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Rye (rye grains, raw, organic?)

Rye is a grain with a high content of nutrients and fiber. Rye grains (raw, organic?) are ideal for baking wholemeal mixed breads.
We have provided the missing values for the nutritional information from the USDA database for this ingredient.
Macronutrient carbohydrates 86.37%
Macronutrient proteins 11.77%
Macronutrient fats 1.86%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, 0.7g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, 0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 6:1

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Here, essential linolenic acid (LA) 0.66 g to essential alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) 0.11 g = 6.1:1.
Ratio Total omega-6 = 0.66 g to omega-3 fatty acids Total = 0.11 g = 6.1:1.
On average, we need about 2 g of LA and ALA per day from which a healthy body also produces EPA and DHA, etc.

Rye ( Secale cereale ) belongs to the grass family and, along with wheat, is one of the most important types of grain in temperate latitudes. Rye grains ( raw , organic ) are rich in fiber, which stimulates digestion.

Using rye (grain) in the kitchen:

Rye as a whole grain has a hearty, aromatic and strong taste. Rye grains can be enjoyed raw (soaked or sprouted) in salads or soups. Rye (grain) also tastes good raw in muesli: Together with fruit, rye grains make a healthy and wholesome breakfast that keeps you full for a long time. Soak the raw rye in plenty of water for 6-12 hours beforehand to make it easier to digest. Make sure to chew the raw food thoroughly when eating it.

Rye germ is easier to digest and richer in nutrients than whole, raw rye grains (similar to wheat, sprouted ). They taste mild to sweet and can be used wonderfully in vegan muesli, salads, vegetable dishes, soups or smoothies, as well as in bread dough to make sprouted bread. Rye sprouts (raw) can also serve as a basis for Essen bread (raw, vegan).

Cooked rye can be used with vegetables or mushrooms for a variety of stir-fries, casseroles (sweet or savory) or as a filling for aubergines , tomatoes , zucchini or rondini squash . Rye can also be served like rice as a side dish or as a risotto.

What is made from rye? Rye can also be used raw in the kitchen in the form of rye flakes or rye meal. Meal and flakes are also soaked to make them easier to digest.

Ground into flour, the rye grains are used in breads and baked goods. Wholemeal mixed breads with rye are usually somewhat flatter and more compact than breads made from wheat flour . The pentosans (water-binding mucilage) they contain prevent "sticking", which is why acidifying pure rye dough is necessary to achieve a loose, elastic consistency. 13 This is how pure rye bread (e.g. pumpernickel) is made using sourdough. Baked goods made from rye flour have a very strong taste, keep you full for a long time and stay fresh much longer than wheat flour products.

Rye grains are also used as a coffee substitute, for the production of spirits (grain, whiskey, vodka) and rye beer.

Vegan recipe for rye porridge with quince compote:

Ingredients (for 2 people): For the porridge: 500 ml water , 100 g rye (grain, crushed, organic), 1 pinch of salt . For the quince compote: 1 quince (250 g), 2-3 tablespoons water, 3 tablespoons agave syrup , 1 pinch cinnamon , 1 pinchvanilla powder (or some bourbon vanilla ).

Preparation: Wash the raw quince, remove the seeds and the shell, and cut the flesh into pieces of about 1 cm. Put the pieces in a pot with water and agave syrup. Simmer for 12-14 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cinnamon and vanilla. For the porridge, bring water to the boil in a pot. Add the rye meal, simmer over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. This creates a creamy porridge. Season the porridge with a pinch of salt and serve with the vegan quince compote.

Vegan recipe for Mediterranean rye salad:

Ingredients (for 4 people): 150 g rye grains (organic), 250 ml water, 200 g cherry tomatoes , 125 g rocket , 50 g dried tomatoes , 50 g black olives , 30 g pine nuts , 1 small red onion , 1 clove of garlic , 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar , 2 tbsp rapeseed oil , ½ tsp sea salt .

