We have heard of, know, and have used barley, oats, and even rye in many recipes, but triticale is not something most of us have come across either in the supermarket or in our recipe books.
So, what is triticale and how can you prepare it and add it to your favorite recipes?
This article has all the answers as well as some recipes you can make and use triticale in.
What Is Triticale?
Triticale (pronounced tri-ti-CAY-lee) was produced in the 1960s after decades of studies that started over a century ago by interbreeding two kinds of wheat with rye, which ultimately resulted in a variant that is richer in nutrients than its parental wheat types.
Even though experimental research began during the late 1800s, the first triticale product available for consumers to purchase was not available until after 1970.
The goal of creating triticale was to achieve the high yield of wheat together with the cold-hardiness of rye from one single wheat.
Triticale has proven to be particularly prone to the fungus disease ergot, and cultivation challenges have demonstrated that it is not the modern superfood that many had anticipated.
And yet, despite all of the effort and resources put into research and testing, triticale has yet to catch on with the wider population.
How Can I Use Triticale?
Triticale is not commonly cultivated or used as a conventional food cultivar.
Instead, it is a fodder crop for many species of animals all over the globe.
Animal feeding tests revealed that it is easier to digest, something that has doubled its fame.
It was relatively recently that individuals began to use it and deem it as a potential staple ingredient in the kitchen.
Because several nations around the world rely on cereal crops as their primary source of energy, triticale could someday become an essential crop for feeding large populations.
You might well have seen it in grocery stores selling healthy foods/superfoods, typically sold as rolled triticale and used in recipes for porridge bowls or other similar meals.
Moreover, you can also find triticale berries sold whole.
In that case, they are usually packaged in bags like the rest of the grains and can be sprouted or ground into flour to make doughs or batter you can use for recipes like those for bread or pastries.
What Does Triticale Look And Taste Like?
As was previously mentioned, this mildly grassy grain is a cross between wheat and rye, and it is commonly found in flour, flakes, meal, and whole berries.
When in its plant form, triticale is similar to wheat, but the berries are bigger than those of wheat, while the grain is similar to wheat or rye kernels.
When it comes to its flavor, triticale has a nutty flavor similar to wheat and a satisfyingly sour flavor similar to rye, even though some people believe that it tastes nothing like the latter.
The Benefits Of Triticale: A Quick Overview
With rye and wheat being both rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants, triticale would be no exception to that.
Consuming triticale on a regular basis can greatly enhance digestion and regulate blood sugar levels, lowering the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Triticale has 16% protein, which is comparable to that of wheat, and yet it comes with a greater proportion of amino acids than rye and wheat.
It is also a great source of lysine, which is typically not found in sufficient amounts in grains.
However, it is important to note that triticale contains wheat, which makes it unsafe for people who are gluten intolerant.
How To Prepare Triticale
Triticale berries are easy to cook, and the berries-to-water ratio is 1:3.
So, for each cup of triticale berries you want to cook, you will need 3 cups of boiling water.
Triticale berries are hard and require overnight soaking to soften, just like chickpeas, beans, wheat, and rye.
Once you are about to cook the triticale berries, you need to cover them and simmer on medium-low heat for 40-50 minutes.
That is typically the amount of time required for the triticale kernels to start popping, which is an indicator that the grains have been cooked.
Alternatively, you can cook triticale in boiling water in the same way you would cook pasta, but even in this case, it’s best to have them soak from the previous night.
Otherwise, you’ll need a slow cooker to cook them longer.
4 Recipes With Triticale You Can Try And Make At Home
There are many classic recipes you can add triticale to, some of which are many people’s favorite ones.
From nourishing salads to bread and waffles, there are plenty of meal ideas you can incorporate triticale in to make your diet nutrient-rich and healthy!
Here are some recipe ideas for inspiration:
1. Whole Grain Triticale Waffles With Pomegranate And Orange
If you are used to making healthy waffles, then you are probably already using whole wheat flour as well as oat flour to make them.
However, now that you know more about triticale, you can use triticale flour for your waffles for a change.
Mix triticale flour with whole wheat flour and ground flax seeds, brown sugar, baking powder, some salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.
In another bowl mix milk, vegetable oil, egg, vanilla, and some orange zest, and then combine the two mixtures folding in the pomegranate arils.
Once your waffles are ready, serve them with more pomegranate arils, or simply pour maple syrup on top!
2. Triticale Bread
Triticale bread is a high-protein bread that is also extremely low in fat, making it a perfect addition to any diet.
This recipe combined triticale flour with soy and bread flour, as well as active yeast, with all four ingredients making this bread as special as it is.
There are other ingredients added to it like some salt, brown sugar, fennel seeds, barley malt syrup, and, of course, water, which is necessary to make the dough.
3. Triticale Salad With Sun-Dried Tomato
If you simmer triticale in water for about an hour, or at least they are soft and yet chewy, you can then mix them with some chopped walnuts and fresh parsley before pouring over a tasty homemade vinaigrette dressing.
The dressing is made with sun-dried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped shallots, olive oil as well as walnut oil, some red wine, and balsamic vinegar.
Salt and pepper to taste, toss well, and enjoy this refreshing salad that is perfect for a summer afternoon!
4. Triticale Salad With Mushrooms And Endive
This flavorful salad has more ingredients than the previous one and is best enjoyed warm. With both white and shiitake mushrooms, endive, and triticale cooked in either chicken or vegetable stock, it is an easy one to make.
Its dressing includes olive oil, walnut oil, sherry, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and Dijon mustard. You can also add salt, according to taste.
The Bottom Line
Triticale is a very nutritious grain that you can and should add to your pantry, and with these recipes above, you can easily use it to make some delicious meals!