The difference between grains and seeds

Grains and seeds

The other day the topic of the difference between grains and seeds came up while discussing my fave seed that is considered a grain; quinoa.

So this is the low down on the difference:

Grains: A small edible fruit that is hard on the outside. Stems from the grass family.

Seeds: A small embryonic plant covered in a seed coat with stored food.

The most typical grains are the ones harvested from the grass family: Barley, Bulgur wheat, Corn, Durum wheat, Fonio, Kamut, Millet, Oats, Rice,Rye,Semolina wheat, Sorghum, Spelt, Teff, Triticale, Wheat, and Wild rice.

Out these ones listed there are only a few that do not contain gluten. If you want to be on the safe side stick to teff, wild rice, rice, sorghum, corn, fonio, millet, and rye.

Then there are pseudocereals. These are not really grains but can be used like one. Most likely they come from seeds or a non-grass family. These are: Buckwheat, Amaranth, Quinoa, Chia, and Acacia seed.

However, when it comes to seeds there are many. The most common ones are: Chia seeds, Flaxseed, Hemp seeds, Poppy seed, Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seed, Safflower, and Sunflower.

Although I do not consider beans a seed they are indeed a fruit of its plant, and since legumes are not a part of the grass family you can call them seeds. The same thing goes for nuts as well. From a botanical stand point they are types of seeds, particular chestnuts, hazelnuts and acorns. Also in this category you will find fruits that are considered nuts such as : Almond, Walnut, Brazil nut, Macadamia, Pecan, Cashew and Pistachio among others.


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