Whole grains are good for you! Carbohydrates are bad for you! But grains are full of carbs! What is a person to believe? I did a little reading on the subject and want to share with you what I learned. Look out! Educational blog coming up!
First off I googled “what are whole grains”? Of course I got a bazillion hits. What it boils down to is that a grain is considered whole if it hasn't been processed down to a product with all the nutritional benefits of cardboard. Including whole grains in your daily diet will provide your body with B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, folic acid, magnesium and fiber in a natural way. I love that companies will process something like wheat and then turn around and enrich it with nutrients. Um, why not eat it without all the processing?
From there I checked out whole wheat flour vs. white. This led me to answers about carbohydrates because most of us think of bread and pasta when you say carbs. Here’s the deal: all food has carbs, the type of food you are eating is more important than the carbs in it. Choosing whole grain bread and using it to make a sandwich full of vegetables and lean protein will nourish your body perfectly. You will feel full for a long time thanks to the fiber in the grains, and your body will absorb the nutrients better than choosing an enriched product. By the way, this will help you lose weight, if that is a goal, because you will feel full.
The next question is how to include whole grains in your diet? Whole Foods has an excellent article on a variety of different whole grains and how to include them in each meal of the day. They include charts on choosing grains based on how long they need to cook and also on different flours made from whole grains. When I buy any product made with grains I ignore the labels on the front screaming “multi-grain” or “all natural” and I read the ingredients. If the word “whole” does not appear I put it back. I also ignore products that say “enriched” since they can put in vitamins but not fiber. My pantry always has grains such as quinoa, bulgur, rolled oats, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat couscous and brown rice. When I make dinner I can quickly prepare them as a side or use them as a main component of the meal, such as in a casserole or soup. Making veggie burgers or patties is a breeze when I have a grain that can “glue” ingredients together. When I am baking I use my old coffee mill to grind the rolled oats into oat flour. A frequent afternoon snack is air-popped popcorn drizzled with some olive oil and sprinkled with nutritional yeast.
This blog just scratches the surface of this topic. There are more studies and articles available than you could read in a week! Bottom line: chose wisely and eat well!
Today’s recipe is perfect to use with some delicious whole grain bread! Last week I told you I made the Thai Coconut Soup with tofu. I had a half block of tofu left over and came across this recipe to make “egg-less egg salad” It was so yummy! I served it on Wegman’s Marathon bread and topped it with some slices of avocado and lettuce. I halved the recipe since I only had half the tofu, but I intend to make it again soon, in full! Remember, I do not like tofu, so I hope you try this and judge for yourself!
Egg-less Egg Salad
from the Humane Society
1 14-ounce package firm tofu
1/2 cup eggless mayo such as Vegenaise or Nayonaise (I did use regular Kraft Mayo)
2 tablespoons mustard
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 cup diced scallions
1/2 cup shredded carrots
pinch of salt and pepper
Drain and mash the tofu. Mix well with the vegan mayonnaise and spices, and then add the scallions, carrots, and salt and pepper. Serve on a bed of lettuce or as a sandwich spread.