I’ve recently started cooking fonio and I’ve found it to be such a versatile super grain that is so easy to cook. Even the simplest beginner will be able to cook fonio. Not only is it super healthy, it is also very budget friendly and gluten free. In this article, I will teach you all about fonio and how to cook it.
What is Fonio?
Fonio is a type of cereal grain that has been found to be grown in West Africa for more than 5,000 years. The name originates from the word fono in wolof, a tribe in Senegal. It is commonly consumed by many different tribes across West Africa. It is often eaten as a staple, much like an alternative to rice.
Fonio is a superfood because it is very nutritious. It has a nice flavor and is often used in many traditional dishes such as couscous, porridge or pudding. Here in North America, it is becoming popular because it is gluten free and allows people to use it for substitution.
Unlike other different crops, fonio does not require a lot of water to grow. In addition, it also does not require rich environment or soil to grow. This is why it is very versatile and allows for the grain to be grown in locations that do not have a lot of resources.
What Does Fonio Taste Like?
To most people, fonio comes out in a slightly nutty and earthy flavor. If you have had couscous or quinoa, you might even think fonio taste like that. The taste of fonio actually really depends on how you cook it and what ingredients you pair with it. It is such a versatile grain that can be mixed and matched with accommodate all types of tastes and preferences.
Why You Should Try Fonio?
Fonio is super rich in nutrients you cannot easily find in other grains. It is low carbohydrate while also being rich in fiber. It is a great source of essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. It also has high amounts of amino acids such as cystine and methionine, something that is important for helping your body function optimally.
It is also gluten free, this makes it a safe alternative for those who are intolerant to gluten or might have celiac disease. In addition, you can always grind up the raw fonio to turn it into fonio flour. This makes it a cheaper alternative to the gluten free flours you might see in the supermarket. It’s very simple, all you need to do is to blend it up in a food processor or a blender.
Fonio is very versatile, this means that you can use it in many different types of dishes. I even sprinkle a little bit onto my salad to add a nice taste to it. In addition, the flavor is versatile and you can adapt fonio with other flavors or ingredients to optimize your dish.
How to Cook Fonio
You can cook fonio much like how you cook rice or quinoa. It is optimal to have 1 cup of fonio to match with 2 cups of liquid. You can basically use any kind of liquid you like to cook fonio. I usually use water or broth to put into my fonio. In particular, I like using chicken broth to cook my fonio in. It gives it a really nice taste and fragrance.
You can cook fonio on a stovetop by adding 1 cup of fonio and 2 cups of liquid into the pot. Cook it over medium heat while stirring until the liquid is completely absorbed into the fonio. This will usually take around 5 minutes. After that, you’re done!
If you can’t finish your meal, you can always store your leftovers in an airtight container. This will help you keep your leftovers for around 3 to 4 days. In addition, you can always freeze your fonio in an airtight container and that will last for up to 2 months.