Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Whole Grains - What are they?

Here is a great email article I received today from Healthy Eating with Elle Krieger...
The easiest way to get more healthful whole grains into your diet is to make sure your pantry is stocked with them at home. You're probably familiar with some whole-grain options — 100% whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal, for example — but what about some of the less common, more "exotic" grains? The next time you shop for food, pick up a box or a bag of a whole-grain product that you've never tried before.

You should be able to find plenty of novel whole grains at your grocery store or local natural foods store, such as:

Bulgur consists of wheat berries that have been steamed, dried, and then cracked apart — it has a nutty taste and cooks quickly.

Quinoa is an ancient, protein-packed grain from South America that cooks up light and fluffy; it should be rinsed before cooking.

Millet, which has been cultivated since prehistoric times and is popular today in Asia and Africa, is rich in vitamins and minerals and is best toasted before boiling.

Buckwheat in its various forms can be found as a breakfast cereal (farina), in Japanese soba noodles, as roasted groats (kasha), and more.

Cornmeal is ground from whole corn and can be baked into a variety of products or boiled up as polenta.

• Don't forget about whole-wheat versions of couscous and pasta.

The best way to tell if a product is whole grain is to check the ingredient list on the label. Ideally, you should find the words 100% whole wheat, or 100% whole grain; at the minimum, whole wheat or whole grain should be one of the first ingredients.

I haven't tried a lot of these yet.  I tend to stick with the whole grain pasta, brown rice, and couscous.  Bulger and quinoa sound interesting....

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