More Flat Belly Foods – Grains: How about adding new grains to your diet?

Americans are used to bleached white wheat, unbleached and whole wheat.  The idea of exotic for most Americans is to add cornmeal on the bottom of a pan for a home made pizza or to make corn bread.  Some healthier conscious sorts have gone the way of true whole wheat but there are so many lovely grains from other corners of the world.

First let’s look at whole wheat.  Some breads say wheat bread or 100% wheat bread to cash in on the trend toward whole wheat but that doesn’t mean the same as 100% whole wheat.  Bleached bread is like powdered silly putty.  It means that it is devoid of any of its naturally occurring nutrients and is nothing better than using sawdust in baked goods.  Fast food chains have had a large part in the acclimation of American taste buds over to this flour.  Between the high sodium and white flour our nation is tending toward very mushy, muscle-less bodies.

If your body is sagging all over then you are, as they say “what you eat.” 

Unbleached and bleached flours have no nutrients left in them.  There is nothing to hold up your tired and worn cells.  Unbleached enriched is like hitting the oops button.  They take out anything worth anything in the grain and then add back in useless laboratory vitamins.

Whole wheat is just that; WHOLE wheat that has been ground from whole kernels.  The beautiful vitamins and minerals are still intact and ready for consumption.   Remember that anytime you see the words white or bleached, if you are a bride or a tie-dyed shirt, it’s no good.  The exception would be white corn – not to be confused with bleached corn meal.

So what about those grains?   Two of these are actually seeds; amaranth and wild rice.  They behave much like grains and are used in cooking as a grain but they are not in the grain family.

  • Amaranth is used in cooking like a cereal grain and is hight in protein.
  • Wild rice is great for fiber and is high in protein.  Wild rice is great added to other rice and some put it into salads.  I suggest using it in a salad that has fruit or berries and nuts because it has a nutty taste.
  • Barley is sold pearled.  The hull is removed so it is good for stomach issues such as diverticulitis.  Pearled barley is great in soups and stews when you want a change from rice or pasta.  You can even eat it as a breakfast grain.
  • Basmati rice is very flavorful and nutty in taste.
  • Brown rice just means that only the hull has been removed.  All of the nutrients are in tact.  Brown rice is nutty and delicious and most people enjoy the taste but have to get used to their rice not being chewy.  I highly recommend a rice cooker.  I always considered them foo foo but have come to depend on mine for perfect rice EVERY time.  They run about $20.
  • Hominy is an interesting grain.  It is corn without the hull that is soaked in liquid to soften it and then cooked.  It adds an interesting texture to desserts.
  • Jasmine Rice is so so lovely.  It has a sweet, gentle flavor that enhances the flavor of what it is added to.
    Kamut is a hight protein wheat with a nutty flavor.
  • Millet is a small, round, yellow grain and used commonly around the world.  It can be added to soups and one pot dishes and it often used as a cereal grain.
  • Quinoa is becoming much more popular.  Gillian McKeith famed nutritionist turned writer and TV celebrity has made even more so.  It is gaining attention too because of its higher than other grains protein content.  It has a bland taste which makes it good for enhancing a dish’s other flavors but it is definately grainy in texture.  Try it in place of couscous which is not a grain; just merely tiny pasta.
  • Sorghum is gluten free so it is a great filler grain.
  • Wehani rice is similar to brown rice when cooked.
  • Wheat berries are the whole grain of wheat that have not been processed yet. The kernal is intact. Cracked wheat is not a wheat but actually wheat berries that have been crushed.  Wheat berries are great for using like rice and also can be sprouted to unlock B-Vitamins.

Keep your eyes peeled for recipes on how to use some of these lovely grains and to add a new world of excitement to your palate.