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Add grains for a healthier diet
This hub is designed to educate about grains.
In this hub I will identify some different kind of grains, some different ways to add them to your diet.
Ok first off the definition of a grain is : a foodstuff prepared from the starchy grains of cereal grasses.
Some common grains are
But wait there are 2 (two) types of subgroups, They are whole grains or refined grains.
whole grains contain the entire grain kernel - The bran,germ & endosperm.
Some examples of whole grains would be
Brown Rice - whole cornmeal - bulgur or cracked wheat - whole wheat flour
Then you have refined grains, or grains that have been milled, milling is a process in which the bran & germ are removed giving the grain a finer texture & improving the grains shelf life, the downside to the milling process is that it removes dietary fiber,vitamins and iron.
Some examples of refined grains would be
white rice - white flour - degermed cornmeal & white bread
Note - most refined grains are enriched meaning that certain B vitamins and Iron are added back after processing. Fiber is not added back to enriched grains. Check the ingredient list on refined grain products to make sure that the word “enriched” is included in the grain name. Some food products are made from mixtures of whole grains and refined grains.
OK now that you know what grains are & the 2 subgroups I think you should know why grains are an important part of a healthy diet.
Grains are proven to be beneficial for coronary heart disease, constipation and even helpful for weight management.
Grains also have been proven to help lower blood cholesterol level and provide many B vitamins,whole grains are sources of magnesium and selenium. Magnesium is a mineral used in building bones and releasing energy from muscles. Selenium protects cells from oxidation. It is also important for a healthy immune system.
Grains should be a mainstay in your diet but you need to learn how to cook them, there are 3 proven methods to cooking grains
Boiling is one of the easiest methods for cooking The grain is cooked uncovered in a large quantity of water. The grain and water are then dumped into a colander and drained for several minutes to remove the excess moisture. This method is often the best when there is some doubt as to the correct quantity of water that can be absorbed by the grain .
Cooking grains with the absorption method is, perhaps, the method that most people are accustomed to when cooking grain, but it is often the most difficult. This technique requires that the grain be cooked in a specific quantity of liquid, which can be readily absorbed by the grain. The absorption method may require some trial and error, but it is most often successful when slight adjustments are made to recipes based on variables that may affect the success of the absorption cooking method, such as the accuracy of the heat source, the altitude, and age and quality of the grain.
Steaming is the third method for cooking grains and although it is the most time consuming, it produces beautifully cooked grains. The grain slowly absorbs moisture and cooks very evenly.
Adding grains to your diet is simple, in the morning eat oatmeal or cereal made with whole grains or even cereal.
You can get grains from many forms of pasta,bread or by cooking meals with rice.
You can even get grains from snacks like Multi Grain Fruit Muffins in fact here is a quick & easy recipe to make your own muffins.
Here is a list of ingrediants
- 1 cup quick cooking oatmeal - 1 cup all purpose flour - 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed - 3 tablespoons bran cereal - 1/4 cup 7 grain hot cereal, uncooked - 1 tablespoon baking powder - 1 teaspoon salt - 1 teaspoon cinnamon - 1 egg - 3/4 cup milk - 1/4 cup canola oil - 3 tablespoons honey - 1 large apple, unpeeled and shredded - 2/3 cup diced dates
Serving Description: 1 muffin
Here are the cooking directions
Preheat oven to 400º F. Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, milk, oil, and honey. Add grated apple and dates. Quickly add to dry ingredient mixture. Stir only until just combined. Fill each muffin liner 3/4 full. Bake 15 to 18 minutes.
OK where can I find grains? you ask - The answer is simple you can find them in many products at your local grocery store or farmers market. If you live in a big city you can buy them at Latino or Indian, Asia, markets and usually buy them in bulk for a discount.
If you have a Sams club nearby that is a great place to buy your grains, they sell in bulk.
Wal-Mart is also a good place to find grain or grain products.
I hope this hub has helped you to better understand grains and how beneficial they can be to your health and how easy it is to include them in your daily diet.