Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Let's Talk Whole Grains

What are "Whole Grains" and why should I eat them?  After all, everyone is telling us that they are healthy and good for our diets.  But most people don't know too much about whole grains or even be able to name some of them.

Let's try this definition for whole grains.  Whole Grains are basically cereal grains that contain the cereal germ, endosperm and bran.  The grains must contain all 3 parts to be considered a whole grain.

Here is a list of whole grains.  It most likely doesn't contain all of them.  Some grains on the list you need to be careful in buying and/or using because they are not always whole grains.  Read the packages or ask someone at the store to be sure.

Amaranth, Barley, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet, Oats, Quinoa, Rice (brown, colored, wild), Rye, Sorghum, Teff, Triticale and Wheat.  Wheat includes varieties such as bulgur, cracked wheat, durum, einkorn, emmer, farro, kamut, spelt and wheatberries.

The following link is a good place to start if you want more information on whole grains.  Try Nutrition Action Health Letter.

Most whole grains cook the same way which is by boiling them in water.  Most directions will tell you to soak them overnight but there are a lot of people saying that you don't need to soak them.  All do suggest that you rinse them and check for small stones, etc.

Whole grains are good and tasty both hot and cold when served.  They offer multiple uses for all meal periods.  They are healthy and a good habit to get yourself into as part of your diet.  Please try them.  They may not all meet your taste profile but you will find some that really fit your pallet.

I haven't covered everything on whole grains but hope that I've introduced you to them and it gets you to try some.  Life is too short not to be adventurous.

This week I have 3 salad recipes using 3 different whole grains.  Wednesday I use Quinoa for a southwestern salad.  Bulgur is in the salad Thursday with grilled vegetables.  I end the week with an Italian salad using Wheat Berry.  Be sure to check them out and if you have questions, please let me know.  Have a great week.

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