Sorghum has been a much-used, much-loved grain around the world ever since it started growing in Africa 5,000 years ago. Many different kinds of sorghum are grown, and you can find it all over the planet—in Asia, North America, and Latin America. The United States produces the most sorghum, and demand has only increased as more and more people want gluten-free products.
Sorghum is also quite colorful. It can be white, yellow, bronze, brown, a deep red, or even purple. Besides the pretty colors, sorghum has many benefits. It is fairly easy to grow, even in very dry and hot areas. It can be used as food for humans and livestock, and even as fuel. Around the world it is used for cous-cous and flatbread (the Mideast), as a rice-like dish (Bangladesh), and in tortillas (Honduras). And, it’s great for gluten-free baking! Read on for five reasons why you’ll love baking with sorghum flour….
- Sorghum flour can be used in a variety of recipes. You can use this flour for almost anything: pizza crust, muffins, bread, pasta, cookies, noodles, cakes, pies, pancakes—even beer! It has a mild flavor that won’t overpower the dish you are making.
- Sorghum flour is very nutritious. Unlike some other grains, you can eat all of the outer layers of sorghum, which hold a lot of nutrition. Relative to other grains and fruits, sorghum is high in antioxidants, which will help to protect you from diseases such as cancer, heart problems, and even some neurological disease. Some research has shown that sorghum will even lower cholesterol. It is high in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, niacin, and fiber. Darker sorghum has 3-deoxyanthoxyanins, which have been shown to inhibit cancer tumor growth. Certain kinds of sorghum have been found to protect against diabetes. Sorghum may also have components that can help treat melanoma.
- It is easy to use. If you would like to substitute sorghum for a wheat flour, you might have to experiment a bit but it can be done. The secret is to add in some xantham gum. A good rule for cakes and cookies is to add ½ teaspoon xanthan gum per cup of sorghum flour. For breads, add in 1 teaspoon xanthan gum per cup of sorghum flour. If you are using it as a coating before frying, you can use the same amount that you would if you were using regular flour.
- It will help your recipe. Sorghum will help to improve the texture of your baked goods—it gives them stability and some structure. And, many people say sorghum flour tastes a lot like wheat flour. When you use it as a coating for frying, it produces a tasty, crispy coating.
- It is easy to find and store. You can get sorghum flour in any health food store and even in some supermarkets. You can store your flour in a cool, dry place and it will keep for months. You don’t have to refrigerate the flour, but if you would like to store it for a longer period of time you can keep it in the refrigerator or freezer. You can store it in air tight, moisture-proof metal or glass containers, or in plastic freezer bags.
So, if you are experimenting with different gluten-free flours, sorghum may just be the one to try next. It is easy to use and store, it will give your baked goods a nice texture, it has many health benefits, and it has a mild flavor that won’t overpower your food—just a few reasons why you’ll love baking with sorghum flour.