The different varieties of cereals

Welcome to the wonderful world of organic cereals: millet, kasha, spelled, rice and pasta are a real change! But in fact, why is it so important to focus on organic in this area? And why complete cereals

 Varieties of cereals

I - The importance of organic, conservation

With gluten

- Soft wheat (wheat) - Durum wheat

- Large spelled (or spelled)

- Rye

- Barley (hulled, pearl)

Lower gluten content (acceptable for those with mild intolerance but not for those with allergies)

- Kamut

- Small spelled

- Oats (technically no gluten, but a very similar molecule

Gluten free

- Corn

- Millet (common millet, fonio, teff, sorghum)

- Rice

And the "pseudo-cereals":

- Amarante

- Quinoa

- Buckwheat and kasha

The cereals offered are from organic farming , free of traces of pesticides, fertilizers and chemicals. After being sorted, peeled, shelled, the grains are (or not) crushed on a stone mill. The grinding is slow, without heat, preserving the nutritional properties of the cereal. The flours are not tampered with (addition of bleach or artificial enrichment of vitamins and minerals, removed during the refining of non-organic flours).

For info, in the classic industrial circuit, treatments follow one another, from seed to flour: chemicals for seed conservation, soil treatment (pesticides, weedkillers, insecticides, etc.), gassing of grains with preservatives for storage (in silos, for transport by boat). And we're not even talking about processed grain products!

II - A wide choice of cereals!

The first time you walk into an organic store, you are struck by the cereals, flour, seeds, legumes departments… indeed, the way of eating offered by the organic sector gives pride of place to cereal and plant products, offering varieties that cannot be found in traditional supermarkets.

It is great fun to test these products, give it a try. And I would add that the prices are more than reasonable, for a certain quality benefit!

In particular, there are many "old varieties" in organic. But what is it? Agronomists and archaeologists try to trace the history of each grain (from the oldest to the most recent ), to explain its evolution. Since the Neolithic, growers have selected their best grains for the following seeds: the largest grains, the easiest to transform into bread, the plants with the best yields… Thus, the genetic heritage of cultivated plants has gradually evolved over the years. voluntary crosses or voluntary selections. The old varieties are therefore the "ancestors" of today's plants, and have the advantage of being resistant to diseases and parasites, developing more easily without fertilizers or synthetic pesticides.

"Hybrid" varieties are the result of voluntary crosses between several lines. The plants thus obtained are more vigorous and have better yields, corn being the most spectacular "emblem" (the ears have evolved from 2.5 cm for the plant cultivated 7000 years ago in South America to 30 cm today!). Add to this the increased yields and the progress of genetically modified seeds (O.G.M.), and we are witnessing a profound transformation of the agricultural sector!

III - Organic AND whole grains

Most cereals (wheat, rye, spelled, small spelled, rice) can come in whole, semi-complete (bise) or white form . With the exception of common wheat and corn, which do not require "shelling" to be eaten, other cereals carry "coated" grains: they must be shelled to then separate the edible grain from its husk, the "husk". Which is not edible. After this husking, the grain is said to be complete: it is still covered with a thin and brown skin, the bran is rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids ... All good!

Then you can refine the cereals by abrasion (for whole grains) or by sieving (for flour). Depending on the treatment of the blanching, the cereal becomes semi-complete (brown wheat flour or semi-complete rice are a good compromise between nutritional interest and taste pleasure or intestinal tolerance) or white, which practically contains only starch.

IV - The conservation of cereals

They keep relatively well, but ... beware of parasites! I named the food moths (and weevil, but less calamitous) , which invade all the cupboards, even going so far as to contaminate unopened packages (yes yes, the larvae pierce plastic and packaging packages). Every year, on sunny days, the larvae (which have become encrusted everywhere!) Hatch and transform into a small gray butterfly…

Having been seriously injured myself (2-3 years of fighting the invader), here are a few tips:

- Be vigilant when buying (especially bulk, in organic stores, but also closed packages).

- Put everything in jar if possible (like a large glass jar), flour, seeds and cereals, hermetically sealed.

- If there is contamination… throw it away! Yes, I know, it hurts your heart, but not throwing out the contaminated products is exposing yourself to hell ... with loss of almost all the groceries in the kitchen if it escalates!

- Some people freeze suspicious products (or automatically after purchase) for a few days; this presents no health risk, given the very low rate of "available solvent water".

- To know that there are "anti moth pads" in organic stores, a kind of pheromone scotch ... once again, past a certain stage, it remains ineffective, especially since only males are attracted. There are other traps, such as a "collection box" ...

- Bay leaves are known to be effective, along with fenugreek seeds and lavender, to disperse in your kitchen

- Once the packages are put in an airtight box, clean the kitchen, floors, cupboards and even walls and ceilings (when I say that they stick everywhere, it is really everywhere, every nook!), with white vinegar for example.

- There is a solution that seems effective: introduce at home another variety of insect, the "trichogram", which is their natural enemy ... Reviews are welcome!

- All the same, avoid storing cereals, flakes or flour too long, to avoid their rancidity. So there you go: in a jar, in a cool place, protected from light and dry.

V - Whole grains or flakes?

As with all other food families, we recommend consuming the most basic product possible , as "alive" as possible : here, it is the whole grain.

The flakes are not too far from the whole grain, so their nutritional value is more or less the same (the grains are precooked by steam and then flattened gently, sometimes quickly toasted in the oven to make them crisp). They can help out (thanks to their quick and practical side) and add something extra to a recipe, without however having the same "vitality" as whole grain.

VI - Flour or cream?

L a "cream" is precooked flour, which will be useful for making sauces, porridge for children, dessert creams (cream of rice, wheat, oats…). It is cooked for a few minutes, diluted in broth or vegetable milk, thickening it over low heat.

The flour remains ideal for making cakes, clafoutis ...

VII - Cooking whole seeds

It's no more difficult than cooking rice! They can be served in plain oatmeal (as an accompaniment to a vegetable or meat, fish…) or in a gratin, a salad, in vegetable pancakes…

Dose: counting 1 glass for 2 people is simple and approximate (80 to 100g per person)

Rinse: put the cereal in a bowl, pour water over it and stir before rinsing with a colander. This removes any dust, part of the starch from rice or the bitter saponin from quinoa ...

Soak: Long-cooking cereals will benefit from being soaked after rinsing, for 1/2 hour to overnight. Cooking will be shortened and the benefits of germination launched (activation of enzymes and elimination of phytic acid)

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published