Cooking w/Ancient Grains by Shelby Lubbers, MDI Intern 2017-18

Cooking with Ancient Grains

The term ancient grain has become a popular topic within the past five years, but what exactly is an ancient grain? An ancient grain refers to wheat and barley that have not been hybridized and date back to 10,000 years ago. Some ancient grains include einkorn, farro, Kamut, spelt, amaranth, teff, millet, buckwheat and sorghum. Heirloom varieties of grains can also be considered ancient such as black barley, red and black rice, and blue cornmeal. Compared to modern wheat, ancient grains and wheat berries contain more fiber, protein, and vitamins. That’s not to say we should replace all our modern grains with ancient grains. In fact, ALL whole grains are highly nutritious and should be a part of a healthy balanced diet. However, if you want to add a little more variety to your meals, try adding in some ancient grains!

Some easy ways to incorporate ancient grains into your meals include:

  • Use buckwheat flour to make crepes
  • Add cooked farro to any salad
  • Add black barley to soups and stews
  • Make an easy granola using grains like oats and millet. Add nuts, seeds, local honey, spices, and dried fruit for extra flavor!


Want to add a boost of protein, fiber, and micronutrients to your morning routine? Try making an ancient grains pancake! (single serving)

  • ½ cup of flour (buckwheat, blue cornmeal, amaranth, or spelt)*
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1oz of eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup of liquid like buttermilk, half and half, or any milk you would like!
  • Optional: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, oats, nuts


Mix the dry ingredients together (flour, salt, baking powder). Whisk in the honey, eggs, and milk. Gently mix in any combination of seeds, nuts or oats you would like! Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Lightly grease the pan with butter or olive oil. Add mixture to pan and cook about 2 minutes on each side. Serve with your favorite organic syrup or berry compote!

*You can also mix ¼ cup all purpose flour with ¼ cup ancient grains flour