What is your favorite whole grain?

What is YOUR favorite whole grain-

Let’s talk about whole grains for a minute. So many people jump on the next diet bandwagon and totally rid themselves of all things grain. But, I don’t understand it. As a dietitian and nutritionist, I strongly believe that you do NOT need to rid yourself of ANY food group… unless you absolutely, positively just want to for your own reasons. Never do something someone else said just because they said it. That should be one of the definitions of “crazy”.

But people do it all the time. People blindly believe diet books, videos, and guru’s WITHOUT listening to themselves first.

HELLO! YOU are the CEO of your body. You get to make those decisions. Don’t ever let anyone else dictate what YOU do to your body. Yes, you can read what is out there but experiment for yourself and keep an open mind. Seek what works the best for you and don’t be afraid to be flexible.

Okay, off my soap box. Wow, I really did get on one didn’t I?! Can you tell I am passionate about nutrition and paving your own nutrition path??

So back to whole grains. I was recently gifted a bag of Freekeh. This was a new brand to me. I had never heard of artisanal hand roasted green wheat before. I LOVE the ingredients list. In fact, its one of the things I love most about whole grains… the ingredients list is never very long if you really are truthfully getting whole grains.

Take a look at this… (food labels from Freekeh’s website).

Original Rosemary Sage Tamari
Original Rosemary Tamari

Do you see those ingredient lists??? The original only has organic cracked roasted green wheat. Heck yes!! And the Rosemary Sage only has a few additional ingredients (and ones we can pronounce). A dietitian’s dream when it comes to a packaged food item. Most of us look for food items with the least amount of ingredients.

What I like about the Freekeh website is that they also have recipes listed. I am not a spontaneous cook where I can come up with things on the fly so I often need help. I will be turning to this website regularly as I dish up some Freekeh.

Have you tried freekeh yet? If not and you want to, send me an email at britexas(at)gmail(dot)com. I have some 50 cent off coupons I can send your way!

And to wrap it all up… what is YOUR favorite whole grain?

I was gifted an Original and Rosemary Sage freekeh but all opinions above are my own.

Choose Whole Grains Today!

25 Day Nutrition Challenge

Choose whole grains today. I wrote  an article about whole grains while I was completing my dietetic internship back in 2010. I found it in my archives so thought I’d share…

Have you had any quinoa today?  How about any amaranth?  Bulgur, perhaps?  These items have interesting names to say the least, and they could be tasty additions to the whole grain products in your pantry.

At this point you may be wondering just exactly what a whole grain is.  Whole grains contain all the essential parts of the grain seed (i.e. bran, germ and endosperm).  Whether the grain has been processed or not, it should deliver the same nutrients found in the original seed.  The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend at least 3 to 5 servings of whole grains a day.  Even children should consume at least 2 to 3 daily servings.  Study after study has shown that eating whole grains, instead of refined grains, can reduce your risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease as well as help you maintain your weight.

Now let’s take a closer look at a few of the less well-known whole grains.  Quinoa (pronounced like keen-wa) is commonly considered a grain, but is actually a seed that was a staple in the Incan diet.  Higher in protein than other grains, it makes a great addition to soups, salads and casseroles and can even be eaten as a breakfast cereal.  Amaranth was a popular food of the Aztecs and just one-fourth cup supplies 60% of the recommended dietary allowance of iron.  Amaranth is gluten-free and can be added to gluten-free flour blends, sauces, soups, and stews.  Bulgur is a cereal made from several different types of wheat, and is most often found in Middle Eastern cuisine.  Bulgur can be used in pilafs, soups, baked goods, stuffing, and tabbouleh salad.  Other whole grains include: barley, buckwheat, millet, oats, brown rice, wild rice, rye, sorghum, teff, triticale and, of course, whole wheat.

If trying a new whole grain isn’t your thing, don’t worry.  There are plenty of other ways to choose whole grains today like the following:

  • Buy whole grain pasta for your weekly spaghetti dish
  • Try a cereal with the Whole Grain stamp*
  • Make your favorite sandwich with a whole wheat bread or bun
  • Serve brown rice as a side dish instead of white rice
  • Try popping your own popcorn to serve as a snack
  • Make your favorite soup recipe with added barley or wild rice

*For recipes and information on the Whole Grain stamp, visit the Whole Grain Council’s website at www.wholegrainscouncil.org