Let’s talk about them. Whole grains are in breads, cereals, and pastas. These are a very important part of a well rounded diet. Whole grain products are made with or containing whole unprocessed grain.
Quinoa, wheat, bulgur, corn, barley, millet, rice, rye, oats, sorghum, and wild rice are all examples of whole grains.
Whole grains contain three parts of the plant: germ, bran, and endosperm.
- Bran– outer layer of grain containing fiber, antioxidants, B vitamins, and other minerals.
- Endosperm– middle largest layer containing carbs, proteins, and B vitamins.
- Germ– inner component containing healthy fats, B vitamins, and antioxidants.
Whole grains contain the whole grain kernel. They have been prepared with whole wheat flour, bulgur, oatmeal, whole cornmeal, and brown rice. A common confusion? All grains are created equal. This is NOT the case!
The “Whole” Breakdown
Refined grains have been milled- milling removes the bran and germ. This improves shelf life and gives a finer texture. But, you lose the dietary fiber, iron, and B vitamins that your body needs! In addition, 75% of phytochemicals are lost in the refining process.
Refined flours include white flour, de-germed cornmeal, white breads and rice. So next time you’re at the grocery store, reach for the whole-grain wheat bread or brown rice instead! These small changes can make your diet more “whole!”
Facts About Whole Grains
- Whole grains have similar amounts of disease fighting chemicals that are in many fruits and vegetables!
- Whole grains reduce your chances of heart disease.
- According to researchers, people who eat at least 3 servings of whole grains on a daily basis were 20% more likely to live a long life. HEAR THAT PEOPLE? Bread will make you live longer!!!
Ways to Incorporate Whole Grains
Not everything WITH grains IS a whole grain. Having whole grains in your diet adds fiber, iron, and micronutrients that are often overlooked in the day-to-day shuffle! What people aren’t aware of, are all of the yummy ways to incorporate whole grains into meals and snacks:
- Adding oats to cookies add a healthy boost to an indulgent snack. cookies = healthy. A well balanced diet is key, and yes, that means letting yourself have cookies!
- Are your taste buds screaming for savory? Popcorn is a whole grain snack!
- Keep brunch delicious and have pancakes made with buckwheat flour. Stay health conscious without giving up fun foods!
- Coat chicken breast in whole grain bread crumbs.
- Sandwiches on whole grain bread.
Talkin’ about tabbouleh
We got to try out a tabbouleh recipe with Chef Todd! Tabbouleh is made from a whole grain called bulgur. He added vegetables and healthy oils to make a cold grainy salad that could be enjoyed with any meal. If you love grains like me, you’ll enjoy this recipe.
This recipe is sized to yield seven 8 oz. portions! Which means this recipe can last you a week, that’ll keep you covered!
When preparing this recipe, you’ll want to cook the bulgur before. The bulgur will be cooked with water, lemon juice, and cavender’s for that yummy flavor! For this part, you can cook the bulgur how it’s instructed on the package 🙂
Once your bulgur is cooked, you will spread the wheat on a sheet pan to cool. Once the wheat is spread on the pan, cooled, and ready- you will mix in the cold ingredients (parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion) with the spices (lemon juice, cavender’s, kosher salt, ground cumin, and black pepper) in a large bowl to ensure the flavors are evenly dispersed throughout.
Some of the ingredients in this recipe have strong flavors. If you love these flavors, but want a pinch less or a LOT more of certain tastes, adjust your amounts according to how YOU will enjoy it most!
This recipe is an awesome way to incorporate a healthy food into your diet! This would be a flavorful addition for your fridge, giving variety to the humdrum options throughout the week. Enjoy!