Friday, February 26, 2010

Making the Switch to Whole Grains

Why whole grains? Research shows that whole grains can help reduce the risk of heart disease, some types of cancers and type 2 Diabetes. This hits close to home for me because most of the deaths in my family have been related to cancer. Diabetes also runs strong in both mine and my husbands families. Whole grains are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. They can even help with weight loss.

I have been slowly adding more and more whole grains to our diet. When I think about it, everything I bake has been with white flour. After reading this very informative article, I realized that there really is no nutritional value in white flour. I had no idea that when white flour is processed most of the nutrients; the bran and germ are stripped away leaving only the endosperm which is high in protein and carbohydrates and lacks most of the vitamins and minerals.

The Food Pyramid provided by the USDA recommends 6-11 servings of bread/grain per day. I know my family was no where near this but I am changing that by simply changing the way I bake. I have stared incorporating a lot more whole grains into our diet.

For starters the other day for breakfast instead of making pancakes with white flour, I used 1 cup of white and 1 cup of wheat flour for the batter. I decided to ease into it that day. Next time I will make them with all wheat. Then I made waffles another morning using my new 7 grain flour that I just bought from a local farmer. While you could definitly tell there was a grainy texture to these waffles, I really liked it and the kids didn't complain.I also bought some steel cut oats from the store and made that for my own breakfast a few mornings. I am not a fan of regular oatmeal, but the steel cut oats have a different texture and I like it better. Another way to add whole grains? I just made my first batch of granola last week. My husband has been taking this to work every day and eating it for breakfast. I will post the recipe for that later.I just made a batch of white sandwich bread, but I am hoping to get a batch of whole wheat bread made this weekend. Once I do I will let you know how that turns out. I also want to try the Artisan 5 Minute a Day Whole Wheat recipe. Had anyone tried that?


  1. I'm with you on oatmeal. I really try to like it but I just can't. I don't mind steel cut oats but they're still not my favorite. Have you ever tried quinoa? It's another grain that I like a little better. I sometimes cook it for breakfast instead of oatmeal. I usually cook it with half water, half milk then add some cinnamon, Sugar in the Raw (less processed than white sugar), raisins and nuts. You can also use it for dinner type dishes too. It's got a lot of really good health benefits. We love homemade whole wheat bread around here. That's about the only kind of homemade bread I make (but it's been a while). I haven't ever tried that specific recipe though.

  2. Thanks for sharing the link for the Paul's Grains. did you order directly from them or get it at Gateway Market? I keep meaning to check out Gateway but it's not something I want to do with the kids because I actually want to be able to look around.

  3. I add whole wheat flour to everything I make. I also do at least 25% of the amount called for in wheat, sometimes 50%. Every little bit helps.

  4. I know that for me 1 whole wheat waffle (plus peanut butter :)) is enough as aposed to several white flour waffles. So there is anouther benifit!!

  5. I've made the WW ARtisan bread. warm, fresh ww artisan is just not as 'wow' as the white. i might try half white and half ww someday, but I'm not sure how to combine recipes.

  6. Julia- the book lists a WW recipe for %mad that is still mostly white flour. I was not impressed with flavour though. I prefer the pumpernickle 5mad.

  7. Mama Podkayne, I really want to review their book. Think I will try and rent it from the library before actually buying.

    Julia, I am whipping up a batch of whole wheat today. I'll see how everyone feels. I might try and experiment with half and half.

    I have never actually been to Gateway Market. I would like to go just to see what it is all about. I have heard it is very pricey.

    I ordered form Pauls Grains along with a group of ladies from a Yahoo group I belong to. We ordered in bulk and then had one person pick it up. We all avoided shipping this way. We just gave our pick-up person a couple extra bucks to cover her gas. If your interested just email me and I can give you the information.

  8. I love this flour for adding whole wheat without adding the bulk of whole wheat. It is almost the same texturally as white flour:

    Also, we love these pancakes:

    I don't buy instant oats, but I blend the oats in a food processor with the buttermilk before I let it sit together.

  9. Thanks for the recommendations Cam. Your pancakes sound pretty good!