Have you ever wondered what the world’s oldest convenience food is? Have you heard of bulgur wheat? Bulgur is a versatile, healthful, and nutritious grain that isn’t as well-known as other grains like barley, quinoa, and rice.
DID YOU KNOW?
Bulgar is thought to be one of the first processed foods in the world, and it was consumed by Chinese Emperors as well as ancient Babylonians.
Bulgur is a nutrient-rich staple that has been used in a variety of Mediterranean and West Asian recipes. It is considered the world’s oldest convenience food used for more than 4,000 years.
What Is Bulgur Wheat?
Bulgur wheat is a whole grain that has been partially boiled, dried, and cracked. It’s just a hard white wheat grain on its own. When ground into flour, Bulgur brings a nutty flavor and a creamy texture to meals.
Uses of Bulgur
Bulgur has a light, nutty flavor and can be used in various dishes, including side dishes, pilafs, desserts, soups, salad, and porridges. Bulgur is said to work as a thickening agent in meat patties and meatballs.
Bulgur wheat is well-known for being the main ingredient in the traditional Middle Eastern appetizer dish tabbouleh. It can also be used in place of quinoa, rice, and couscous in various recipes.
12 Best Substitutes For Bulgur
Bulgur is a simple grain to prepare compared to other wheat grains such as wheat berries. Furthermore, you can make and serve it in minutes.
You may, however, face situations where you must substitute bulgur for something else. Luckily it is not difficult to find numerous ingredients that can be used in place of bulgur.
Quinoa is a pseudocereal in South America and has gained widespread popularity. It is now utilized as the primary component in a wide variety of dishes.
Quinoa, which can be either red or creamy white, provides a variety of critical nutrients such as amino acids, proteins, fiber, and minerals and vitamins such as iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium, etc.[Source]
It’s a flexible bulgur substitute that may be utilized in a variety of sweet and savory foods and recipes, as well. Quinoa is gluten-free and may be used in stews, soups, and salads since it has a textural profile comparable to bulgur (a type of grain).
In terms of flavor, quinoa has a mildly salty taste, which can be enhanced by adding fresh herbs. When preparing dishes using it, you can incorporate seasonings (such as lemon juice) into the recipe.
Because bulgur is derived from broken wheat kernels, you won’t have any trouble modifying recipes that call for quinoa to your specific dietary requirements.
The primary distinction is that quinoa needs a brief soaking in water before being boiled, whereas rice does not. However, it will take approximately 15 minutes before you can use it as a replacement and top it with herbs and spices.
Rice is a cereal grain consumed alone and in numerous soups, side dishes, and main meals in the Middle East, Asia, and many cuisines.
Rice is available in various varieties, including brown and white rice. It can be substituted for bulgur in any dish that asks for it.
Rice with a nutty flavor and chewiness takes longer to prepare than white rice, due to the high fibrous bran layer and nutrient-dense germ, while white rice has a more delicate texture and takes longer to cook than brown rice.
It can be substituted for bulgur if the recipe calls for it. In addition, it is a versatile alternative that can be boiled, pulverized, deep-fried, or grilled, among other preparations.
Couscous is a dish that many people keep in their pantry as a staple. Even now, many individuals are unfamiliar with the term “couscous.” They believe it to be a nutritious grain similar to bulgur.
However, the truth is that couscous is more accurately described as a durum wheat pasta variation.
As a result, couscous is primarily composed of carbohydrates. Nonetheless, couscous is the closest thing you can get to ground bulgur in terms of appearance delicately.
In addition, the taste of couscous is mild. As a result, it can be used in various meals that demand bulgur, such as vegetable side dishes, salads, and other cuisines.
When preparing couscous, it is necessary to soak it in warm water for five minutes before emptying it of the bowl. After that, all that is left is to combine the remaining components.
This includes adding meats, veggies, or herbs to the couscous and toasting it in a skillet with a bit of olive oil to make it crispy. This will take approximately 5 minutes as well. In general, the cooking times for these three ingredients are comparable (bulgur-quinoa-couscous).
Bulgur can be substituted with another pseudo-grain high in protein and carbohydrates. Buckwheat has several health benefits that are not widely known.
However, consuming this grain regularly will give you folate, vitamins B1 and B2, and vitamin K.
