I thought I knew everything there was to know about whole grains! Boy was I pleasantly surprised when I opened up Simply Ancient Grains by Maria Speck.
This is the author’s second cookbook where she helps to demystify the use of some of the more obscure whole grains and help the at home cook easily add them to their weekly menus. Maria brings flavors from her Greek and German family background to present a Mediterranean menu that is mostly vegetarian and gluten free.
I learned that quinoa and buckwheat are not grains at all but seeds! Who knew? I also thought that I had tried “all the grains” but I learned of a few, new to me, that I can’t wait to try.
The author remarks that often home cooks are leery of cooking or experimenting with whole grains for fear that it is too time consuming. She offers an extensive lesson on how to prepare and prep your grains for easy cooking with descriptions of soaking and cooking methods.
Maria suggests that the reader approach cooking grains as a 2 step process the same way you might marinate a meat for a few hours before cooking it. She explains in depth how to do this for everything from steel cut oatmeal to amaranth so that you can easily incorporate whole grains into every meal.
Her creative use of spices and flavor profiles has me wanting to make everything in here. From “minted summer couscous with watermelon and feta” to “Greek inspired artichokes with barley and tomato”.
Photo credit (PenguinRandomHouse)
Could you find her recipes on Pinterest or online? Probably- but you would be missing out on the extensive information she offers on cooking, storing and introducing all these whole grains easily into your diet not to mention the mouth watering photos. This cookbook is a great reference to have and a keeper in my mind. You can easily find it on Amazon (affiliate link) and it would make a great Mother’s Day gift.
(I received a copy of Simply Ancient Grains from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.)