Preparation: Cook the rye (see instructions under "Your own preparation"), drain, rinse with cold water and drain. Wash the cherry tomatoes and halve them. Cut the dried tomatoes and olives into strips. Rinse the rocket. Peel the onion and cut into rings. Peel the garlic and chop finely. Put the garlic, vinegar, rapeseed oil, half of the rocket and salt in a blender and puree everything into a fine dressing. Mix the rye with the dressing. Spread the tomatoes, olives, dried tomatoes, onion rings, pine nuts and the remaining rocket on the rye and enjoy the nutritious vegan salad.

Vegan recipes with rye (grain) can be found under the note: " Recipes that have the most of this ingredient ".

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Shopping - where to buy rye grains?

Untreated rye grains (raw) can be found in health food stores, organic shops, organic supermarkets (e.g. Denn's Biomarkt , Alnatura ) and online shops, often in organic quality (organic or biodynamic). Rye grains are also available in some well-stocked supermarkets such as Edeka , Rewe and Spar - find out more in the respective branch or look for the following label: Rye grain. Major retailers such as Coop , Migros , Denner , Volg , Aldi , Lidl , Hofer , Rewe , Edeka , Spar etc. stock baked goods made from rye as well as rye flour (in different degrees of milling) and other rye products.

Homemade preparation (rye, grain):

Cooking rye : Rye grains are slow cookers, similar to spelt , kamut , barley , wheat or wild rice . To shorten the cooking time, you should soak rye overnight in 2.5 times the amount of water (unsalted). Then pour off the soaking water and rinse again. For cooking If you use about 2.5 times the amount of water, cook the rye grains for about 30-45 minutes and let them swell for about 30-60 minutes (depending on the desired consistency).

Germinate rye : To germinate rye, you first have to soak the whole, raw rye grains for around 12 hours (preferably overnight). Soaking also reduces the phytic acid contained in the shell. Read more about this in our article Phytic acid or phytate and soaking or germination . After soaking, pour off the water and rinse the grains thoroughly. Fill the rye grains into a clean (sterile) germination jar and place it in a place with little light at temperatures around 18-20 °C. There should be no water in the germination jar. The sprouts should be rinsed with cold water at least twice a day. Always pay attention to the smell of the sprouted material; it should not smell moldy or spoiled under any circumstances. The germination period is 3-4 days, after which the rye sprouts are ready to be eaten as healthy raw food. 1

Found in the wild:

The original form of today's rye ( Secale cereale ) is thought to be wild rye, which comes from the Anatolian plateau ( Secale cereale var. multicaule or Secale multicaule 21 - taxon not generally recognized). Wild rye grows wild in Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Central Asia. 15 The grains of wild rye, also called ancient rye, are significantly smaller and are considered more valuable than the grains of cultivated rye. The rye grains of wild rye are characterized by a strong flavor and are very capable of germinating. Since wild rye is less productive than cultivated rye, it is hardly cultivated today. Common names include: forest perennial rye, forest perennial grain, St. John's rye, Siberian ancient grain, Siberian rye or Siberian ancient grain. 22

Storage of rye (grain):

Rye or rye grains are best stored in a paper bag in a dry place at around 15 °C. Raw rye grains last for around a year. Flour made from rye (grain) should be kept tightly closed in a dry, cool place to protect it from foreign odors and mold. Dark rye flour with a high degree of milling (e.g. wholemeal flour or rye flour 1370) can be stored for three to six months. Light rye flour with a low degree of milling (e.g. rye flour 815) has a longer shelf life (around a year).

