November 7, 2012

What's the deal with grain?

Most of us are not unfamiliar with brown rice and grains as a whole, but did you know there are different forms of grains that are just as good for you as brown rice? If you are stuck in the brown rice blahs there are many other forms of grains that can give you that boost back to where you enjoy grains once more and guess what, they are not only healthy for you, but also very easy to find.

Wild Rice

1. Kasha: You may be familiar with this name through the Kashi brand of foods, but Kasha is one of the most amazing grains out there. You can either eat them cooking into your food or cook them alone. Bring water to a boil and add your desired amount of Kasha to the boiling water. 




2. Quinoa: This grain may be familiar to you, but have you tried it yet? Quinoa is a grain that is very tender and very enjoyable if prepared the right way. Rinse under cool water and cook the same way you would Kasha, but cover and simmer 15 minutes in order to enjoy this grain in a hearty way.

3. Bulgur: This is a form of wheat kernels and can be boiled just the same as the other two above. Boil 1 cup Bulgur with 1 cup water and remove from hear and stand for 10 minutes before enjoying. This can be added to a pasta salad or eaten alone alongside your main meal.

4. Wheat Berries: Boil 3 cups of water to 1 cup of wheat berries in a large pot. Then turn the heat down and simmer for about an hour to bring out the complex flavor of this grain. It can be enjoyed straight.



Fields of Barley
5. Barley: Boil Barley about the same as you would the other grains, but Barley can also be made into breads, pastas and even muffins or rolls. And this grain is so popular that even Sting made a song about it. Add it to your diet and make it just as popular in your own home.




Whole grains are one of the most common foods our bodies need more than anything else, not only for the fiber, but also for the other supplements they add to our diets.  Here is a list of what whole grains can add to your body.
  • Natural, soluble fiber
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B-6
  • Zinc
  • Potassium
  • Folate
  • Protein
  • Iron
  • Thiamine
  • Riboflavin
Pick up these grains the next time you are at the grocery store, Farmers' Market or even the local grower.  Try one or the two at the same time and find your favorite grain and start adding it into your own cooking.

Enjoy!


Eco-Tip:  When gone from your house during the long hours of the day, turn your thermostat down a little.  There isn't an estimate of how much you will save due to the different variations of houses, heating systems, climate and weather changes, as well as energy cost in your own home.  But one thing to keep in mind, each degree of Fahrenheit you set the thermostat back in either direction you save about an 1 percent savings within an eight hour period.  For this and other tips on going green visit, The Earth and Me Go Green.




    

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