Rye, the basis of a healthy kitchen, which should not be missing from your menu!

If you are a fan of bread, crackers, beer or whiskey, then rye is certainly not unknown to you.

People have been consuming it for millennia and it is gaining more and more popularity.

What is important to know about him?

In this article, you will learn how to prepare it correctly, where you can use it, and many other tips.

Rye, a healthy cereal that you can enjoy every day

Did you know that you can eat whole rye grains if you cook them properly?

What is made of rye?

How to properly sprout rye grains?

Or what are different types of flour used for?

Let’s check it out together!

Why consume rye?

Consuming rye has several health benefits such as

It is rich in fiber

Whole grain rye flour contains more fiber than whole wheat flour. Fiber stimulates bowel function and reduces the risk of constipation. At the same time, it increases the feeling of satiety.

It has a lower glycemic index

The rise in blood glucose level after consuming rye flour is lower compared to wheat flour. The low glycemic index of rye bread contributes to a stable blood glucose level and makes it a suitable food for type 2 diabetics and reduces the risk of its development.

Lowers cholesterol

Beta-glucans found in rye flour have been shown to reduce elevated blood cholesterol levels.

It improves the function of the digestive system

Rye contains less starch than wheat and more free sugars. Together with fiber, they have a stimulating effect on the intestinal flora, especially bifidobacteria, i.e. they have a probiotic effect . Probiotics have a beneficial effect on the intestinal balance and, as a result, improve the function of the digestive system.

It is rich in vitamins and minerals

Rye bread contains 30% more iron, twice as much potassium and three times as much sodium as regular bread! It is also among the most recommended foods for anemia . Above all, it is a treasure trove of vitamins. The outer layer of the endosperm grains of rye, like wheat, is rich in minerals and vitamins , especially those of the B group.

It has an antioxidant effect

Rye contains polyphenols that have antioxidant activity.

It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and the occurrence of gallstones

Studies have found that people who regularly consume rye bread are 30% less likely to develop heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases compared to white bread consumers. Eating foods rich in insoluble fiber also protects against gallstones.

Cereal ears and grains.

Nutritional values ​​of rye

In the following table, look at the nutritional values ​​of 100 g of boiled rye grains.

Nutritional values ​​per 100 g Boiled rye grains
Energy 156 calories
Proteins 6 g
Fat 1 g
Carbohydrates 27 g
Sugars 1 g
Fiber 6 g

For your interest, we also have a comparison of the nutritional values, vitamins and minerals of 4 basic types of grain in 100 g raw.

Nutritional values ​​of selected types of grain

100 g
100 g
100 g
100 g
Energy 283 calories 305 calories 316 calories 288 calories
Water 14 g 14 g 13.5 g 14 g
Carbohydrates 55.8 g 59.5 g 55.1 g 56.4 g
Proteins 9.9 g 11.8 g 10 g 10.3 g
Fats 2.2 g 2.2 g 6.2 g 2.4 g
Fiber 16.4 g 10.8 g 12 g 14.5 g

Vitamins and minerals of selected types of grain

100 g
100 g
100 g
100 g
Vitamin B1 0.316 0.566 mg 0.45 mg 0.646 mg
Vitamin B2 0.251 mg 0.184 mg 0.155 mg 0.258 mg
Vitamin B3 4.27 mg 6.38 mg 1.12 mg 4.6 mg
Vitamin B6 0.294 mg 0.259 mg 0.1 mg 0.318 mg
Potassium 424 mg 337 mg 421 mg 453 mg
Phosphorus 366 mg 370 mg 361 mg 353 mg
Magnesium 120 mg 108 mg 135 mg 150 mg
Calcium 59 mg 54 mg 117 mg 93 mg
Zinc 2.04 mg 2.79 mg 3.61 mg 2.71 mg
Iron 5.4 mg 5.4 mg 5.5 mg 7.4 mg

What can we prepare from rye?

Rye is primarily associated with rye bread, but it also has many other uses!

It goes well with various types of baked goods, breakfast cereals, but also with salty dishes in the form of cooked whole grains.

Here, rye grains can be consumed whole, as flakes, ground into flour or chopped into smaller pieces.

Rye can also be used to make beer, vodka or whiskey or as fodder for farm animals.

Different forms of rye

There are several different forms of rye in which we can consume it. Let’s look at them together.

Rye grains

The grains can be cooked and eaten whole in salads, soups or you can make risotto from them. They have a nutty, earthy flavor and are wonderfully tender. You can buy them in various BIO stores or order them online.

For example, add grains to one of our vegetable salad recipes . You will enjoy!

How to store rye grains?

Store them at room temperature in an airtight container. It will last at least 6 months in a cool and dry place. For longer storage, you can freeze unheated grains in an airtight container or freezer bag, and they will last up to a year in the freezer.

Store cooked rye grains in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For longer storage, transfer them completely cooled to a freezer bag. Seal tightly and freeze for up to 3 months.

How to cook rye grains?

  1. Rinse 1 cup rye grains in a fine sieve.
  2. Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil.
  3. Add ½ teaspoon fine salt and rye grains.
  4. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat.
  5. Cook until the rye grains are tender, about 45-60 minutes.
  6. The only way to know they are done to your liking is to taste them.
  7. If you want them softer, continue cooking.
Raw cereal grains in one bowl and cooked cereal grains in another bowl.

