Is Fonio Better Than Quinoa? Here's Why It's Time to Try This West African Grain

Asia's Tech News Daily

Picture the perfect grain: To us, it would cook quickly, be packed with nutrients, could be used in a variety of different recipes, taste delicious, and be grown sustainably. No, we’re not talking about quinoa (which is actually a seed, not a grain!). We’re all about fonio. In parts of West Africa, fonio is a staple and is even referred to as “the seed of the universe” in Mali. It’s an ancient cultivated type of millet and has only recently become more widely available in the U.S.

Is Fonio Better Than Quinoa? Here's Why It's Time to Try This West African Grain
© Provided by Martha Stewart Living Courtesy of Yolèlè / Evan Sung

Fonio seems poised for success. It was featured as one of Future 50 Foods for Healthier People and a Healthier Planet, in a report from Knorr and the World Wildlife Federation in 2019, and fits into the “flavors of West Africa” trend identified by Whole Foods for 2020. Another reason fonio is on the rise? The efforts of chef and cookbook author Pierre Thiam. Born and raised in Dakar, Senegal, Thiam has brought West African cuisine to the world thanks to his restaurants and his cookbooks including his most recent one, The Fonio Cookbook ($24.95, amazon.com), and his African food company Yolélé.

Is Fonio Better Than Quinoa? Here's Why It's Time to Try This West African Grain
© Courtesy of Yolèlè / Evan Sung It’s quick-cooking, versatile to use, naturally gluten-free, and packed with nutrients.

Related: Our Favorite Recipes for Whole Grains

The Oldest African Superfood

Thiam partnered with Philip Teverow to found Yolélé, an African food company with the mission to create a global market for underutilized crops like fonio and others from Africa, contributing to preserving biodiversity, diversifying the global diet, and, most importantly, bringing economic opportunities to small farming communities in Africa. Says Thiam, “As a chef, I always wanted to represent the food of West Africa in my cooking through my restaurants and cookbooks. While writing cookbooks, I realized that I often had to think of a substitute for certain ingredients because they were not accessible to my audience. I saw this as an opportunity to create a market for those underutilized crops.” He goes on to add, “Fonio, in particular, caught my attention. It’s the oldest cultivated grain in Africa, it’s been around for 5,000 years. It’s quite resilient and can grow in poor soil. Furthermore, it is drought-resistant and thanks to its deep roots, it regenerates the soil by adding nutrients to it. It is gluten-free and it is also very nutritious.” Yolélé currently offers fonio in grain (From $5.95, amazon.com) and flour ($13, yolele,com), as well as in flavored pilafs (From $5.99, target.com) and chips ($3.99, thrivemarket.com).

From the perspective of a home cook, fonio is a dream come true; “Fonio is very versatile and it cooks in five minutes,” says Thiam. “There is a Bambara language saying that ‘fonio never embarrasses the cook.’ Indeed, it can be turned into flour, cooked as a fluffy couscous to be used in salads or pilafs, or simply as a side, or, by adding more broth, cooked into a porridge.” It’s light and fluffy when steamed, and has a mild nutty flavor.

How to Cook Fonio

You can usually substitute fonio for any grain in recipes. According to Thiam, the simplest way to cook it is by combining one cup of dry fonio in one-and-a-half cups of boiling water. Reduce the heat to its lowest setting and keep the pot closed with a tight lid until the water evaporates (three to five minutes). Then simply fluff it with a fork and proceed with your recipe. He also notes that fonio is a generous grain; a single cup of dry grains can yield four to five cups when cooked.

Health Benefits

Fonio is low on the glycemic index meaning it won’t cause large increases in blood sugar levels and it’s high in methionine and cysteine, amino acids essential for human growth that are missing in most other grains including corn, wheat, and rice. It’s also low in fat, a good source of B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin, and also provides some iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium. A complex carbohydrate, it’s significantly lower in calories (140 calories per cup) than rice, pasta, or quinoa.

Sustainability

Thiam is making sure that demand grows with the supply in order to avoid the “boom and bust” that happened to quinoa. “One of the ways we aim to prevent that boom and bust is by partnering with a local operator to build a mill that will process fonio in a more efficient way,” he says. “Currently, fonio processing is still partly manual and suffers a high amount of waste (close to 50 percent). The new mill will remove this processing bottleneck, and almost double the fonio’s availability by simply eliminating the high post-harvest loss. By processing more efficiently, we will reduce the cost and the price of processed fonio. Our business model will result in a price to smallholder farmers that’s attractive enough to increase planting, but not so high that it attracts speculators in industrial agriculture, which is what happened with quinoa in South America. We will also process fonio at three tons per hour as opposed to the current one ton per day.”

