Sorghum is an underappreciated gluten free grain in the West, in my opinion. It’s one of my favorite flours to use in baked goods, because the texture is so similar to wheat flour. It’s nutritious and has as much protein as quinoa, but without the bitter taste! It’s also really versatile and is used to make syrup and beer, feed livestock, cultivate mushroom spores, and even in ethanol fuel production.

Sorghum is native to Africa and Australia and has many different names: jawar, milo, guinea corn, dura, kafir corn, mtama, and kaoliang. It’s an important food crop in Africa, China, India, and Central America. The plant is hardy, handling droughts and high heat well, and also producing high yields, which is why it’s been such a popular crop for over 5,000 years. It’s high in B vitamins, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and copper. Plus it’s a good source of protein and complex carbs. Colorful varieties of sorghum (especially black sorghum) are high in antioxidants that could help prevent cancer, diabetes, and heart disease when eaten regularly.


Image from Texas A&M

Sorghum can be milled into flour, cooked like rice, flaked like rolled oats, or popped like corn. Popped sorghum are a popular snack in India. There are tons of different varieties of sorghum, but most sorghum flour you’ll see in the west is made from sweet white sorghum, so it’s pale in color. Sorghum flour is probaby the closest in flavor and texture to wheat flour. It helps provide structure and stability in baked goods and imparts a light sweetness. In all gluten free baking we recommend a blend of flours to help balance their different properties. Use 15% to 30% sorghum flour in your blend for the best results.

Sorghum Goods

You can easily find affordable sorghum flour or whole sorghum at your local Indian grocery, but cross-contamination is worth considering. You may want to research the company that makes those flours before purchasing, to make sure you’re comfortable with how they handle their processing. You can also purchase certified gluten free sorghum products online. You’ll find some of those options linked below.

Sorghum Recipes

There are so many great sorghum recipes that it was hard to choose just a few. Below, you’ll find a huge variety of recipes for inspiration. You can make everything from gluten free beer, salads, and flatbreads from sorghum, just to name a few. This is a great flour to have on hand in your gluten free pantry.


Bourbon sorghum pecan pie from Bojon Gourmet


Sorghum almond cookies from Yang's Nourishing Kitchen

* Title image courtesy of Foodtank.

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