Brown rice, whole-wheat couscous, bulgur, quinoa and other whole grains can be served sweet, savory or deliciously cheesy, but when unfamiliar brown grains appear on the family’s plates, they may cause hiccups around the dinner table.
The benefits of whole grains include better diabetes management, as well as reduced risk of heart disease and some cancers. And with the growing popularity of gluten-free eating styles, unique varieties of whole grains are becoming easier to find in supermarkets.
By definition, whole grains may be ground or cracked in processing, but otherwise must contain all the components of an intact grain, including the nutrient-rich germ, fiber and the oil.
To spot whole grains in the supermarket, check the ingredient label for the words “whole-grain,” or look for the yellow and black Whole Grain Stamp on packages of breads, cereals, pastas and boxed grain mixes.
Start switching to whole grains by mixing half whole-grain brown rice with half white rice. Quick-cooking whole grains like high-fiber bulgur (cracked wheat) or high-protein quinoa can be stirred into more familiar grains like whole-wheat couscous. Both old-fashioned and quick-cooking oatmeal are whole grains. Buckwheat flour, rye flour, amaranth flour and stone-ground whole-grain cornmeal can be mixed with all-purpose flour to add hearty flavor to pancakes, muffins or breads. And don’t forget popcorn—it’s also a whole grain!
Bulgur and Apple Salad
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking bulgur
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 green (Granny Smith) apple, cubed
2 red (Gala) apples, cubed
1 rib celery, diced
1/2 cup dried tart red cherries or cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Romaine lettuce leaves
1. Combine bulgur and water in a large bowl. Cover and let stand 30 minutes.
2. Stir in apples, celery, cherries and walnuts.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Pour three-fourths of the dressing over bulgur mixture and stir until bulgur is coated. Serve salad on whole lettuce leaves. Add more dressing if you like. Serves 6.
Recipe by Serena Ball
Per serving: 321 calories, 8g fat, 2mg chol., 9g prot., 60g carbs., 11g fibers, 321mg sodium.
Look for Relish magazine, celebrating America’s love of food, each month in the Tooele Transcript Bulletin. For more Relish recipes and to sign up for our newsletters, log on to relish.com. To download our new tablet app for the iPad and our free mobile app, Relish Daily Dish, go to relish.com/mobile
Photo credit: Mark Boughton Photography; styling by Teresa Blackburn