(Family Features) Whether for medical reasons or by choice, consumer interest in gluten-free foods is on the rise. The U.S. market for gluten-free foods is expected to exceed $6.6 billion by 2017, signaling the practice of cutting consumption of wheat, barley and rye has gone mainstream.
According to research conducted at Texas A&M University, sorghum, a cereal grain grown throughout the world, offers slow digestibility and a lower glycemic index. Foods with a lower glycemic index are believed to increase satiety, which means people feel fuller longer, which can assist with weight management. Thus, the growth of the gluten-free market has led to a renewed interest in sorghum.
Globally, sorghum is used primarily as a human food product, often in the form of thick porridges, popped sorghum, fermented and unfermented flat breads, cooked and served as a whole grain, malted into both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, hard cookies, tortillas and more.
Domestically, sorghum is proving to be a strong substitute for other grains. White, food-grade sorghum can be milled directly into whole grain flour to produce a wide range of baked goods and flour-based foods such as pizza dough, pastas and cereals.
Giving up gluten doesn’t have to mean giving up the treats you love. The recipe below for Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies proves using sorghum is the smart choice for its many benefits. For more recipes using sorghum, visit www.HealthySorghum.com.
Dark Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe provided by Carol Fenster
Servings: 48 cookies
20 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (at least 60 percent cocoa), divided
3 tablespoons butter or buttery spread
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
In medium microwave-safe bowl, heat 8 ounces (1 heaping cup) of chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter on low power in microwave oven 1-2 minutes, or until melted. Stir; set aside to cool.
In large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, flour, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt with electric mixer on low speed until very well blended. Beat in melted chocolate mixture until no flour streaks remain. Stir in walnuts and remaining chocolate chips. Dough will be soft. Refrigerate, covered, 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 15-by-10-inch baking sheet (not nonstick) with parchment paper. Shape dough into 48 walnut-sized balls and place 12 balls, at least 1 1/2 inches apart, on sheet.
Bake just until cookies are shiny and crust starts to crack, about 10-12 minutes. Do not over-bake. Cool cookies 2 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Or, freeze balls up to 1 month and bake later.
Adapted from “1,000 Gluten Free Recipes,” written by Carol Fenster; reprinted with permission from the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Source: United Sorghum Checkoff Program