Have you tried cooking with sorghum? This grain has been around for centuries, but it’s recently started to become popular in kitchens across the United States. You can find it alongside grains like bulgur and quinoa at your grocery store.
Sorghum has a slightly nutty flavor and goes wonderfully in a variety of dishes. If you’re new to this grain, you’re probably wondering how to cook with it.
There are two types of sorghum that can be used for cooking: grain sorghum and sweet sorghum.
Grain sorghum can be found as a flour (great for baking!), whole grain and pearled (with the husk removed) grain. Both whole grain and pearled sorghum look like large versions of couscous or quinoa, but the whole grain version is slightly chewier when cooked because it still has the outer husk.
Sweet sorghum comes in a syrup that has a rich, umami flavor that is sweet and nutty with a lot of depth. A lot of people compare sorghum syrup to molasses because of its dark color and bold flavor.
Before we get started on how to cook with sorghum, let’s talk about why you should cook with it. After all, it can take a big nudge to step outside of our culinary comfort zones. It can be scary to try something new in the kitchen over a tried-and-true recipe. Here are some great reasons to give it a try!
Why Cook with Sorghum
Sorghum is very nutritious. It’s a great source of dietary fiber and rich in antioxidants. Sorghum is also high in:
- Vitamin B6
Sorghum is low in sodium and gluten-free, so people with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance can use sorghum to enjoy their favorite treats without a reaction. (Bonus: Like many Kansas crops, sorghum is environmentally friendly!)
So, there’s your why. Now, the good news is that sorghum is really easy to prepare!
How to Cook Sorghum
To bake with sorghum, you can substitute one cup of sorghum flour for one cup of wheat flour. Since it’s gluten-free, the dough won’t be as sticky, so you can add a binding agent like cornstarch or xanthan gum to make it a thicker consistency. If you’re nervous about swapping out all the flour in a recipe, try swapping half to get a sense of how sorghum will affect the taste and texture.
You can cook whole grain and pearled sorghum on the stove, in a slow cooker, or in a pressure cooker. You will end up with a soft, hearty grain you can substitute for couscous, quinoa, rice or other grains.
For stovetop preparation or slow cooking, allow plenty of time for the grain to cook.
You can substitute sorghum syrup for molasses, corn syrup, honey and maple syrup in recipes. Again, you might want to swap half portions to see how it affects texture and taste. It’s great to use when making barbecue sauces, salad dressings and even syrup for pancakes and biscuits.
Fun fact: You can also pop sorghum! You want to use whole grain sorghum for popping, and you can prepare it in a popper, on the stove or in the microwave. The end result will be a bit smaller than popcorn, but just as fun!
For more details on preparing special flour and exact cooking times, visit Simply Sorghum.
Recipes with Sorghum