How to germinate rye grains?

Prepare your own rye sprouts at home. It’s incredibly simple, you don’t need any extra equipment, and it can be fun for the whole family. They are great in salads or sauteed, you can also add them to baked goods.

And how to do that?

  1. In a large bowl, cover the intact rye grains with 5 cm of water.
  2. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.
  3. Drain and pat dry.
  4. Spread the rye grains in an even layer in a large, shallow bowl.
  5. Cover and let stand at room temperature until the grains sprout, about 48 hours.

Is it necessary to soak the grains before cooking?

Some recipes recommend soaking the grains overnight in a covered bowl of cold water before cooking. The goal is to cut the cooking time by a few minutes and potentially make the grains more digestible and the nutrients in the grains more bioavailable. However, it is not absolutely necessary, so the choice is yours.

Rye flakes

You can prepare porridge from rye flakes or use them as an ingredient in muesli or granola.

How to store rye flakes?

Store rye flakes at room temperature in an airtight container. It will last at least 6 months in a cool and dry place. For longer storage, you can freeze unheated rye flakes in an airtight container or in a freezer bag, and they will last for up to a year.

Cooked rye flakes can be stored tightly covered in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

How to cook rye flakes?

Bring 1 cup rye flakes, 3 cups water, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until rye flakes are tender, about 25-30 minutes.

Spilled rye flakes.

Rye flour

Among the most used types of flour in our country are:

  • Rye rash flour (rash or also weather rash), which is a low-ground flour that is ground smooth. Perfect for baking rye bread, but also buns, cakes, gingerbread or muffins.
  • Rye bread flour is a special smooth flour which, as the name suggests, is mainly used for baking bread. Bakers have a tip that when preparing the dough, this flour is also mixed with wheat bread flour. The dough will then increase in volume and at the same time will not lose its taste.
  • Rye whole grain flour is richer in fiber and valuable minerals and has a wide range of uses in baking. You can use it to make homemade pastries, pancakes and gingerbread. It is recommended to mix it with plain wheat flour when preparing the dough, the dough will then be more voluminous.

What makes rye flour unique?

  • It has less gluten than wheat flour.
  • It holds more water than wheat flour and contains certain enzymes that convert starch into sugar.
  • Rye bread tastes best after it has been left to rest for a while (approx. 24-36 hours).
Rye flour in a jar with grains and spoons scattered next to it.

Get inspiration from our recipes for Christmas cookies made from rye flour . Linz, gingerbread and other types will definitely taste good to you. Which variant will you try first?

Baking with rye flour

The general rule is that you can replace up to one third of the classic plain flour in the recipe with rye flour and you don’t have to modify the recipe significantly.

For rye breads that contain a higher percentage of rye flour, it helps to bake the bread at different temperatures, starting at a high temperature and then finishing at a lower temperature. This method of baking helps to prevent the development of enzymes that create a rubbery structure in rye bread, so it is good if the bread is not baked for too long at a temperature that is favorable for enzyme formation.

Rye products

Rye whiskey

For example, whiskey is also made from rye. Bestsellers include Jack Daniels, Rittenhouse and Bulleit. It is mainly produced in North America and is becoming more and more popular. At least 52% rye must be used for its production in order to be called rye whiskey. It tastes great on its own, even without ice, which loses some of its distinctive taste.

Rye whiskey in a glass with ice.

Rye beer

Rye beers tend to be pleasantly smooth, because the grain mixture is based on classic malt and rye is only an addition. It goes perfectly with spicy dishes that we know from, for example, Mexican or Indian cuisine. You can also serve it with cheese.

A glass of black beer.

How to choose rye correctly

Rye grains go bad much faster than most people think. It is important to buy rye where they have a steady turnover to ensure that the grains are fresh.

When buying rye flour, check the mill date or sell by date. It’s also good to be able to smell the rye. It should smell sweet and nutty. If it smells musty or has a rancid smell, definitely don’t buy it.

Growing rye and interesting things

Rye cultivation probably originated in southwest Asia around 6,500 BC , then migrated west across the Balkan Peninsula and across Europe. Modern rye is widely grown in Europe, Asia and North America.

Compared to production, its world production is much smaller (about 3% of wheat).

It is mainly grown where the climate and soil are unfavorable for other cereals. It thrives at high altitudes and grows as far north as the Arctic Circle.

Because rye has deep roots, it is able to capture nutrients, improve soil health, prevent soil erosion, and increase water infiltration and retention. Rye reduces weeds without the use of herbicides. Because of these properties, rye is often grown by farmers who use organic farming practices.

Rye in conjunction with witch trials

There is a fungus called ergot (its botanical name is ergot) that can attack rye and cause the grains to become highly toxic to humans, and ingestion can cause hallucinations and illness . For thousands of years, ergot-infested rye caused outbreaks of disease, madness, and death across Europe. The connection between this fungus and its destructive effects only began to be discussed in the 19th century .

Fortunately, modern industrialization has since almost eliminated any risk of ergot-infected rye, as all diseased grains are removed before processing. Interestingly, some historians believe that ergot-infested rye was the cause of the hallucinations that led to the Salem, Massachusetts witch trials of 1692.

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)