Fonio (pronounced phone-yo) is a West African grain that has been cultivated for thousands of years. The grain is naturally gluten-free, and packed with vitamins. If you’re looking to change it up from brown rice or quiona this easy base belongs in your pantry.
Serving Size: 1/4 cup (50 g) of uncooked fonio
0.5g total fat
0g saturated fat
40 g carbohydrates
1 g fiber
<1 g sugar 5 mg sodium
What exactly is fonio?
Fonio is a type of millet; there are two species of this super grain, white fonio being the most widely consumed and black fonio.
Although fonio is found all over West Africa, it is especially prized in the Fouta Djallon region of Guinea and Senegal and the Akposso region of Togo and Central Nigeria.
The plant can thrive in poor growing conditions, and it only takes six to eight weeks to grow and harvest the grains.
Is fonio better than quiona?
What gives it the nutritional leg up compared to other grains is fonio is an excellent source of protein and is rich in amino acids.
It boasts more amino acids than quinoa– vital for healthy metabolic function. These amino acids include methionine and cysteine. Both methionine and cysteine are incorporated into structural protein and are required for normal growth of cells.
When compared to other grains, fonio supplies the greatest amounts of iron, zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. Fonio is a good source of fiber calcium, copper, and folate. Fonio has a low glycemic index, which makes it an ideal source of carbohydrates for diabetics.
How do you cook fonio?
Take 1 cup fonio. In a large bowl, wash the fonio grains by submerging in warm water. Swirl the Fonio around with your fingers, then pour the water out using a cheesecloth if you have one. Repeat this process several times. Drain well.
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Stir in the cleaned fonio and cover tightly with the lid. Turn the heat to low. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and gently fluff with a fork. Cover again for another 8-10 minutes, or until its tender.