Ingredients - nutritional values - calories:

The 338 kcal per 100 g of rye (grain) come mainly from carbohydrates. With 10 g of protein per 100 g, rye grain has a similar protein content to wheat grains (10 g/100g), a higher content than white round grain rice (6.5 g/100g), but a lower value than spelt (15 g/100g) or oats (17 g/100g). Rye contains only a little fat at around 1.6 g/100g and is very filling with 15 g of fiber per 100 g. 2

Rye grain contains 2.6 mg/100g of manganese , which is 129% of the daily requirement. A similar amount of manganese can be found in Kamut or Khorasan wheat (2.7 mg/100g) and linseed (2.5 mg/100g); wheat germ contains significantly more at 13 mg/100g. 2 The body needs manganese for carbohydrate metabolism and the formation of cartilage tissue, among other things. 3

The amount of phosphorus in 100 g of rye makes up around 47% of the daily requirement. The content of 332 mg/100g can be compared with that of wholegrain rice (337 mg/100g) and buckwheat (347 mg/100g). Wheat bran (1,013 mg/100g) and hemp seeds (1,650 mg/100g) have a particularly high phosphorus content. 2 Phosphorus is an important component of teeth, bones and cell membranes. It also plays a central role in energy production. 4,5

The 0.11 g of tryptophan contained in 100 g of rye grains covers 44% of the daily requirement. Spelt (0.13 g/100g) and basmati rice (0.1 g/100g) have comparable contents. The content is significantly higher in chia seeds (0.44 g/100g) and wheat germ (0.32 g/100g). 2 Tryptophan is involved in the formation of several proteins and acts as a precursor for the neurotransmitter serotonin. 6

You can find all the ingredients and nutrients in rye grain, the coverage of the daily requirement and comparison values with other ingredients in our nutrient tables. In the article Nutrients explained you will get a detailed insight into the topic.

Health aspects - effects:

The high fiber content in rye grain stimulates digestion and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. 7 In addition, its fiber has a very filling effect. The amount of fiber should always be increased slowly, otherwise it could lead to flatulence or a feeling of fullness. Make sure you drink enough fluids to prevent constipation.

Rye grain has a low glycemic index (GI) of 35. This means that blood sugar levels rise only slowly. 8 Whole grain products (e.g. whole grain rye bread) can - if consumed in moderation - reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes . 9

A 2019 study examined the impact of a diet rich in whole grain products and rye bran on the health of men with prostate cancer. The results provided evidence of a positive, slowing effect of this diet on the progression of the prostate tumor. 10 According to another study, rye products made from whole grain rye flour (whole grain rye flour) are also said to help reduce the risk of breast cancer. 16

Rye is said to make the artery walls more elastic and the blood more fluid, thus improving blood circulation, lowering blood pressure and preventing constipation. 17

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects:

Rye grain contains gluten and is therefore not suitable for people suffering from celiac disease, gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity (but less so than oats, barley, wheat and spelt). 23

Rye also has a high content of FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols). FODMAPs are food ingredients, each of which is known to be a potential cause of intolerance (due to their poor absorption in the small intestine). Rye grains mainly contain oligosaccharides (complex sugars). People who are sensitive to oligosaccharides should therefore avoid eating rye grains, otherwise they risk bloating, stomach pain and diarrhea. 11

Rye used to be frequently contaminated with the poisonous ergot fungus ( Claviceps purpurea ). Since rye is a cross-pollinator, its ears remain open for a long time. This means that instead of pollinating the flower, it can easily become infected by the fungus. The pest produces poisonous alkaloids, which in large quantities can lead to circulatory problems, intestinal cramps, hallucinations and even death. However, poisoning is very rare today, as the new rye varieties are less susceptible to the mold and foreign bodies (e.g. straw, insects, fungi) are separated from the rye during processing. 18

Folk medicine - natural healing:

Rye bran in the form of a poultice is considered a home remedy for insect bites and earaches. Roasted rye flour mixed with water is said to help against nausea and vomiting. A tea made from young rye is said to have a blood-cleansing and expectorant effect for coughs, chest pains and pneumonia.

