Bulgur: Packing the Whole Grain

That's So Bulgur!

It isn't a mistake that whole grains are recommended as part of a healthy living. The Washington Post reported a study by British researchers that people who consistently ate three servings of whole grains each day had significantly smaller waist lines. Along with having more fiber to keep you full longer, the Mayo Clinic reports that whole grains supply nutrients like selenium, potassium and magnesium. According to Bob's Red Mill, whole grains also might reduce the risk of some chronic diseases, cancer, and heart disease. Some common whole grains include barley, buckwheat, brown rice, bulgur, millet, popcorn, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, crackers, pasta, and wild rice. Of all the options listed, my personal favorite is bulgur.

Bulgur is kind of like brown rice, only better in that its more nutty and flavorful.You can find bulgur in the health food section of Krogers and likely most other health stores as well and should be with all the other whole grains. The cost might seem a bit high for a package that looks small (around $3 to $4), but this baby supplies plenty of servings and kicks some butt nutritionally. Traditionally used in Middle Eastern foods like Tabbouleh, it also makes a good substitute for brown rice because it provides a lot more whole grains in its serving size, it's fewer calories,less fat, and double the fiber. It's also a helluva lot tastier than brown rice.

Even better is the way that whole grain provides almost all three servings of whole grains needed for the day with just one of its servings. The brand I use provides about 40 or more of the 48 grams of whole grains recommended each day. One serving of bulgur -- one cup -- is about 150 calories. Another characteristic about bulgur that I heartily enjoy is the way it cooks up so fast and easy. Just throw one cup of that baby into a pot, add two cups of water, and be sure to stir every now and then. After a while, the water should go away (although some little pockets might remain at first) and voila! you have several servings of bulgur pleasure!

Many recipes exist on the web that show you all the ways you can graft bulgur into your diet, but I prefer to keep it simple and eat it like I would a rice. Yet I recently discovered that bulgur works really well in scrambled eggs with Valentino hot sauce along with diced chilles and green jalapeƱos -- but you don't have to add the hot sauce if you don't prefer the spicy things. However you decide to try bulgur, it makes for a great way to get in as much whole grains into your day without all the muss and fuss of worrying about bread calories and how many grams of grain they're providing.

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