Wednesday, March 07, 2007

How I add whole grains to our diet.

Dietary guidelines suggest that we need to increase the amount of whole grains in our diet for better health. My family has made the switch to whole grain breads without too much fuss. Since no one in our household has any problems with wheat I still try to find ways to increase the amount of whole wheat that we eat.
Whole wheat is ideal for cereals, soups, salads and main dishes. It can be cooked ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. I try to cook enough to last at least a week.
The usual proportions to cook are 1 part wheat to 2 parts water plus 1/2 to1 teaspoon salt. Wheat can be cooked many ways. It can be steamed, cooked in a pressure cooker or successfully baked in the oven. For the oven method: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Combine wheat and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover. Place in the oven and turn the oven off. Leave wheat undisturbed overnight for for 8-10 hours. This works well if you time it to go into the oven after the evening meal has been prepared.
I have two favorite methods for cooking wheat. The first is to place the wheat in a preheated 1 qt thermos. First boil 1 cup wheat with 2 cups water for 3 minutes. Place in the preheated thermos, seal and let stand overnight. My second favorite method is to cook it in the crock pot on low until done. The time will vary according to your crockpot.
Wheat which as been cracked in a grinder or blender first can be used for cereal, added to casseroles, to bread or cookie recipes. It can be added to chili, spaghetti sauce, sloppy joes, soups, stews, salads, sandwich spreads, etc.
Introduce whole grains gradually to your diet, you will need to experiment to find what your family likes and how their systems handle the dietary changes. Check out Shannons site for more great tips


Larae said...

Brilliant idea and oh so much healthier! Thanks for sharing! =)

Christine said...

Thanks for the info. We have a bunch of wheat in our emergency food storage and I never know how to use it.