Hold the Fonio! You heard it here first, folks. Fonio is the tiny seed/ancient grain the whole world is about to fall in love with.
Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received the product to review, but only recommend companies and products which my family truly use and appreciate! This post contains affiliate links.
Have you heard of fonio yet? If you haven’t, I am calling it now that it will be a foodie favorite quite soon…and it will be for good reason. This ancient grain is probably going to start garnering the attention it deserves as a superfood because of it’s great versatility, taste, and nutritional content.
Think of fonio as similar to quinoa or couscous – not just because their pronunciations trip people up (this is pronounced: ‘phone-yo’, by the way). Fonio is considered a whole-grain and can be used in most recipes in place of rice, quinoa, oatmeal, or other grains.
Here are five fast facts to know about fonio:
- It’s naturally gluten-free and easily digestible.
- It’s higher in protein, vitamin, and mineral content than most grains. (12 grams of protein per cup!)
- Methionine and cystine, two essential amino acids, make fonio extra nutritious and low glycemic.
- This amazing grain the size of a poppy seed had fed West Africa for thousands of years. It grows well in just 6-8 weeks even in the least-favorable of soils. Being drought-resistant and thriving in poor soil, many consider fonio a crop that could help feed the world. New techniques are being developed to more efficiently harvest the tiny seeds since traditional processing is more laborious than that of other grains.
- The Mali culture called it “po”, or “the seed of the universe”, with mythology of the entire universe sprouting from a fonio seed. Other cultures nicknamed it “food for royalty”. Archaeologists even found fonio grains in Egyptians’ pyramids’ burial grounds, as a food deemed worthy of taking to the afterlife.
Here is an excellent TED Talk about Fonio to watch, in all your spare time.
Fonio is a type of millet, and it has a nutty, earthy flavor. It can be used as simply as hot cereal by adding milk or milk substitute, cinnamon, maple syrup, honey, raisins, nuts, etc. There is so much you can do with Fonio as it makes the perfect side dish, addition to soups, creates a great ‘crust’ on entrees, included in baking, and more.
One of the easiest recipes for Fonio is to make simple, fast energy bites, or energy balls. In less than 10 minutes you can have these bite-sized, plant-protein-packed snacks ready to pop in your mouth! They are delicious and full of healthy fats!
FONIO PEANUT BUTTER ENERGY BITES
- 1 cup cooked fonio (which is 1/4 cup fonio grains cooked in 1 cup water, following package directions) – Earth’s Goodness Fonio brand is my favorite!
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (PB should just be made from peanuts and salt…don’t fall for some “natural” popular brands. Read your labels)
- 1 tsp vanilla (you can easily make your own vanilla like me
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips (vegan/dairy-free if preferred – I use Enjoy Life mini chips which are dairy, nut, soy, and gluten-free.
1. Stir together all ingredients
2. Once fonio is cool enough to touch, scoop mixture by the teaspoon and roll into balls onto parchment or wax paper
3. Place fonio balls in the refrigerator to set, then enjoy!
4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.
This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free, but it is easily customizable and forgiving with substitutes. Use any nut butter, smooth or crunchy; play with different seeds, nuts, chocolate chips. Mamas, throw in some brewer’s yeast for lactation bites! You may even wish to melt some chocolate and drizzle it on top!
I don’t know if the universe did, in fact, originate from a tiny Fonio seed, or if it will be the crop that could feed the world. But I know our family has happily added fonio to our recipes at home. I hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think!
This is my necessary disclaimer that this blog is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure. I am only a mom with an education background. I must let you know that any essential oils statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I simply approve for myself and family of such things that I deem safe, effective, and positively life-transformative. I encourage you all to be informed and empowered with your health. Also, some of my posts may contain affiliate links. When you click them, you help me to cover a small portion of the cost of this blog. I appreciate your support so that I can continue to do what I love. Please note that I only ever endorse products that are in alignment with Odds & Evans’ ideals, my personal use, and those I believe would be of value to my readers.