I’m sure you’ve been hearing about whole grains, but what exactly is a “whole” grain and how can you prepare them in enticing ways? Well, let’s try to demystify a bit. A grain consists of three main parts (which are found inside an inedible layer called a hull. Each part has its own nutritional characteristic:
- Germ – vitamins B and E, essential amino acids, oils
- Endosperm – mostly starch (carbohydrate)
- Bran – fiber and B vitamins
When the grain is processed, first the hull is removed and what remains is a fully edible whole grain. With further processing, both the germ and bran can be removed, leaving only the starchy, carbohydrate-rich endosperm, also known as refined grains like white rice and white flour. Here are a few tips on buying, storing and preparing whole grains:
- Purchase grains from the bulk aisle/resources for reasonable prices and reduce the chances of over-buying and thus wasting food and money.
- Transfer grains to airtight, glass containers and freeze the grains for a few days to prevent the development of any pantry moths. Then transfer the containers to a dark cupboard as far away from any heat source as possible.
- Since whole grains take longer to cook than refined grains, it’s a good practice to prepare a few meals worth at one time. Then refrigerate or freeze and pull out the amount needed for a quick last-minute meal!
Check out the recipe page for one of my new favorites using whole, pinhead oats. But my favorite element of the dish is the awesome lemon cream!! Please try and I hope you will enjoy.
Chef Donna and the Your Plate or Mine Team
Information Source: Whole Grains For a New Generation, Liana Krissoff