Ingredient Spotlight: Sorghum

If you take a look at the ingredients on the back of a bag of Sasya chips, you’ll see sorghum on the list. You may not have heard of it before, but chances are you’ve consumed it in more than just our chips, as it’s commonly used as a substitute for grains containing gluten. Keep reading to learn more about what sorghum is, and what’s so great about it! 

What exactly is sorghum? 

Sorghum is an ancient cereal grain that was first collected over 8000 years ago in Southern Egypt. Sorghum was then domesticated throughout Africa and India, and most likely came to America in the 19th century. The grain is currently the fifth most important cereal crop in the world, and its success can be attributed to its natural drought tolerance and versatility as food, feed and fuel. Sorghum still plays an important role in the economy and culture of India today. 

What’s so great about it? 

  • Sorghum is naturally gluten free but mimics glutinous grains, making it a great option for those who follow a gluten-free diet. 
  • It’s high in dietary fiber and protein. The varieties that are darker in color contain high levels of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Much of these nutritional benefits comes from the fact that it doesn’t have an inedible hull like other grains, so it can retain the majority of its nutrients for consumption.
  • It’s non-GMO. Sorghum is grown from traditional hybrid seeds and has not been modified using biotechnology. 
  • It’s easy to grow. As mentioned previously, sorghum is naturally drought-tolerant, and also extremely heat-tolerant. It is amongst one of the most efficient crops when it comes to conversion of solar energy and use of water. 
  • It’s super versatile. 
    • The grain can be served like rice or quinoa in side dishes or as a base for the main course.
    • In flour form, it can be used for baking. White sorghum, which is the most commonly used form of sorghum for baking, is naturally white and therefore requires no bleaching for it to be white in color. 
    • Can be popped like popcorn for a low-calorie, nutrient-packed snack. 
    • Sorghum syrup is a natural sweetener similar to molasses, which is lower in fructose levels than other sweeteners and is high in potassium. 
    • Sorghum flakes can be used in breakfast cereals and granola snacks.

As you can see, sorghum not only has lots of health benefits, but is incredibly versatile. Use sorghum as a replacement for quinoa or rice in any of the recipes on our recipe page.