Cereals: the basis of almost every dietCereals are at the basis of almost every diet. There are different types of cereals: from organic cereals to gluten-free cereals. Vehgro has something for everyone in its extensive range. Cereals have been the basic food for people all over the world for thousands of years. When you think of fields, you quickly think of rolling grain fields as far as the eye can see.
Where do cereals come from?Cereals come from special grasses. They have been actively cultivated for thousands of years. It is not for nothing that Demeter and Ceres: the Greek Goddess of Agriculture and Fertility and her Roman counterpart are usually depicted with an ear of grain in their arms. The cereals most commonly known around the world are wheat and rice. Rice is mainly found in Asian cuisine, while wheat is used in, for example, bread and cakes.
What are pseudo-cereals?
Pseudo-cereals are the fruits of plants which look a lot like cereal grains, but are different from them. These are called pseudo-cereals. These include buckwheat, amaranth and, of course, quinoa.
In both grains and pseudo grains you will find many carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and proteins. Whole grain cereals are also rich in fibres. At Vehgro, wholesaler of organic products, you will find a wide range of both grains and pseudo grains.
Cooking with cerealsIt takes a while for cereals to cook. There is time, patience, heat and lots of energy needed. If you cook with cereals it is advisable to soak them in advance, it saves you time. Please note: not all cereals can be soaked. However, grains such as barley, spelt, rye, wheat and oats can be soaked very well. Toasting grains gives them a more nutty and sweet taste. Toasted grains also have the quality of cooking faster.
Specific cereal termsFlakes is the term used for mashed cereal grains. At Vehgro, you will find organic oat flakes, amongst other things. Semolina is flour from cereals that has been coarsely ground. Flour is more like the whole grain including the bran. The difference with fine flour is that when making fine flour the grains are both milled and sieved and contain little bran. Bran is the coating of the grain kernel, which is rich in fibre and sometimes edible.
Anatomy of the cerealThe hull of the cereal is called the bran. In the bran you will find the sprout. This is the part of the grain that is rich in vitamins. Then there is the flour body. This is located around the kernel. The flour body is again protected by the bran. Wholemeal products are made from the whole grain: not only from the sprout and the kernel, but also from the bran.
Different kinds of cereals
Firstly, oats. Oats have been cultivated for over 9000 years. Nowadays it is used to make organic oatmeal and organic oat flakes, among other things. Oat grains have an elongated and narrow shape. They have grooves and are greyish in colour.
Oats are often used in breakfast cereals, gluten-free organic oatmeal, biscuits and natural animal feed. Horses are known to be fond of oats. How is oatmeal actually made?
The grain barley
Men know barley of course as the basis for beer. Barley is also used as fodder, but farm animals do not get drunk from it. The grain of barley is thick and brown and looks a bit like rice. You can cook barley and serve it the same way as rice.
Barley grains have a pleasant 'bite'. It fills well, but takes a long time to cook: about an hour. Barley contains gluten. What is barley then? This is barley with the outer skin removed.