Ancient Grains 101
Peruvian Sweet Potato Flour
- The sweet potato has been a significant source of nutrition for over 8,000 years. It’s high in fiber, vitamin A, iron, and calcium. Don’t let the name “sweet” mislead you-studies have shown that it actually helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Zemas supports this Peruvian family owned company that mixes traditional practices with modern technology to grow, harvest, clean and mill this highly nutritious flour in a dedicated gluten-free facility.
- From pre-Columbian Aztecs, this gluten free ancient grain tastes slightly sweet, nutty and earthy. It’s high in protein (15-18%) , contains two essential amino acids, high in fiber(3x more than regular wheat) and contains calcium, iron(5x more than regular wheat), potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C. It contains twice as much calcium than milk and promotes lower cholesterol levels.
- This tiny gluten free ancient grain from Africa, Asia and India is thought to be the oldest grain consumed by humans. Millet is also one of the most easily digestible ancient grains known to man and is a great natural source of protein B-vitamins and minerals. Millet flour looks like cornmeal and lends a light, sweet flavor and somewhat crumbly texture to baked goods.
Dedicated GF Oat Flour
- Oat flour has a familiar nutty taste, chewy texture and adds protein, soluble fiber, vitamins and minerals to gluten free baked goods.
NOTE: The use of oats in gluten free diets is controversial. Cross-contamination with gluten is common in traditional oat products. Zema’s only uses certified gluten free oats in our mixes. Always check with your doctor before making that decision if you have Celiac Disease.
- Quinoa is a gluten free ancient grain that’s a high-quality source of protein. Well, it’s actually a seed related to spinach, chard and beets and was a major food source for the Inca civilization thousands of years ago. Quinoa comes as whole seeds, flakes and flour. This superseed is a complete protein, containing all the amino acids necessary for our nutritional needs. Quinoa is high in iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, copper and fiber.
- Gluten free ancient grain sorghum is a high protein, cream-colored, smooth flour with a wheat-like taste. High in soluble fiber and a safe option for diabetics.
- This Ethiopian “endurance” gluten free ancient-grain is high in protein, iron, calcium and fiber. The high amounts of iron are key in delivering oxygen throughout the body, thus giving us higher energy levels. It’s a favorite among professional athletes.
- The Aztecs, Mayans and Native Americans valued superfood chia seeds as a source of concentrated energy and nutrition. They are naturally gluten free and contain more Omega-3 fatty acids than flaxseeds. These polyunsaturated fats promote reduced inflammation. They are high in soluble fiber(more than oatmeal and flax), calcium and protein(4x the amount of beans).
- Flax is one of the best gluten free plant-based sources of alpha-linolenic acid, which converts in the body to the same heart-protective Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, sardines, and mackerel. It contains fiber(about 3 grams of total fiber per tablespoon), which promotes intestinal health. It’s also one of the richest dietary sources of lignans, phytoestrogens thought to help fight against cancer of the breast, prostate, and colon.
- Hemp seeds are also naturally gluten free and contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy human life. No other single plant source provides complete protein in such as easily digestible form, nor has the oils essential to life in as perfect a ratio for human health and vitality. Hemp seed is the highest of any plant in essential fatty acids.
- Cocoa beans are about 54% fat, 31% carbohydrate, 11% protein, 3% polyphenols, and less than 1% minerals. Cocoa powder is naturally gluten free and is a concentrated source of polyphenols and minerals, including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and copper. Polyphenols are antioxidants from plant foods that work in the body to aid in health in complex ways.
- This unrefined sweetener has a GI of 35 and is high in potassium and vitamin C. It is made from the sap of the palm tree, looks like sugar in the raw and adds a slight caramel flavor.