How to Enjoy Deliciously Healthy Whole Grains

By Sandy Schroeder

As white flour and white rice power their way through dozens of unhealthy food choices in our culture from hamburger buns to fat-filled side dishes, it may be time to say enough already as we learn more about the value of whole grains.

Nutritionists tell us whole grains are loaded with health potential and people at websotes such as have the recipes to turn them into dishes that come deliciously close to our favorite health foods.

What could be better, nutrition-loaded comfort foods! suggests we dig into all of these whole grains and find out what we have been missing.

  • Discover Barley - Every scoop of barley comes loaded with healthy fiber, potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins, zinc, copper, iron, calcium, protein, sulfur and phosphorus. Blend it into a hearty beef vegetable soup, morning cereal, savory meatloaf or nutrition-loaded flour for tarts or pie crusts.
  • Breakfast Oats Cut Cholesterol – They are first up on most heart healthy diets. They also stabilize blood sugar and deliver protein and fiber. Choose the less refined steel-cut, rolled, flakes and bran and use oat flour instead of white flour. Start with a bowl of hot oats and ramp it up with a scoop of dark chocolate, raisins, flax seed and fresh fruits or yogurt scoops.
  • Lunch with Quinoa – Now quinoa is making its way onto fashionable lunch menus as a tasty salad or comforting side dish for tacos or fish. As a complete protein, high in iron, magnesium, B-vitamins and fiber, quinoa fights heart disease and has been proven to help migraine headaches.
  • Replace White with Brown Rice – White rice is stripped of nutrients and fiber, just leaving an extra scoop of calories on your plate. Instead, get Vitamin E’s skin and immunity benefits, plus minerals like manganese, magnesium and selenium. Brown rice also gives you tryptophan, which helps with sleep. Mix it into soups, stews, salads and puddings.

If you're looking for a recipe, try Martha Stewart's One Pot Chicken and Brown Rice meal that's on Epicurious.

Two tablespoons olive oil

One cut-up chicken, minus wings

Coarse salt, ground pepper

One medium chopped onion

Four cloves garlic, smashed

One cup long-grain brown rice

Four diced plum tomatoes

One jar drained and sliced roasted red peppers

One package thawed frozen green peas

Lemon wedges

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook to golden; transfer to plate. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until onion is softened. Stir in rice, tomatoes, peppers, and 1 1/2 cups water. Add chicken pieces. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about an hour, until rice is tender. Sprinkle peas over top, and serve with lemon wedges.

Have fun as you explore all of the health potential and pleasures in recipes for whole grains. In the process you will be upping your fiber, vitamin and mineral intake and reducing your risk for serious health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.

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