All Urbane Grain products feature the healthfulness of ancient grains. Ancient grains are some of the most protein and fiber rich grains known to mankind. Ancient grains include quinoa, amaranth, sorghum, barley and several others. Both the Urbane Grain Side Dish line and the Urbane Grain 3 Minute Meal line feature the goodness of these ancient grains.

What’s Quinoa (“keen-wa”)?

The Urbane Grain side dish line features the goodness of quinoa. Quinoa is today’s fastest growing healthy grain*. Imports of quinoa to the US have tripled in the past three years. Here is some interesting information on quinoa.

•Quinoa,  has been cultivated for thousands of years mostly in South America in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. Today crops are now starting to be seen in Canada and Colorado.

•Quinoa is considered a super-food by many scientists as it is a complete protein, having all essential amino acids.

•It can balance blood sugar, aid digestion, reduce the look of skin aging and more. It's known to help with diabetes and hypertension.

•Quinoa is gluten free and all natural.

Importantly, quinoa has more protein than other popular grains. 
See the chart below.

Quinoa cooks faster than most grains.  From package to plate, quinoa takes about 20 minutes.  This is much less than rice which usually takes about 45 minutes.

*Technically quinoa is not a grain but a seed.  For ease of communication we have used the term grain here given quinoa’s grain-like properties, uses, taste and texture.


What are Amaranth, Sorghum and Barley?

All 7 of the Urbane Grain 3 Minute Meal line include three of the oldest and most healthy grains on earth: amaranth, barley and sorghum. Below are some interesting facts about these grains.


Amaranth contains more than three times the average amount of calcium in a grain and is also high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.  It’s also the only grain documented to contain Vitamin C. 

It’s a protein powerhouse.  At about 14% protein, it easily trumps the protein content of most other grains.  You may hear the protein in amaranth referred to as “complete” because it contains lysine, an amino acid missing or negligible in many grains. 

It’s good for your heart.  Amaranth has shown potential as a cholesterol-lowering whole grain in several studies conducted over the past 14 years. 

Amaranth grain has a long and colorful history in Mexico and is considered a native crop in Peru.  It was a major food crop of the Aztecs, and some have estimated amaranth was domesticated between 6,000 and 8,000 years ago. 


Sorghum, a cereal grain, is the fifth most important cereal crop in the world, largely because of its natural drought tolerance and preparation/eating versatility.

Sorghum is rich in carbohydrates. Because of its fiber content, sorghum promotes digestive health, and -- combined with other fiber-rich foods as part of a high-fiber diet -- fights cardiovascular disease and aids in blood sugar control. Sorghum also contains 5.4 grams of protein per serving.

Sorghum is reported to have been developed 8000 years ago in Southern Egypt.


Barley is highest in fiber of all the whole grains, with common varieties clocking in at about 17% fiber. For comparison, brown rice contains 3.5% fiber, corn about 7%, oats 10% and wheat about 12%.

Whole grain barley is high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals essential to health. Studies show strong support for barley's role in protecting heart health. In fact, since 2005, the U.S. FDA has allowed barley foods to claim that they reduce the risk of coronary heart disease

  • Barley reduces blood pressure.
  • Eating barley has been shown to lower LDL "bad" cholesterol and may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • A flood of recent research indicates that barley's ability to control blood sugar may be exceptional, offering an important tool against rising rates of diabetes.
  • Barley has more protein than corn, brown rice, millet, sorghum or rye, and is higher in fiber and lower in soluble (starch) carbohydrates than almost all other whole grains.
  • Barley may help you feel full longer, and thereby help you control your weight.
  • Barley may help reduce visceral fat and waist circumference.           

One of the earliest known sites where barley was grown was on the southwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee in what is now Israel, in settlements dating back 23,000 years. In ancient Egypt, barley was held in high esteem. Barley was used in religious ceremonies and pictured on many early Egyptian coins.