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Cooking with sorghum is hot trend in 2018

February 22, 2018



Cooking with sorghum is predicted to be a hot trend in 2018 as more Americans are adding plant-based protein in their menus. Sorghum grain is also high in fiber, Niacin, Magnesium, Iron, Phosphorus and Vitamin B6. It adds a nutty flavor to your favorite entrées or salads. The grain is quite versatile because it is naturally gluten free and can be made into flours, brans and grains.


For the menu planner and nightly family-kitchen chef, the more important key is that it is easy to use. Sorghum grain can be cooked in your slow cooker or electric pressure cooker as well as the traditional stovetop method. Always rinse and drain your whole grain sorghum before cooking. Make a big batch and keep it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.


Preparing this ancient grain is as simple as adding one cup of whole grain sorghum to three cups of water in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. When the liquid starts to boil, reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid before serving. I like to use chicken or beef broth as it adds just a bit of flavor. In the slow cooker, go with four cups of broth and one cup whole grain sorghum on the high setting for five hours.


Hubby Jeff makes it in the electric pressure cooker and uses one cup of whole grain sorghum and two cups of chicken stock. Add both ingredients and set to High Pressure for 20 minutes and use manual pressure release. Again, drain any remaining liquid.


If you prefer the pearled grain sorghum it can reduce the cooking time. It has a softer bite which makes it a perfect addition to soups or salads. The pearled grain has slightly less protein and fiber as the outer coating (bran and some of the germ) of the whole grain sorghum kernel has been removed. Electric pressure cooker time would be 15 minutes. Stovetop time is reduced to 30 minutes and it’s important to occasionally check to make sure there is adequate liquid throughout the cook time. Adding a bit more stock will keep it from burning. For the slow cooker, I use one cup pearled grain sorghum and three cups stock on high for four hours. For salads you may want to keep the pearled version ‘al dente’ for a nice texture.


Experiment with different seasonings to create exactly what your family likes. I’ve even added it to meatloaf! Retail products include flour, pizza crust mix and even popped sorghum for your snack mixes.


Sorghum grain is grown in the Midwest but depending on the demand your area, it may take a few extra steps to locate. Kansas-based online retailer, Nu Life Market, is one option.


Lemon Chicken with Sorghum Pilaf

Sorghum grain can be served like quinoa or rice with the protein of your choice! Use whole grain for salads and cooked dishes. Nu Life Market is located in Scott City, Kan., and has a variety of products available for purchase on their website if it is not available in your local area. This is a recipe they developed.


1 c. Nu Life Market’s White Whole Sorghum Grain

2 c. water

1/2 c. finely-diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

2-1/2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1/4 c. green pepper, diced

1 serrano pepper, finely chopped

1 tsp. lemon pepper

1 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped


Marinade for Chicken:

1 tsp. zest from fresh lemon

1/4 c. balsamic vinegar

1/4 c. extra virgin oil

2 Tbsp. honey

1 tsp. salt

1 garlic clove, minced

1 chicken breast, thinly sliced


1. Cook the sorghum grain using 2 cups of the water in an electric pressure cooker at High Pressure for 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients. To prepare the marinade, combine all the ingredients except for the sliced chicken breasts. Place mixture in a resealable plastic baggie and marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes.

3. In a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat, add 2 Tbsp. olive oil and begin sautéing onions, garlic, green pepper and serrano pepper. After two minutes, add lemon pepper and salt. Then add cooked sorghum into the pot and cook for an additional 10 minutes on low heat.

4. Brush a grill pan lightly with the remaining 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil and cook marinated chicken for about 4 minutes on each side; brush occasionally chicken with marinade. Discard remaining marinade. Once cooked cut chicken into small strips and place over the sorghum pilaf. Garnish with cilantro and serve.


Ham, Kale and Sorghum Soup

Developed by Nu Life Market, this soup yields three servings and has the protein power of kale and ham.


1 c. Nu Life Market’s White Whole Sorghum Grain

4 c. tap water, divided

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 c. diced carrots

1/2 c. chopped kale

1/2 c. diced ham

1/2 c. diced Roma tomato

1 c. chicken broth

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper


1. Cook the sorghum grain using only 2 cups of the water in a pressure cooker on High Pressure for 1 hour).

2. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients. Using a medium-sized pot, start sautéing the minced garlic and onions in olive oil. Add the carrots, kale, ham, and tomatoes and continue sautéing for about 10 minutes on medium heat.

3. Add cooked sorghum into the pot and stir gently to combine all ingredients. Then add the remaining 2 cups of water, chicken broth, salt, and black pepper and cook for approximately 10 minutes on medium heat.

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