Indian ricegrass was once a food staple for Native Americans in the western region of the United States. Not related to rice, Indian ricegrass has the acronym IRG and is known in scientific terms as Achnatherum hymenoides. Valued by Native Americans for its drought resistance and nutritive properties, this resilient wild seed grass grew in dry and sandy soil in the prairies extending from Southern Manitoba, Canada, to the highlands of Southern California. Indian ricegrass has made a twenty-first-century agricultural comeback, sparked by the need to serve the growing gluten-free food industry with more flour options. Through years of extensive research and development, the grower collective of Amazing Grains based in Ronan, Montana, in connection with scientists at Montana State University, brought this old Native American staple to the marketplace.
Indian ricegrass has a hard seed coat and is planted in the fall. It usually takes one year to grow a large enough crop to yield a worthwhile harvest. The brownish green color of the grass is hearty and robust and its slightly woodsy scent brings flavor and aroma to gluten-free baking.
Indian ricegrass is the signature ingredient in all Montina products. It’s high in protein and fiber and is combined with a proprietary blend of white rice flour and tapioca flour to create the company’s All-Purpose Baking Flour Blend, which provides 7 grams of protein,
5 grams of dietary fiber, and 5 grams of insoluble fiber per 2/3 cup. The Montina Pure Baking Supplement (100 percent Indian ricegrass) provides 17 grams of protein, 24 grams of dietary fiber and 24 grams of insoluble fiber. Indian ricegrass as milled flour is a good option for helping to bring dietary fiber to the gluten-free diet in the form of a baking supplement. However, Indian ricegrass in its whole seed form is not edible.