Celebrating National Nutrition Month with Whole Grains
For the month of March, we will be highlighting a few things –the nutritional benefits of the superfood whole grains as well as how they are used around the world, and how to go further with food. Let’s start with whole grains…
With the wide variety of whole grains available, there are many options for you to choose to get your fill of these fiberful grains. Whole grains are grains that include the entire kernel – the bran, germ, and endosperm – which is why they are great sources of iron, B vitamins, and fiber. Ranging from common, every day grains, like brown rice and whole wheat bread, to more exotic grains like freekeh and black rice, you can customize and add variety to any meal. Some whole grains, like quinoa, are even complete proteins.
Around the world, grains have become a staple ingredient. Rice is one of the most popular grains due to its affordability and versatility. Long grain rice can be used to make pilafs and Indian dishes since it is low in starch causing each grain to separate. Medium and short grain rice are typically used in Chinese dishes and Italian risotto because they are starchier, which makes each grain stick together. Freekeh is native to Northern Africa and parts of the Middle East. This grain is green in color and adds a nutty, earthy, and sometimes smoky flavor to dishes. Quinoa was originally discovered in South America close to 5000 years ago. It is naturally gluten free, comes in a variety of colors, and is a great source of vegetarian plant-based protein.
Grains are stored dry and have a long shelf life, but can be easily brought to life by cooking in boiling water or broth. There is not a one-size-fits-all cooking technique when it comes to grains, so be sure to check the preparation instructions before starting the cooking process.
Enjoy grains for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and surprisingly dessert. Freekeh has a similar consistency to steal cut oatmeal, creating a warm and hearty breakfast. Wheat berries add a nice texture to stews, chilies, and soups. Black rice has a nutty flavor and makes any dish pop with color. Quinoa, and some other grains, can be ground into flour and used for baking. The meal options are endless!
For the month of March, CulinArt cafes will feature the superfood Whole Grains providing a nutritional boost of fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and other health benefits.
Up next on the blog: tips and tricks on how to go further with food.
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