Fonio grain has so many health benefits that I had to experiment with cooking it. This staple grain is primarily grown in West Africa and in that region, but you can find it in the states from some reputable brands with West African roots.
I’ve had a bag of fonio grain in my pantry for over a year, and I’m just getting around to trying it. Thank God this super grain has a pretty long shelf life. My intention to try something new wasn’t in vain.
I love experimenting with new foods, but recently, convenience has played a considerable role in how adventurous I get with cooking. I’m not going to lie, I could eat a protein and veggies for most of the week.
My family is not as easy to accommodate. So I’m on a mission to add more variety to our plates. That’s why I decided to try fonio. Well, that’s my primary reason. My secondary reason is it’s been in my pantry for a year. Don’t judge me.
Fonio is a pretty straightforward grain, so it can be dressed up in several ways. For breakfast, you can add fruit to make a porridge dish. And savory elements and vegetables can turn it into lunch or dinner. I could even see it dressed in a vinaigrette with cucumbers and chickpeas for an easy summer salad.
Since I’m more into savory dishes, I decided to go that route with my recipe.
If you enjoy couscous, you’ll appreciate fonio’s similar texture. I would describe it as only slightly more grainy than couscous. It’s prepared very similarly to couscous and even has a similar aroma, in my opinion.
These are really just a few of the benefits. It really is a super grain. Move over, quinoa!
Fonio Grain Is Easy to Digest
Fonio is gluten-free. Gluten is inflammatory for most people and is generally not recommended for most people dealing with digestive issues.
It Won’t Spike Blood Sugar
Since fonio is low on the glycemic index, it is less likely to cause spikes in blood sugar. It also contains amino acids that secrete insulin which is beneficial for blood sugar stabilization.
One serving of fonio contains 25% of the recommended daily iron intake. Adequate amounts of bioavailable iron can help with the anemia and iron deficiency that often accompanies fibroids and other associated symptoms.
…& High in Other Nutrients, Too
Fonio contains high amounts of B vitamins, zinc, and even phosphorus. All of which are essential to several functions in the body and support hormonal health.
The Other Recipe Ingredients:
One of the pluses to this fonio grain recipe is that it’s made with common ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry or fridge.
Just about any mushroom will probably work in this recipe, but I decided to be adventurous. I used organic Mitake Frondosa mushrooms. The package described them as “the hen of the woods.”
They have a meaty texture and mild flavor that bulks up this recipe. Not to mention, mushrooms are also pretty super.
I went with a classic yellow onion. A white would also be a good option. You could probably experiment with purple onion, but I find that those work better raw.
I LOVE the flavor of garlic, but I’m not a fan of tasting the actual pieces. My solution for this has been to use a garlic press. It gives maximum flavor and allows the garlic to “melt into the dish.”
A quick note about onion and garlic: I believe that onion and garlic should be used to taste. Feel free to add or minimize the amounts recommend in the recipe.
You can use chicken, vegetable, or even bone broth. Always check the ingredients list to ensure there are no natural flavors, vegetable oils, or added sugars.
The only two oils I cook with are avocado oil and ghee because of their high smoke points. Either of these will work well for sauteeing.
½ cup fonio grain
1 cup broth
½ cup mushrooms
1 ½ tbsp of avocado oil
½ cup onions
2 cloves minced garlic
- Heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil in a medium saucepan. Begin to saute onions. About 2 mins in, add minced garlic and mushrooms. Continue to saute until onions are translucent.
- Add Fonio and stir until fonio is coated with oil. If needed, add an additional half tablespoon of avocado oil to coat the fonio thoroughly.
- Add broth and bring to a boil. Salt to taste. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork and enjoy.
Garnish with your favorite herb or greens. Parsley gives this recipe a fresh flavor that compliments the savoriness.
Here are some things that might help with this recipe:
Have you tried fonio grain before? If so, I’d love to know how you like to prepare it. Let me know in the comments.