Let’s play some trivia, seafoodies!
What do seafood and ancient grains have in common?
- They’re both rich in healthy fats
- They both help to lower the risk of heart disease or stroke
- They’re both rich in amino acids, which can help aid in collagen production
- All the above
If you guessed D, you’re correct!
Seafood and ancient grains have a great deal in common, and, even better, they taste delicious when paired together. From fish and farro, to shrimp and quinoa, there’s no shortage of fun and unique recipes to match when it comes to pairing these superfoods.
According to the Oldways Whole Grains Council, ancient grains are grains that have been planted, harvested, and largely unchanged for several centuries. Some ancient grains include millet, quinoa, buckwheat, farro, teff, barley, cracked wheat/bulgur, or rye. Fun fact: Did you know that some ancient grains aren’t actually grains—like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat—but are considered “pseudo-grains” because their nutritional profile is similar to the grain family.
Unlike refined grains, ancient and whole grains contain the bran, germ, and endosperm so they are rich in dietary fiber and other beneficial nutrients, like B vitamins (for metabolism), iron (for carrying oxygen in the blood), magnesium (for healthy bones) and selenium (for a healthy immune system). Thanks to their rich, grainy taste, ancient grains pair perfectly with seafood. And, both seafood and whole grains are under-consumed in the U.S.
Seafood is so under-consumed that most Americans need to double their fish and shellfish intake. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (link) recommend that all Americans eat more seafood, at least 2-3 servings each week to meet your nutrient needs. Why not try serving some of your 2-3 seafood meals with ancient grains. We promise you’ll love the combination!
Looking for ideas on how to pair seafood with ancient grains? No worries! To help you get started, check out five of our favorite seafood-ancient grains pairings.
Mediterranean Spiced Salmon with Vegetable Quinoa
Salmon + quinoa = powerful, tasty duo! Try adding some colorful veggies or a tomato-cucumber salad to this protein-rich dish for a tasty and delicious meal. Try incorporating colorful vegetables into your dish (like tomatoes and cucumbers) to make this dish even more festive!
Roasted Shrimp Quinoa Spring Rolls
We’ll let you in on a little kitchen life hack, quinoa is a great (and high protein) swap for rice or noodles in a dish. This recipe in particular swaps out rice noodles for quinoa, the taste and texture gets two thumbs up from us.
Buttery Tuna Rice Muffins
These Buttery Tuna Rice Muffins are flipping fantastic! The savory mix of seasoning, cheddar, and tuna topped with the parsley lemon sauce is phenomenal. Not only do these muffins taste delicious, the tuna is full of essential nutrients and lean protein.
Crispy Farro and Shrimp Stir-Fry
Toasting earthy grains like farro add an extra depth of flavor with a nutty taste and texture. This method can easily elevate a dish—now add decadent shrimp and we’re in seafood heaven.
Caramelized Teriyaki Salmon with Toasted Buckwheat
The versatility of salmon makes it a no-brainer protein for many flavor profiles from Mediterranean to Mexican, and it does not disappoint in Asian-inspired recipes either. This delicious recipe pairs a sweet and savory caramelized teriyaki salmon with toasted buckwheat. And want to know what’s especially win-win about this dish? Salmon, along with other fatty fish, provides a boatload of heart-healthy omega-3s, which also helps to reduce chronic inflammation in the body.