Making every bite count

29 May 2007

love those grains

Did anyone see this New York Times story? New research has found a direct correlation between eating whole grains and reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease. And might I point out these statistics from the American Heart Association:
Do you eat whole grains? I do.
I buy them in bulk at Wild Oats (they’re really quite affordable) and prepackaged at Trader Joe’s.
Here are five grains you might not know about, along with some nutritional facts about each one:
Quinoa: (right) This nutty grain can be cooked like rice, with a 1:2 ratio of grain to water. Cook for 15-18 minutes. It fluffs up when cooked, making it an ideal substitute for couscous or even rice! It has all the amino acids that humans need, which is rare for a grain. (It contains lysine, which many grains lack.) It is also a good source of fiber, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.
Nutrition info

Amaranth: This grain looks a lot like quinoa, but it is golden in color and smaller. The protein content is remarkable and, like quinoa, it has a good balance of amino acids. The fiber content is high, along with its amount of Vitamin E. Be careful not to overcook it, as it can become gummy. Use the
same 1:2 ratio, but cook only about 10 minutes.
Nutrition info

: (right) Other than barley soup, does anyone eat barley anymore? I think it took a bad rap back in the 70s and 80s. It takes a long time to cook, but it's high in fiber and iron! It's so nutty and delicious. Nutrition info

Buckwheat: Remember buckwheat pancakes? It's delicious, nutty and hearty. The grains, also called kasha, is full of magnesium, copper and fiber. It cooks (standard 1:2 ratio) in about 15 minutes. In Asian food stores, you can easily find buckwheat noodles, which are quite flavorful and great in spicy or strong sauces. Ever had the cold Japanese noodles served on bamboo mats? Here's a recipe (scroll all the way down). They're SO delicious! Buckwheat is high in protein, Vitamin B and other nutrients. Allegedly, buckwheat strengthens capillary walls.
Oats: Forget those little, sugar-laced packets with a white-haired man on them. Real oats are great for your heart, and they're a great source of fiber. They have been proven to reduce cholesterol (so have other grains). They're a great way to reduce the amount of ground meat used in a recipe, of course they're delicious as cereal and they are excellent in baking. Nutrition info

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