An ancient grain that was found buried in the tombs of Egyptian royalty, farro can be traced back even further to the Fertile Crescent, the rich land in the Middle East between the Arabian Desert and the Armenian mountains. A cup of this nutty grain packs 24 percent of your recommended daily intake of iron and a whopping 14 grams of protein; by comparison, quinoa only has 8 grams of protein per cup, whole wheat pasta 7 grams, and brown rice 5 grams. If you swap the semi-pearled variety for the whole-grain kind, which is higher in vitamin B3 and zinc, soak it overnight first to shorten cooking time. (After soaking, it should get tender within 45 minutes on the stove at medium-low heat.) Note: Farro is not a gluten-free food.
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A forage grass found in western U.S. rangelands like Utah and Nevada, Indian ricegrass was a staple in Native American diets. With a strong wheat-like flavor, the gluten-free grain is most often used as a flour (via the brand name Montina)—and a nutrient-rich one at that. In just two-thirds of a cup, it packs 17 grams of protein and 24 grams of fiber; the same amount of whole-wheat flour offers about 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber. You don’t need much: Substitute 15 to 20 percent of Montina for each portion of flours you currently use when cooking stews, gravies, and soups.