What Is Bulgur Wheat?
Bulgur wheat (also known as quinoa) is a type of grain that grows wild in the Andes Mountains of South America. It’s cultivated for its edible seeds, which are used to make bread or pasta. However, it has other uses too: it’s eaten raw as a snack; cooked into soups and stews; ground up into flour and made into pastries and cakes; or even turned into animal feed.
The grains are usually grown in small plots called “bunkers” along with other crops such as beans, corn, peas and squash. The plants grow quickly so they’re harvested only once a year.
Because of their short growing season, the seeds have to be sown just before harvest time. If the seeds aren’t planted soon enough, they won’t germinate and will die during processing.
It takes two years for the seeds to mature and produce a crop. Bulgur wheat has been cultivated since ancient times, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that it became popular in Europe.
Today, there are many varieties of bulgur wheat available in supermarkets and specialty stores around the world.
In Latin America, where most of the world’s bulgur wheat comes from, it’s known as “pinto.” Surprisingly, it’s not a widely popular food in most of the Middle East.
It is used in a few traditional dishes, like tabouli, but it’s usually served as an accompaniment to stews or as stuffing for vegetables or other dishes.
Bulgur wheat is high in nutrients and very easy to digest. It contains about 28% carbohydrate, 18% protein and 12% fat.
It’s also an excellent source of B Vitamins, Iron, Magnesium and Dietary Fiber. It’s a good source of potassium and phosphorus as well.
Bulgur is most often used in salads, but it’s also the main ingredient in a traditional Middle Eastern soup called Kibbeh, which is made from ground lamb, onion, pine nuts and bulgur wheat. In the Balkans it’s often cooked with lamb or beef and served warm with either a tomato or herb sauce.
It’s also used in a popular dish called Gush-Gush, which is stuffed vine leaves (dolmades) made with onions, tomatoes and pine nuts.
Bulgur has an advantage over other types of wheat in that it doesn’t need to be chewed as much because it’s already been partly digested so it’s very easy to digest. It has a delicious nutty flavor and slightly chewy texture, which makes it a good ingredient in salads.
It also absorbs other flavors very well.
Bulgur is easy to prepare. Just place the amount you want to cook in a container, cover it with boiling water and let it stand for half an hour.
Then drain off the water and add fresh water or stock. During this time the grains will absorb most of the liquid and each grain will swell to about twice its original size.
Bulgur can be served either hot or cold, and goes well with most vegetables or stews. It’s a nice change from rice and is also very filling.
So now you know everything you need to know about bulgur wheat. You understand bulgur wheat nutrition and the incredible health benefits of bulgur.
You also know how to prepare it and have some great serving suggestions.
So what are you waiting for?
Go out an get some today!
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Sources & references used in this article:
The green foods bible: Everything you need to know about barley grass, wheatgrass, kamut, chlorella, spirulina and more by D Sandoval – 2010 – books.google.com
Good News about High Blood Pressure: Everything You Need to Know to Take Control of Hypertension–and Your Life by TG Pickering – 1996 – books.google.com
Autism and diet: What you need to know by R Kessick – 2009 – books.google.com
Quality of bulgur wheat in relation to storage. by S Sarita, NS Sharma, BN Dar, S Savita – American Journal of Food …, 2014 – cabdirect.org
Determination of aflatoxin existence in mixed feed, wheat flour and bulgur samples. by A Gazzola – 2015 – Hachette UK