It’s Whole Grains Month — Make the Switch, Join the Party
Originally posted for Huffington Post on 09/01/2014
Happy Labor Day and happy Whole Grains Month, a celebration of amaranth, barley, buckwheat, millet, oats, quinoa, rye, sorghum, spelt, teff, triticale and other whole grain wonders. The Whole Grains Council is making whole grains even more appealing and accessible with their Make the Switch Contest.
Sixteen whole grain-loving bloggers (including me) have created recipes changing up basic boring, white processed rice and pasta for munchier, more satisfying whole grains. Register, check ‘em out and vote for your favorite (and may I suggest the curried spelt). Voting goes live at noon EST today, so cast your ballot. One winner chosen at random will be gifted with $500. It could be you.
Really, though, everyone wins with whole grains. They’re complex carbs for good energy, and offer a host of vitamins, minerals and nutrients refined wheat products lose in processing. Whole grains deliver:
—plant-based protein, that necessary nutrient people think vegans don’t get
— fiber to balance blood sugar, lower cholesterol and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
— satiety, that delicious happy tummy feeling you get when you eat a bowl of wonderful — even if you’re gluten-sensitive .
They’re shelf-stable, and once cooked, they freeze well and don’t fall apart when you thaw them like white rice does. They’re cheap, nourishing and built to feed a crowd. From bubbly quinoa to chewy spelt, each whole grain has its own mouth feel and unique but mild flavor that welcomes all manner of flavorings and produce. What’s not to love?
I love the Whole Grains Council and the traditional nourishing whole foods of the world they advocate.*
You don’t have to go old school like me, though. Go for an abundance of whole grain products including cereals, pastas, pilafs, breads, muffins and more.
— Chewy, satisfying udon (buckwheat) noodles instead of white flour ramen noodles.
— Quinoa instead of white rice — more protein and fiber, cooks faster, too.
— White whole wheat flour has the nutritional benefits of whole wheat flour but performs and tastes more like processed white flour.
Not to mention 16 new Make the Switch whole grains recipes. There’s as many easy, delicious ways to taste what this party is all about as there are whole grains. So make the switch (and consider the curried spelt recipe).