Picture: Starting at left and going clockwise: Quinoa, Amaranth, Cracked Wheat, and (bottom) Bulgur
One of my New Year’s resolutions is to eat more whole grains. I pledged that last year too…and I did eat grains, just not as often as I would like. If you would like to read a great website for a definition of whole grains and get a list of them, here is a link: http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/definition-of-whole-grains
Why eat whole grains? They are full of vitamins and minerals and right next to fresh vegetables they are the best thing you can give your body. Actually they are a perfect accompaniment to vegetables and being a vegetarian, they also provide me plenty of protein.
Over the past few years I have added these whole grains to my diet:
Whole Wheat Couscous (Couscous is really pasta in disguise but I tell myself that I can get away with it because I buy only the whole wheat, not the white.)
Now all the dieticians are screaming to add whole grains to your meal and as far as I know, no one is listening. There are several reasons for this:
1) The big carb scare of the ‘90s: this was the time when we were all warned how carbs of any kind were going to turn us all into diabetics or blimps. It is true that diabetics have to be very careful of how many carbs they consume but as far as I know (and you should check me on this) if the grains are whole diabetics can eat more of them safely. As far as weight gain, whole grains fill you up fast and because they are protein they burn slowly in the body and keep you satisfied, so nutrient dense that every calorie counts!
2) When it comes to buying and cooking grains most people wouldn’t know where to start. There are many kinds of grains out there and they look rather work intensive and intimidating.
3) Without a little know how in the kitchen whole grains can have all the flavor and texture of beach sand.
So I am going on a little quest to cook a grain a week and find something (like sauces) along the way to perk them up and give them a special place at the table. I never want to eat something just because it is good for me. I want to look forward to having it and enjoy the benefits as a bonus! I’ll be posting results soon.