Most Common Wheat Grains — Types, Benefits, And Uses
Wheat is a staple food ingredient that is consumed by millions of people across the world and for a wide range of purposes. Wheat grains are full of carbohydrates, essential vitamins, minerals, and, most importantly, fiber. These are the important things that help in the growth of the body. In a global food habits survey, it was found that almost 75 to 80% of the world’s population opts for wheat grains as a part of their staple diet. But the important thing to note here is that people are not completely aware of the different types of wheat grains available in the market. They do not know what are the benefits provided by each type of wheat grain, and what are their respective uses in preparing tasty and healthy meals.
According to diet and nutrition experts, there are around 6 different types of wheat grown across the United States, and each type of wheat grain has different characteristic features. These features make them quite popular among people. Each type of wheat grain also possesses different qualities that can benefit the overall health of the body.
#1 Hard Red Winter Wheat
This is one of the basic types of wheat that is usually grown in Kansas. This type of wheat grain is popular for its strong gluten presence and high amount of protein. Hard Red Winter wheat grains are usually used for the preparation of yeast bread and sometimes rolls. Many people prefer to use the Hard Red Winter wheat grains for preparing flatbreads or consuming them in the form of cereals. In some regions, it is used for making tortillas. This is a versatile class of wheat grain that is consumed on a large scale. The Hard Red Winter Wheat is full-flavored and primarily used to blend the all-purpose wheat flour with whole-grain wheat flour. It is best when it comes to preparing rustic bread such as sourdough.
#2 Hard White Wheat Grains
This is yet another type of wheat grain that is in demand among the US population. According to the experts, it has been found that this type of wheat grain is usually used for preparing whole-wheat white flour because this type of wheat grain has a slight sweetness that adds a good flavor to it. It is an excellent choice for those who wish to switch from white bread to whole wheat bread, as this offers a lighter-colored finish to the bread. It is also the primary choice for specialty wheat noodles, tortillas, and pan-breads.
#3 Soft Red Winter Wheat Grains
The Soft Red Winter Wheat has a distinctive flavor which is extremely helpful in creating a wide range of baked food items. As these wheat grains are soft, they can be easily milled and they develop a soft texture after being milled. Due to the softness of the flour milled from soft red wheat grains, it is mainly used for baking cookies, cakes, crackers, or pastries. They are not grown on a large scale as compared to the hard wheat grains. The Soft Red Wheat grains have extremely low gluten, and thus the protein level is also low. Due to the low protein level, these wheat grains are not considered an ideal choice for daily meals.
#4 Hard Red Spring Wheat Grains
Hard Red Spring Wheat grains are one of the most popular wheat grains, as they have high gluten content and are thus higher in protein. These types of wheat grains are beneficial in preparing soft bread, croissants or pizza dough, or chewy pastries. These types of wheat grains are usually grown in the US and Canada.
#5 Durum Wheat Grains
Durum Wheat grains are known to everyone, and they are considered the hardest wheat grains when compared to other wheat grains. They have the highest level of protein content and, due to this feature, these wheat grains are used in the preparation of pasta and semolina.
Wheat grains are a kitchen staple in most countries across the world. But the same type of wheat grains is not used everywhere. Different regions have different wheat grains and thus are used for different purposes. So the next time you are out purchasing wheat grains, then get to know what type would be most suitable for you and how it would be beneficial for your health. Being knowledgeable about the wheat grains will help you in achieving the best health and remain healthy for a long period.