Many of us have a love/hate relationship with whole grains. Thanks to food marketers who use it on food labels and advertising, we are bombarded with information about whole grains being beneficial to us. However, they also have a reputation of being flavorless and hard to cook, not to mention unfamiliar (care for a bowl of millet or quinoa?).
According to the Whole Grains Council, whole grains are defined as grains that contain “all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed. If the grain has been processed (e.g., cracked, crushed, rolled, extruded, and/or cooked), the food product should deliver approximately the same rich balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain seed.”
Dun Gifford takes some of the mystery out of whole grains, explaining their health benefits and giving us a few ideas on how to incorporate them into our favorite meals for a healthy boost. Did you know that corn is a whole grain? Eating corn on the cob is a great way to get some whole grains – also, adding whole grains to soups and salads can add a wonderful, nutty flavor and hearty texture. Here is a list of the most well-known whole grains:
• Corn, including whole cornmeal and popcorn
• Oats, including oatmeal
• Rice, both brown rice and colored rice
• Sorghum (also called milo)
• Wheat, including varieties such as spelt, emmer, farro, einkorn, Kamut®, durum and forms such as bulgur, cracked wheat and wheatberries
• Wild rice
Dun Gifford is the founder of the Oldways Preservation Trust -- a non-profit think tank that develops and carries out education programs to help consumers make wise choices about their food lifestyles. The Trust’s recent book, The Oldways Table, is part cookbook and part dietary guide, as well as an homage to the world's great food traditions.
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