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Ancient cereals, or ancient or ancient cereals, are ancient types of cereals, such as einkorn and emmer. These last two grains are not widely known and have numerous properties and nutritional values. The ancient cereals also include those well-known, which have long been used in the kitchen. Find out what the species of old grains are.


  1. Ancient grains - ancient grain species
  2. Ancient (ancient) grains - einkorn
  3. Ancient (ancient) grains - emmer
  4. Ancient (ancient) grains - kamut
  5. Ancient (ancient) grains - spelled
  6. Ancient (ancient) grains - teff
  7. Ancient grains - sorghum
  8. Ancient grains - nutritional properties

Ancient (ancient, ancient) grain- what are they? There is no single definition that clearly defines which grains are ancient and which are not.

All grains have their roots at the dawn of time. Ancient varieties are those that have not undergone any modifications or crossing over the last several hundred years.

Ancient cereals include typical cereals, but also pseudocereals (e.g. amaranth, quinoa), which from the taxonomic point of view are not cereals.

What species and varieties are ancient cereals?

  • wheat varieties: spelled, khorasan wheat, or kamut, freekeh (green wheat), bulgur, einkorn (einkorn) and emmer (farro, emmer)
  • millet
  • barley
  • teff (Abyssinian love)
  • oats
  • sorghum
  • Pseudocereals: quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, Spanish sage (chia)

Ancient grains - ancient grain species

Today, wheat is the most important grain in the world, along with rice and maize. Annually, over 600 million tons are produced, most of which is in the European Union countries.

According to archaeologists, wheat appeared in areas of Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Egypt and Ethiopia. The first to be domesticatedeinkorn- around 9,000 BCFlatfishbegan to be cultivated a thousand years later, onthe territories of Germany and Spain reached around 5,000 BC, to England and the Scandinavian countries - 3,000. years BCE, and to China - 2 thousand. BC

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Cultivation, multiple harvesting and sowing has led to the emergence of wheat varieties that are typical for specific areas. Gradually the grains became larger and easier to dehull. It was a process that took thousands of years to select the seeds selected for sowing by the cultivators.

Huge changes in the genetic material of wheat, and therefore in its appearance and properties, took place in the 1950s. Common wheat was created by crossing cultivated and wild grasses several times and by genetic mutations.

As a result of all the changes from wild wheat 1.2 m high and fine grains that cannot separate from the chaff, the result is a grain that grows 40 cm high, has four times larger ears and is easy to thresh. Today, common wheat produces 10 times higher yields than the old varieties.

Ancient (ancient) grains - einkorn

Samopsza is the purest variety of wheat, cultivated the oldest. It has half the grain size of common wheat. It is a good source of protein, fiber, iron, thiamine, and other B vitamins.

Contains significant amounts of lutein and has a greater antioxidant potential than durum wheat and common wheat. Before cooking, 100 g of einkorn contain:

  • 325 kcal
  • 12.4 g of protein
  • 60.6 g carbs
  • 3.3 g fat
  • 10 g of fiber

Samopsza contains carotenoids - lutein (over 9 mg / kg), zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, thanks to which it can protect the eyes against various diseases due to the ability of these compounds to absorb harmful solar radiation. yellow eye. Most of these valuable compounds are found in freshly sprouted grains.

An analysis of 324 wheat varieties from around the world showed that einkorn is one of the least allergenic.

This grain contains large amounts of phenolic acids, which increase the antioxidant potential of the diet and reduce the risk of oxidative diseases, including atherosclerosis, heart disease and cancer.

Einkorn contains less gluten than common wheat, but for people with celiac disease, this grain is forbidden. Research indicates that einkorn gluten is genetically slightly different from that of common wheat. It is easier to digest and causes less frequentailments.

Samopsha is currently grown in small areas - mainly in France, Italy, India and Turkey. It has a nutty flavor, much more intense than common wheat.

Grains are boiled in water in a ratio of 1: 2 for about 30 minutes. Samopszy can be used as an addition to meat and fish or salads. It tastes great stewed with cinnamon and served with Greek yoghurt. Einkorn flour can easily replace ordinary flour for baking.

Ancient (ancient) grains - emmer

Plaskurka, or farro or emmer, was the most popular variety of wheat in Ancient Rome and Egypt. Currently, it can be found in Mediterranean cuisine in Ethiopia, Morocco and the Middle East. In Poland, it is cultivated on a very small scale.

The flatfish is similar in appearance to brown rice, with a sweet, nutty flavor and honey flavor. The grain is perfect for traditional Polish kutia. You can bake bread and all kinds of dough with emmer flour, but they require more eggs. This flour contains less gluten, so the dough is less sticky. The baked goods are also heavier and darker than those made of refined wheat.

100 g of emmer provides:

  • 321 kcal
  • 10.8 g protein
  • 63.3 g carbs
  • 8.8 g of fiber
  • 2.7 g fat

It is a source of magnesium, zinc, B vitamins (mainly B2 and B3) and antioxidant lignans. Consumption of lignans is associated with lowering the level of CRP, the protein that signals inflammation in the body, as well as LDL cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and generally lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Cyanogenic glucosides have been found in the emmer grains, which have a positive effect on the immune system, reduce inflammation, and help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Ancient (ancient) grains - kamut

The origin of the kamut wheat is not exactly known. In the 1950s, it came to the USA thanks to an American aviator who brought a handful of grains from Egypt and began to grow them on the family farm.

This grain is great for organic farming as it can withstand various environmental conditions very well. Its cultivation does not require pesticides and other plant protection products.

