cookbook 'Grain Power'

Article excerpt

'Grain Power' cookbook celebrates ancient grains


TORONTO - It took some convincing by Patricia Green to get sister Carolyn Hemming to try quinoa, but now she's a firm believer in its health and dietary benefits. And after penning two cookbooks devoted to the gluten-free seed, the two have continued with a new book devoted to ancient grains.

"It's such a natural progression of what we've been doing really. Quinoa's really our thing and to actually talk about more ancient grains that are still gluten-free that still have this fabulous nutritional profile, it just sort of came naturally that we talked about the 'friends' of quinoa that are quite good as well," said Hemming.

In their third cookbook, "Grain Power: Over 100 Delicious Gluten-Free Ancient Grain & Superblend Recipes" (Penguin Canada), the quinoa queens demystify such ancient grains as amaranth, buckwheat, chia, millet, oats, sorghum and teff.

But as they discovered when they began working on "Quinoa 365" and the followup "Quinoa Revolution," research available to enlighten the average consumer was lacking. They scoured scientific and medical journals and called on the few experts to gather the correct information.

"It's got to be more than just a cookbook when you're talking about something people don't know a lot about, so to have something that's comprehensive and to have something that the average person can sit down and educate themselves accurately was important to us and the integrity of the book," Green said during a promotional visit to Toronto.

Although called ancient "grains" for culinary reasons, many are not grains but have been grouped with them because of their cooking profile and similar nutrient content. Many of them are, in fact, seeds. For each one, they have compiled an overview with notes on its origins, flavour, texture, forms and how to cook it. A photo of each is included.

"We worked with quinoa enough to be able to be aware of the other ones and to see people knew how to cook quinoa, but they didn't know how to cook some of the other ones that are also nutritious," said Green, who lives in Calgary and has two teen daughters.

With teff, for example, the smallest of the ancient grains and with a history of more than 5,000 years, "you ask the same questions: what can you do with it, how do you prep it and then you start experimenting," explained Hemming, who has a toddler and lives in Aberfoyle, Ont., west of Toronto.

Not all grains are gluten-free, but the ones they've featured in the book can be consumed by people who have a gluten intolerance.

Ancient grains not only provide unique textures and flavours to meals, but they also have health benefits.

With quinoa, "it was something that Patricia was introduced to that she started to eat a lot of and then she really convinced me to do it," said Hemming. …

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