When Van’s created the recipe for our new 8 Whole Grains mix, we started where we always start: with pure, natural ingredients and great taste.
But this time, we dug into the history books, too. Our new 8 Whole Grains mix uses a variety of so-called “ancient grains,” which have been a source of delicious nourishment for humans for thousands of years. Collectively, these grains are packed with protein and fiber and blend together to create fantastic, nutty flavors brought out by toasting. Because of the combination of excellent taste and quality nutrition, Americans are rediscovering these grains. Here’s a quick explanation of the ancient grains used in van’s 8 Whole Grain mix.
Amaranth: The Aztecs cultivated this ‘ancient grain’ as a major food source 8,000 years ago. As they’ve done for generations, small farmers in Mexico, Peru, Guatemala and India still grow amaranth for food. In rural Mexico, amaranth is toasted like popcorn and mixed with honey, molasses or chocolate for a treat called “algria.” (That’s joy in Spanish – one taste of our 8 Whole Grain waffles, and you’ll know the treat is aptly named.)
Quinoa: Quinoa is a “superfood” – nature nailed it with this one. Along with amaranth, quinoa is a complete protein with all the essential acids found in animal proteins, and it’s delicious in everything from waffles to cold salads. Quinoa originated in the Andes but it’s been considered for even more exotic growing places – NASA looked at it for its Controlled Ecological Life Support System for manned spaceflights of long duration. (1)
Barley: Barley is packed with the kind of fiber that’s been linked with lower cholesterol levels and prevention of heart disease. And it’s great for dieters because the fiber helps with fullness. Pulitzer-prize winning author Jared Diamond even wrote about how the cultivation of barley helped the nations of Europe and Asia conquer other nations. How’s that for breakfast? (2)
Millet: Millet is one of the oldest grains to be used in a domestic setting, and it even pops up in ancient literature. The grain has a sweet, nutty taste that is heightened when toasted prior to cooking. Globally, it’s an incredibly important food source - today, it sustains an astonishing one third of the world’s population.
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barley and http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/entertainment/jan-june98/diamond_4-17.html