There are tons of whole grains out there, and they’re all great for different things! Here are a few of my favorite whole grains…
This grain packs punch with more protein, iron, potassium, phosphorous, calcium and magnesium than any other grain. A staple of the Incas and Aztecs, amaranth has a nutty flavor; especially when toasted before grinding. It’s great for vegetarian and vegan eating styles because it possesses lysine, methionine and cystine, amino acids limited in other grains. The seeds can be used in breads or popped like popcorn for a unique snack.
Often referred to a cracked wheat this Middle Eastern staple is showing up more and more in the US. Bulgur has a nutty, chewy texture and is easy to prepare. It’s often used in tabouli and other salads, meatloafs, soups, stews, casseroles and baked goods increasing fiber and flavor.
Kamut is the Egyptian word for wheat. Kamut boasts a buttery flavor and rich amino acid profile as well as a healthy does B vitamins and the ever popular vitamin E. You’ll find kamut in breads products such as cereals, crackers and pasta.
Believe it or not there are more than 6,000 varieties of this tiny little grain. Millet is another high protein player loaded with vitamin E, calcium, iron and phosphorous. It has a similar texture to wild rice and has a mild flavor that makes it very versatile. Use it as an ingredient in side dishes such as rice pilaf and stuffing or explore it as the main meal accompaniment. Despite my hesitation a friend actually turned me onto millet mashed potatoes!
I know, how the heck to you pronounce that? It’s KEEN-wa and it’s quite popular these days for good reason. It has an excellent nutrient profile, texture and ease of use. It’s rich in all the nutrients we’ve mentioned above and makes a great alternative to rice. Use it in pilafs, risottos, stews and salads. It’s delicious as a breakfast cereal served hot with mixed berries, nuts and cinnamon. Just be sure to rinse well before cooking to remove its bitter waxy protective coating.
There are even more great grains out there. Take some time this week to explore on-line recipes for these and other grains or slow down your grocery store trip to see what’s available in your favorite store. Your body will love you for it!
Julie Norman, nicknamed "The Body Image Guru" by clients, guides women to live authentically healthy lives through peaceful body image, intuitive eating and mindful movement. She blends professional nutrition guidance with the wisdom of yoga to help women transform the ways in which they care for and experience their bodies. She is the creator of Body Karma Healing, a yoga-based program intended to help women transform their body image from painful to peaceful. Julie believes healing individual body image pain helps us heal the world! Check out Julie's exclusive offer for MOMTL Members HERE.