Occurrence - Rye origin - Ecology:

Today's cultivated rye ( Secale cereale ) probably comes from an Anatolian wild form that was probably created by crossing weeds with wheat. The origin of the rye plant is thought to be in the Near East or the Caucasus region. From there, the rye plant first reached Europe as a weed via Asia Minor. The first finds of rye date from the Bronze Age. It is believed that people have been cultivating the secondary crop rye since at least 1000 BC. In many areas of Germany, rye developed into the main bread grain in the 12th and 13th centuries, as the winter cultivation of rye meant that the fields could be cultivated all year round. 19

Even today, Germany is the main producer of the nutritious rye grains. Russia and Poland also grow rye. 13

Cultivation - Harvest:

Rye ( Secale cereale ) is divided into the sensitive summer rye and the frost-resistant winter rye. Since winter rye is significantly less susceptible than summer rye, it is the preferred variety for cultivation. The rye plant is cultivated in regions with a temperate climate. Rye has low site requirements: it also thrives on sandy, nutrient-poor, moisture-poor soils. Winter rye is sown in early autumn and harvested in summer. Rye is a naked grain, similar to wheat , so no complex peeling process is necessary as with hulled grains ( oats , barley , spelt , etc.). Threshing removes the inedible parts (including loose husks) from the rye grains. 20

Ecological aspects of rye:

The climate impact of conventional rye cultivation is rather negative due to the high energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. 13

Rye is a grain that is not very sensitive to pests, which is why the use of pesticides and fertilizers is often reduced. 20 Nevertheless, it is worth buying organic rye and organic rye products. In organic rye cultivation (organic), the contamination with pesticides and fungal toxins (mycotoxins) is significantly lower. Along with wheat, rye is the most important grain in organic farming (organic). Special breeding produces light-grained rye varieties (e.g. light grain rye). 13

General information about rye, grain:

What is rye? Is rye a grain? Rye ( Secale cereale ) belongs to the grass family (Poaceae) and is an annual, robust, undemanding grain. What are ears? Ears are the type of inflorescence in grains. The ears of rye are characterized by a square shape. A single ear is 8-16 cm long.

The husk-free grains are blue-green in color, have a triangular cross-section and have a longitudinal furrow. 19 Rye grain structure (rye structure): The rye grain, like the grain of almost every grain, consists of a husk, aleurone layer, endosperm and germ.

Rye flour is available in different degrees of refinement (types). The type number indicates how many mg of minerals are contained in 100 g of flour. The typification (the type or type) varies from country to country. Wholemeal rye flour does not have a type number. Rye flour type 815 therefore contains 815 mg of minerals per 100 g.

  • Rye flour type 815 (D) is suitable for baking light rye and mixed breads, small pastries and flatbreads. In Switzerland it is known as light rye flour and in Austria it is known as type 500.
  • Rye flour type 997 (D) with its stronger taste is used in rye breads, mixed breads, ciabatta and Schüttelbrot.
  • Rye flour type 1150 (D) can be used together with wheat flour for mixed breads and rolls. The medium rye flour (CH) is known in AT as type 960 .
  • Germany also divides rye into type 1590 (suitable for mixed breads) and type 1740 (for wholemeal bread). Type 1800 is a dark flour that is used for rustic wholemeal bread and sourdough bread. 14

Alternative names for rye grains:

There are various (also incorrect) spellings for rye grains: rye, rye grains, rye grain, rye grain, rye grain, buy rye grain, rye grain, rye grain, grain rye, grains rye; or typos like Roggeb, Roggrn, Roggwn, Eoggen, Rogfen, Roggem, Roghen, Rogten.

In English, rye is called rye, rye grain, cereal rye or winter rye. In Spanish, rye is called centeno en grano, in Russian зерна ржи, ржаное зерно or зерно рожь, and in Turkish çavdar tanesi.

Key words on the use of rye:

Before rye grain was discovered for consumption, rye (raw) was used primarily as feed for livestock. Even today, a large proportion of rye grain is still fed raw to animals - especially as meal or green grain. In addition, the importance of the rye plant as a renewable raw material for renewable energies is growing. 13

Literature - Sources:

Authors: Elina Friday |