Wheat Grains

Kamut (ka-'moot) Kamut is brown and has a rice-like shape. It has an earthy, nutty flavor. Ground kamut is used in baked goods and pasta making.

Spelt (=spelt) Spelt is a wheat product that is available as a whole grain or ground. It can be boiled or simmered, and has a mild, nutty flavor. It is used in baked goods.

Amaranth Amaranth is a very small, round grain that is light brown in color. It is used in salads, baked goods, and in cooking.

Cooking Rice and Other Grains

Cooking rice and grains involves adding enough water to make the grain moist and tender. Depending upon the length of the rice or grain, the proportion of water to rice or grain, and the cooking method, the product can be light and fluffy or sticky. The degree of tenderness may vary, depending on the grain and the way in which it will be served.


To boil grains, the grain is added to slightly salted, boiling water and then simmered until tender. Boiling produces a good product that can be served as is or incorporated into other dishes such as salads or casseroles. The proportion of water to grain is about the same as for cooking pasta.


Steaming grains is different from steaming vegetables. To steam grains, add the appropriate amount of boiling liquid to the grain.

Cover and cook the grain until the liquid is completely absorbed by the grain.

Grains can be steamed in a saucepan on the rangetop. They can also be steamed in the appropriate bakeware in the oven, or steamed in a convection steamer or rice cooker.


Braising, often called the pilaf method, involves sauteing the grain in oil or butter before adding the liquid. Often, onions, garlic, seasonings, and items such as red or green peppers may be added to the rice during the sauteing process. The coating of oil on each grain results in a fluffy product in which individual grains do not stick together.

Once the grain is sauteed, a seasoned liquid is added. The grain is then usually cooked on the range in a saucepan or baked in the oven in a hotel pan.

Generally, the grain is done when all the water has been absorbed and there are small, tube-like holes on the surface. Cooking can either be completed on the range, or the saucepan or stockpot can be removed from the heat for the last 5 or 10 minutes of cooking and left to stand tightly covered.

Cooking in the oven instead of on the range is the preferred method because the uniform heat results in a more flavorful product in which each grain remains separate from the others. Ethnic spices and a variety of chopped foods can be added after sauteing, before the liquid is added.


The risotto method is a little like boiling and the pilaf method combined. First, the grain is sauteed, and then a small amount of hot liquid, often a soup stock, is added. The grain is stirred until most of the liquid is absorbed. This process of adding liquid and stirring the grain is continued until the grain is completely cooked. When the grain is done, it will still be firm. Seasonings and chopped mushrooms can be added to risotto after the sauteing stage.

Risotto Cooking Method

Grains cooked with the risotto method are creamy. Risotto should be served immediately after being cooked to maintain its texture and creamy consistency. Butter, olive oil, or cheese are often stirred in just before serving.

Serving Rice and Other Grains

All grains should be served as soon as possible after being cooked. They lose their texture quickly and can become either clumped or dried out if they are held for a long period of time. Any grains not used immediately after being cooked should be properly cooled, labeled, dated, and refrigerated in an air-tight container

"Describe What are the four most common ways of cooking grains?

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