Whole Grains and Health

Whole Grains and Health

by: Carl Haakenstead, Bulk Buyer

How many of you made a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier?  And how’s that going?  Well, if you need a little inspiration and direction, look no further than the bulk department and our large selection of whole grain products.  Ever since I started working at the Co-op, I noticed that the bulk department does whole grains, and I must admit we do them well.  Whole grains and whole grain products contain all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain.  Just why are whole grains important?  They can reduce your risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease by 25%.  Also, when you have whole grains for breakfast, they can help you feel full and give you energy all morning.  Plus, it doesn’t have to be hard to include more whole grains in your diet, especially when shopping in the bulk department.  Here are some tips on cooking with whole grains:

• When serving a dish over rice, choose brown rice because it has more dietary fiber and protein, or better yet try the Olde World Pilaf which has three types of whole grain rice along with lentils, black eyed peas, and split-peas.

• Oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to include some whole grains, but this old standby can be made into a multigrain breakfast by including rolled wheat and rolled rye from the bulk department.  The rolled wheat and rye take the same time to cook as oatmeal so toss some in along with some dried fruit and nuts and you’ve got a healthy, hearty breakfast.  You could also try Paul’s 7-Grain Cereal or Fiddler’s Green 12-Grain Cereal for plenty of whole grains in the morning.  I especially like Paul’s 7-Grain Cereal because the grains are from Iowa and they have been chemical free since 1963.

• When baking, be sure to include whole-wheat flour, which will greatly increase the nutritional value of your baked goods.  Or if you are someone who likes to bake your own bread, you can include some Bob’s Red Mill Pumpernickel Rye Meal and make a hearty loaf of authentic pumpernickel rye.  Some people soak this meal of cracked rye before baking with it but either way it will give your bread great texture and can be yet another addition of whole grains to your diet.  Paul’s of Iowa also makes a 7-Grain Flour that is full of whole grains.

Well, I hope these tips will be helpful for including more delicious, nutritious whole grains in your diet.  Until next time, I’ll see you among the bins in the bulk department.