I was recently invited by the Feisty Foodie to a food demonstration involving ancient grains, specifically Kamut. Kamut is actually a brand name for the khorasan wheat. However, it's the most widely used and known brand. Therefore, a lot of people use it interchangeably. The khorasan wheat has many health benefits which supersede the regular wheat (even whole grain) that we are all so familiar with today. A lot of people are more health conscious these days but it all comes down to taste for me. I'm all for healthy eating and do so more often than not. But if it doesn't take good, I probably won't eat it. So how did the khorasan wheat do?
Before the demonstration started, they set out plates of food to snack on. I was happy to see a plate of cheese along with some flatbread and pretzel rods.
The flatbreads were made from the khorasan wheat and two flavors were promoted that day: rosemary and sesame.
I tried a little of each and really enjoyed it. The cheese was good but we're really here to talk about the crackers, right? If you just had me taste these crackers without knowing about their khorasan wheat ingredient, I wouldn't have known a difference. The taste was stronger than "normal" wheat but nothing that was strike a huge gasp. I liked the intense wheat flavor along with the seasonings. I would eat these crackers without any issues.
Along with the cheese and crackers, they also offered some drinks. Some wine for oenophiles.
Beer and seltzer for others.
I chose to taste the Peak Nut Brown. It's an organic beer from Maine. It taste like regular beer to me. No distinct flavor contrasts. The Nut Brown gave a nice roasted flavor without being too heavy tasting for the summer. I enjoyed this.
And then the demonstration started. Here is Cricket Azima who is part of the Creative Kitchen. The company is focused on teaching kids about food and how it can be fun and creative while also being healthy.
Along with the PR firm, Adinfinitum, they spoke about khorasan wheat, the farms, and its history. Below are the actual khorasan wheat stalks.
And then the cooking started. First was breaking using the khorasan wheat berries. They made an oatmeal like dish.
Below are the wheat berries. We were allowed to add milk, sugar, and dried berries to our liking.
To my dish, I added milk, dried cranberries, and brown sugar. One taste and it need more sugar. Khorasan wheat berries are really strong in flavor. A flavor that I'm not very fond of. With that said, I'd like to say that I'm not fond of oatmeal either. I don't enjoy the taste nor the texture. So I was skeptical about this dish in the first place. However, I know a lot of people who do enjoy oatmeal and this would be a very good replacement. It certainly gave me the feeling of being full without having to eat very much of it.
Next up, a light salad for lunch using the khorasan wheat berries again.
This salad had carrots, wheat berries, and pomegranate seeds. It was dressed lightly with a vinaigrette. I really enjoyed this dish. It was light but really filling. The flavors or sweet from the carrots, to tang from the pomegranate, to roasted from the wheat berries. I could definitely see myself making this and enjoying it.
And lastly, the dinner portion of the meal that involved pasta. This is where we went hands on. We all received a small knife along with a cutting board. We all diced up some mozzarella cheese, summer squash, zucchini, and asparagus.
Everything was cooked and dressed in a light tomato sauce.
A sprinkle of cheese later and dinner was served. This pasta, though not tasting like regular pasta, was not bad. It reminded me completely of whole wheat pasta. It was much heartier and again let me feel full without having to eat a lot of it. If you like whole wheat pasta, then Kamut pasta is definitely a good substitute.
And the dessert was served. Fresh berries on one side, homemade cookies using khorasan wheat flakes, Kamut wheat puffed cakes, and chocolate (not pictured below).
First I tried the puffed cakes. I really like them!
It taste just like the rice cakes but with a more robust roasted flavor. The slight sweetness from the agave syrup gave it just enough to prevent it from being bland. I really thoroughly enjoyed these.
And then the cookies. Unfortunately, I found these less desirable in texture. They were really chewy like a granola bar as opposed to a chewy, soft cookie. The flavors also reminded me of a granola bar but with a khorasan wheat taste. If these were presented to me as granola bites then I wouldn't have been more receptive to these.
The chocolate provided below had really interesting flavors including lavender, almond fennel, lemon salt, mango juniper, and banana cayenne.
I tried a piece of the lemon salt and found it really interesting. The lemon flavor was really refreshing next to the rich chocolate while the salt intensified the flavors for me. I definitely can eat more of this.
I'd like to thank Cricket Azima, the Creative Kitchen, Adinfinitum, and Kamut for inviting me to their food demonstration. It was really informative and it certainly let me know more about ancient grains. It's not all about quinoa anymore.
The Creative Kitchen