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Corn or Maize (gluten free)
Maize is the principal food plant of America and was unknown in other parts of the world until Columbus reached America in 1492. It was grown by the Maya, Inca and Aztec civilizations, and by various North American Indian tribes and now has spread to Canada, USSR, Italy, Spain, Egypt, India and South Africa. It is used for human food, animal feed and as a source of raw materials for industry. 100g maize gives 9g protein. Fresh maize is often available (sweet corn, corn on the cob) but remember that nutritional values will be lower because less concentrated. We most often see maize as cornflakes or popcorn, but cornmeal or polenta is available and can be added to soup, pancakes, muffins etc. Tortillas are made from maize meal, as are quite a lot of snack foods. Do not confuse cornmeal with highly refined corn starch/flour, used for thickening.
Millet (gluten free)
Millet is the name applied to a variety of grasses first cultivated in Asia or Africa. It is a staple crop in Africa because it is drought resistant and keeps well. 100g millet provides 9.9g protein, and 6.8mg iron (higher than other cereals). Millet makes a delicious alternative to rice but the tiny seeds need to be cracked before they will absorb water easily, so they should be first sautйed with a little vegetable oil for 2-3 minutes until some are seen to crack, then add water with care (1:3 parts), bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until fluffy. Millet flakes can be made into porridge or added to muesli and millet flour is available, sometimes also made into pasta.
Oats are thought to have originated in Western Europe and may originally have appeared as a weed in barley and so got spread with the barley. They're now grown in many parts of the world including N W Europe, the former USSR countries, North America, Canada, Australia and China. Used mostly as animal feed, they are very nutritious. In fact, as they are usually inexpensive to buy, they can be a real boon to people trying to get a good diet on a low budget. 100g oats gives 13g protein, 55mg calcium (more than any other cereal except buckwheat), and 4.6mg iron. Available as groats (whole grains with the husks removed) but more usually as various grades of oatmeal, rolled oats or jumbo oat flakes. Oat groats need cooking for 45 minutes in 1:3 parts water. All forms can be used to make porridge, combined with ground nuts to make a roast or added to stews. Oatmeal is low in gluten so can't be used to make a loaf, but can be mixed with wheat flour to add flavour and texture to bread, muffins, pancakes etc.
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