Buckwheat grains are used to make bread. When adequately prepared, Buckwheat grains have a chewy texture that is ideal for use in salads and stews alike.
Wheat, either whole or cracked, is another good bulgur substitute. Because cracked wheat and bulgur are nearly identical products, cracked wheat is an excellent substitute.
The only distinction is that cracked wheat does not undergo a parboiling process. It also tastes very comparable to bulgur. However, if you have whole wheat on hand, it will also work well. Whole wheat flour has a coarse, nutty taste and chewy texture when cooked.
Farro is an excellent bulgur substitute if you’re not concerned about gluten. Farro, made from whole wheat grains, is as nutritious as bulgur.
It is high in fiber and protein, and it has the nutty flavor and chewy texture that bulgur adds to recipes. Farro and Bulgur are both made from whole wheat grains, making them very similar in providing a tasty dish.
It’s easy to see why Farro would be a great addition to soups, salads, and other meals where bulgur could be substituted.
Millet is a grain that grows in Africa and China. It has a nutty flavor and a firm texture. Its nutrient profile, on the other hand, is quite impressive. It contains calcium, iron, vitamins, and other minerals beneficial to your health.
It’s a good idea to add millet to mashed potatoes to give them a creamy texture. If you are looking for a nutritious substitute for bulgur, millet is an excellent choice.
Wheat berries are nutritious parts of the wheat kernel that include the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. They are also known as wheat kernel berries. These are essentially unprocessed wheat pieces that are high in fiber content.
Wheat berries are a whole grain that can be used as a substitute for bulgur because of their nuttiness and sweetness.
There’s no way to go wrong with wheat berries, whether you’re dressing up salads or baking a batch of pudding.
Amaranth is a grain related to quinoa and can be found growing in the warm highlands of South America. It is a lovely flower that retains its beauty after being harvested and dried.
This flower contains a high concentration of vitamins and minerals and other health benefits. Because of its claggy nature, it must be allowed to soak overnight before use.
Teff is a tiny, new grain that originated in Ethiopia. It has various health benefits due to its high vitamin and protein content. It has a nutty flavor and a slight sweetness, making it comparable to bulgur.
However, it would help to consider its consistency before using it as a replacement for bulgur wheat due to its size.
Bamboo rice is a tasty variety of rice that is primarily found in southern India. Because it is high in vitamin B6 and protein, it is a healthier option than bulgur wheat.
Bamboo rice is a seed generated by flowering bamboo as it nears the end of its life cycle.
However, because its flowering sequence is unpredictable, it is not widely available. A bamboo plant’s flowering time can range from several years to a decade.
Whole wheat orzo is high in fiber, making it a healthy option. You’d be surprised to know that it’s a type of pasta with the size, texture, and shape of rice.
It’s simple to make orzo. Boil the pasta over moderate heat until it reaches the desired level of tenderness. It is now ready to use after draining.
Keep in mind that orzo contains a lot of calories, so if you’re trying to lose weight, you should be careful about how much you eat.
Bulgur Substitute Frequently Ask Questions
How to choose an alternative for bulgur?
There is no magical solution for selecting a bulgur substitute. Choose the appropriate replacement based on the recipe.
Furthermore, you must exercise caution when selecting rice because it cooks faster than bulgur, and has a mild texture.
What would be a good bulgur substitute?
Quinoa would be the best bulgur substitute. It cooks in the same amount of time as bulgur wheat. Other substitutes, such as cracked wheat, rice, and buckwheat, require either less or more time to cook.
Furthermore, quinoa is similar to bulgur wheat in terms of texture and chewiness.
Is bulgur ideal for weight loss?
Bulgur wheat is a whole grain wheat made from cracked wheat. It is high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Fiber-rich foods, such as bulgur, may reduce the risk of chronic disease, promote weight loss, and improve digestion and gut health. It’s simple to prepare and can be added to various dishes, including salads, stews, and bread.
How do you substitute bulgur for ground beef?
When using bulgur, one cup uncooked replaces approximately one pound of ground beef. Boil two cups of water in a medium-sized pan with half teaspoon salt.
Stir in 1 cup bulgur, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed. This makes about two and a half cups cooked bulgur.