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Kamut has a buttery aftertaste, is easily digestible and much richer in nutrients than common wheat - it provides more protein (up to 40%), fat, vitamins and minerals. 100 g of kamutu before cooking contains

  • 337kcal
  • 14.5 g of protein
  • 2 g fat
  • 70 g carbs
  • 11 g of fiber

It contains large amounts of zinc, magnesium, selenium and manganese, B vitamins, and polyphenols with antioxidant properties.

Eating kamut, thanks to the content of manganese and zinc, can help strengthen bones, have a positive effect on the brain, regulate the secretion of hormones, and through fiber - improve digestion and lower cholesterol.

You can buy khorasan wheat in online stores as grains or flour. How to use a kamut? The grains must be soaked overnight in water. Boil 1 cup of beans in 3 cups of water, then reduce heat and cook for 30-40 minutes.

Kamut can be eaten as an addition to the main course, as an ingredient in porridge, soups, salads. The flour can be used to make pasta, pita, as well as cakes, cookies and muffins.

Ancient (ancient) grains - spelled

Orkisz is the most famous and ancient wheat variety in Poland. You can easily buy bread, biscuits or spelled flour in stores. Spelled, just like durum wheat, is suitable for the production of pasta.

This grain spread in the Bronze Age 4-1 thousand years BC Genetically, it is most similar to common wheat among the old varieties.

100 g of spelled seeds contain:

  • 338 kcal
  • 14.5 g of protein
  • 2.4 g fat
  • 70 g carbs
  • 10.7 g of fiber

Spelled provides a lot of copper, zinc, iron and magnesium. Spelled flour products have a positive effect on digestion, lowering the level of cholesterol and glucose in the blood and lowering blood pressure. 1 cup of cooked spelled covers 100% of the demand for manganese, which is important in bone mineralization.

Ancient (ancient) grains - teff

Teff is a gluten-free grain from Ethiopia. Provides 100 g of:

  • 368 kcal
  • 13.3 g protein
  • 2.4 g fat
  • 73 g carbohydrate
  • 8 g of fiber

Teff is a great source of manganese, iron, and calcium. A cup of cooked grains covers the demand for manganese in 360%, iron in 29% and calcium in 12%.

Like other grains, it provides a lot of zinc and copper. Consuming teff seeds may promote endocrine regulation, alleviate PMS symptoms, strengthen the immune system, and improve bone mineralization.

Teff cooks very quickly. One glass of beans should be boiled in 3 glasses of water and simmered over low heat for 15-20 minutes after boiling or until completelywater evaporation. The flour can be used to make flatbreads and pancakes.

Ancient grains - sorghum

Sorghum is a gluten-free grain that is the staple food in African countries. They probably began to be cultivated around 8,000 BC. Sorghum comes in several varieties with different grain colors. They are eaten as an ingredient in dishes in the form of various coarse and fine groats, and they make flour, which is used to bake cake bread and tortillas.

On the basis of sorghum, many alcoholic beverages are made, including sour and cloudy beers. The taste of sorghum flour resembles wheat flour, so it can be successfully used for all kinds of baking. However, it requires mixing with potato starch, which will increase the stickiness of the dough, and with tapioca flour, which will turn brown the surface of the baked goods.

100 g of sorghum contains:

  • 329 kcal
  • 10.6 g protein
  • 3.5 g fat
  • 72 g carbs
  • 6.7 g of fiber

Grains are a great source of iron, zinc, copper and manganese, and B vitamins. They also contain numerous bioactive phytochemicals that help protect the body against oxidative diseases, aging and cancer.

Ancient grains - nutritional properties

Interest in ancient grains began with a gluten-free diet and the elimination of common wheat from meals. Many books and other materials have been written about the dangers of gluten and wheat itself.

This topic requires more careful research, but there is no doubt that many people suffer from gluten allergy, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy, which may be due to high consumption of this grain.

Ancient wheat varieties contain less gluten than common wheat today, and it is genetically slightly different. This means that the body may digest it differently and not treat it as an allergen. However, these are assumptions. People with celiac disease and gluten allergy should not eat ancient wheat varieties.

People with celiac disease and gluten allergy should not eat ancient wheat varieties.

Ancient cereals are more resistant to environmental conditions: low temperature, water shortage, and fungi, which significantly reduces the need to use plant protection products. In times of increasing interest in natural food for consumers, this is an undoubted advantage.

Old cereal varieties show a much higher nutritional value than common wheat. They contain moreprotein and minerals, which is important in a fairly poor average Western diet. Due to the structure of the old cereals, it is impossible to cleanse (or it is unprofitable) as much as ordinary wheat.

Therefore, flours from these grains and preparations made from them have a higher content of fiber and minerals. Such products are heavier and look more rough, but thanks to this they are much he althier.

Spelled pastries are the easiest to find in local shops. There are also products with the addition of amaranth. Grains and baked goods from emmer or einkorn are still products available only at ecological markets and on small farms.

On the other hand, in the US and Western European countries, there are breads with various ancient cereals, breakfast cereals, crisps and flour snacks, e.g. crackers.

Sources: 1. Wiwart M. et al., Formerly grown wheat becomes attractive again, Przegląd Zbożowo-Młynarski, 2005, 10, 5-72. Cooper R., Re-discovering ancient wheat varieties as functional food, Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 2015, 5, 138-1433.,143415. 0 & totCount=2050 & measureby=m8.,121955,14633869,Plaskurka___niszowe_zboze.html11.,%20uncooked14. The Sorghum Story, Boukid F. I in., Current trends in ancient grains-based foodstuffs: Insights into nutritional aspects and technologial applications, Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and food Safety, 2022, 17, 1, 123-136

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