Yolélé is also looking for ways to protect the appellation of fonio grown by small farmers of the Sahel region in West Africa, in the same vein as protected wine-making regions.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Cancers will go undetected as NHS backlog worsens, says Wes Streeting

Cancers will go undetected as NHS backlog worsens, says Wes Streeting Labour’s new health spokesman Wes Streeting who had successful treatment for cancer told on Wednesday how similar cases will ... Read more »

Meghan: Court dismisses appeal by Mail on Sunday publisher over duchess' letter to her father

A court has dismissed an appeal that requested a trial over claims of breach of copyright and privacy following the publication of excerpts letter written by the Duchess of Sussex ... Read more »

China blue chips close higher as property, auto stocks gain

SHANGHAI: China’s blue chips closed higher on Thursday, led by real estate developers after three firms unveiled plans to issue domestic bonds, while analysts said Beijing would continue its deleveraging ... Read more »

IT dept detects tax evasion worth crores after raids on Mumbai real estate group

The Income Tax Department has detected alleged tax evasion worth crores of rupees after it recently raided a real estate group engaged in development of slum rehabilitation projects in Mumbai ... Read more »

The market looks rosy enough. But tread with caution

By Alok Saigal “The first rule of compounding is to never interrupt it unnecessarily” — Charlie Munger We are in the middle of a global bull market and wealth is ... Read more »

Cost of heating the average home could double, charity warns

An increase to the energy price cap in April could see the cost of heating the average home doubling since last April, a charity has warned. Fuel poverty charity National ... Read more »

India's Swiggy to invest $700 million in grocery delivery service Instamart

BENGALURU (Reuters) – SoftBank-backed Indian food delivery startup Swiggy said on Thursday it would invest $700 million in its grocery delivery service Instamart, to strengthen its footing in a highly ... Read more »

Siphoning of RFL funds: SC asks police to conclude probe against Shivinder by Dec 15

The Supreme Court Thursday asked Delhi Police to conclude probe by December 15 in a case against former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh who along with others is accused ... Read more »

The Duke of Sussex writes an urgent letter on behalf of Princess Diana for World AIDS Day

Photo credit: Chris Jackson – Getty Images For World AIDS Day, the Duke of Sussex is thanking leading health experts on behalf of his mother, Princess Diana. In a letter ... Read more »

Delhi schools to be closed from Friday after SC raps AAP government

All schools in Delhi will be closed from tomorrow (Friday) till further orders in the wake of harmful air quality, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said. The move came after the ... Read more »

Australian shares end at 2-month low as Omicron worries persist

Australian shares closed at their lowest level in two months on Thursday, as worries about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus persisted, while Afterpay led a broad sell-off in the ... Read more »

Jeffrey Epstein funded a 'scholarship lodge' where he visited the campus of a teen summer camp and boarding school

Defense lawyer Laura Menninger questions witness “Jane” during the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein associate accused of sex trafficking, in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., ... Read more »

SC asks Centre, Delhi govt to come out with suggestion to control air pollution within 24 hours

Nothing is happening on ground to control the deteriorating air quality in Delhi-NCR, the Supreme Court said on Thursday and directed the Centre and Delhi government to come out with ... Read more »

Japanese stocks see biggest weekly foreign outflow in eight weeks

Foreign investors ramped up selling in Japanese shares last week, as a newly identified Omicron coronavirus variant fanned worries of fresh restrictions and its impact on global economic recovery. Foreigners ... Read more »

Possible turnaround? 7 stocks with up to 39% upside in next 12 months

Despite their stock scores going for a toss in the last 3 months, analysts are bullish on the below mentioned seven stocks. According to analysts, these stocks can generate returns ... Read more »

Paytm just got its first ‘Buy' rating after IPO flop

Paytm, which has moved wildly since its listing after India’s largest initial public offering, has received the first buy rating from a brokerage that expects the company to turn profitable ... Read more »

US set to impose travel restrictions as first omicron case confirmed

LAX airport – Mario Tama/Getty New travel restrictions are set to be enforced in the United States after the country’s first case of the omicron coronavirus variant is reported. The ... Read more »

What analysts said on auto stocks after November sales data

NEW DELHI: November saw weak dispatches by automakers — as was the case last month — but the demand outlook remained reasonable, at least for personal vehicles (PV) and commercial ... Read more »

Britain approves rules to help London catch up with New York in listings

Read more »

UK shares slide as inflation, Omicron risks grow

UK shares fell on Thursday due to fears around the Omicron coronavirus variant, with the United States confirming its first case of the new strain, while warnings about inflation from ... Read more »

Polunin Ink Romeo & Juliet at the Albert Hall: Might this finally be the start of his comeback?

(handout) Few ballet dancers become household names beyond the rarefied world of dance; fewer still become notorious ones. But from the very outset of his career, Sergei Polunin has been ... Read more »

Maharashtra govt considering revision of air travel guidelines: Chief Secretary

Maharashtra Chief Secretary Debashish Chakravarty on Thursday said the state government was considering a revision of its air travel guidelines, a day after the Centre wrote to the state saying ... Read more »

Inside Chrishell's wardrobe on Selling Sunset

We don't know about you, but we are totally obsessed with Selling Sunset, Netflix's most popular show right now. The gorgeous Oppenheim group agents are known for their chic, stylish ... Read more »

Parliament can't be converted into a closed chamber: TMC's Derek O'Brien on censorship

© Provided by Hindustan Times TMC MP Derek O’Brien. (HT PHOTO) Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien on Thursday called for an end to censorship of protests in Parliament. Stating that ... Read more »

Not The Groom, This Rajasthani Bride Wore a Sherwani & Rode a Horse To Promote Gender Equality

© Ritu Singh | Trending Desk This Rajasthani Bride Wore a Sherwani & Rode a Horse To Promote Gender Equality Sikar (Rajasthan): Since time immemorial, the acts of wearing a ... Read more »

25 students test Covid positive at school in Tamil Nadu's Tiruppur, samples to be checked for variant

25 students test Covid positive at school in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruppur, samples to be checked for variant Twenty-five students of a private school in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruppur district have tested ... Read more »

Subscribe to Rategain Travel Technologies: Prabhudas Lilladher

© Sunil Matkar Subscribe to Rategain Travel Technologies: Prabhudas Lilladher Prabhudas Lilladher IPO report on Rategain Travel Technologies RateGain Travel Technologies Limited (RateGain) is among leading distribution technology companies globally ... Read more »

Meghan Markle WON'T have to face dad Thomas in court as she wins legal battle over letter

MEGHAN Markle today WON the latest round of her privacy battle – meaning she will not face her estranged dad in a public showdown. The Duchess of Sussex, 40, sued the ... Read more »

Mum's horror as gang of men offer her cash to buy her daughter as she walks her to primary school

A MUM was left terrified after men asked to buy her daughter as she walked the youngster to primary school. Cops investigating the shocking ordeal say the pair were approached ... Read more »

New Covid ‘cluster' emerges as cases rise in 177 areas amid fears of Omicron spread

A NEW Covid cluster has emerged in the UK and this interactive map reveals if your local area is a hotspot. Infections are rising in 177 areas across the country ... Read more »

Norway's governing parties and the SV commit to electricity measures aimed at mitigating effects of high prices

The Labor Party (AP), the Center Party (SP), and the Socialist Left Party (SV) MPs in the Norwegian parliament (Storting) are asking the government to find measures that can ease ... Read more »

Court bid to stop EU money being conditional on respect for rule of law 'should be dismissed'

Hungary and Poland’s court bid to stop EU cash handouts from being conditional on respect for rule of law “should be dismissed”. Budapest and Warsaw took their case to the ... Read more »

Tel Aviv is priciest city, outranking Paris in new report

TEL AVIV, Israel — Residents of Israel’s seaside metropolis Tel Aviv have for years complained of how expensive it is, with living costs taking a chunk out of their paychecks. ... Read more »

UK court to rule in Meghan's privacy suit against publisher

The Associated PressPrince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, arrive at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum for the Salute to Freedom Gala Wednesday, Nov. 10, ... Read more »

Biden picks less strict COVID travel rules than feared, makes insurance cover rapid tests

President Joe Biden proposes a “winter plan” for traveling Americans in response to the emergence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. Jim LoScalzo / Pool via CNP /Med President Biden on ... Read more »

Brit woman, 18, savaged by crocodile was saved by pal who ‘furiously' PUNCHED beast as it dragged her into death roll

A BRIT backpacker who was savaged by a crocodile was saved by a brave pal who “furiously” punched the beast as it dragged her into a death roll. The 18-year-old ... Read more »

I'm a child behaviour expert and this is how to get your kids to behave when the relatives are round this Christmas

YOU'VE bought your gifts, you've dug out the stockings, the baubles are on the tree and you've even treated yourself to a second mince pie… you've just got one more ... Read more »

People say I have ‘no class' for using vinyl to do up my house on a budget – but I've created a business with it

A DIY fanatic has hit back at trolls who said she “had low class” for using Vinyl flooring. Jes Rose, who posts many tips and tricks on how to fix ... Read more »

Report: Austria's ex-chancellor Kurz to leave politics

Read more »

James May reveals what he really thinks of Clarkson's Farm and why we won't see him on the show

JAMES May has ruled out ever appearing on Jeremy Clarkson's smash Amazon Prime Video hit Clarkson's Farm – and revealed the reason why. As he gears up for the release ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic