Going With The Grain

If you’re like me, when yo think of grains, wheat is the first thing that comes to mind. Actually, there are many different types of grains, all with differing nutritional values. These grains are eaten as a staple food in all areas of the world. From oats to quinoa, grains are the most eaten food and found on just about every plate at every meal. Grains provide a whole host of nutrients including protein, carbohydrates, B vitamins, iron, zinc, and many others. Here’s a list of some of the most popular gains and their nutritional value.
 
Amaranth- though it’s technically not a grain, rather a seed, Amaranth provides a plethora of nutrients similar to a grain including protein, calcium, iron, and zinc. Because it’s not a grain, it doesn’t contain gluten, so is suitable for people on wheat free or gluten free diets. It also makes a great breakfast cereal.
 
Barley – an excellent source of soluble fiber, barley helps to lower cholesterol. Whole barley is going to be much more nutrient-rich than pearled barley, which is lacking the germ and fiber-rich bran.
 
Buckwheat – you couldn’t tell by the name, but buckwheat isn’t actually wheat or even a grain. It is actually a member of the rhubarb family. These groats are exceptionally high in protein, very hard, & have a very distinct flavor. Toasted buckwheat is also called kasha and has a much more subtle flavor.
 
Corn – many would consider corn a vegetable, but the truth is corn is one of the sweetest grains. Yellow corn is the only grain that is a significant source of Vitamin A. Blue corn is a great source of protein, manganese, and potassium. The sugar in corn is what gives it its sweetness and turns to starch as the kernels dry.
 
Kamut - a high nutritious, ancient grain, Kamut has a much higher nutritional value than most of the hybridized grains on the market. Because of this, it tends to be less allergenic than common wheat.
 
Millet – higher in iron and protein than most grains, Millet is easily digestible and also one of the least allergenic of all grains. It can be cooked as a breakfast pourage, or eaten with a hearty dinner.
 
Oats - a great sources of soluble fiber, oats help to lower blood pressure. Hulled oats are known as oat groats. The most easily digestible oats are the quick cook variety, but steel cut oats make a tasty and hearty breakfast.
 
Quinoa – Originating from the mountains of Peru, quinoa has been around for centuries and remains unchanged. It is known as the Incan superfood because they lived on mainly quinoa. As one of the ancient grains, quinoa has one of the highest protein contents of any other grains.
 
Rye – although slow cooking, Rye makes a delicious addition to a winter veggie meal. They can be soaked overnight to reduce cooking time. Rye is a great source of manganese.
 
Spelt – higher in protein and fiber than most common wheat, Spelt is a non-hybridized grain meaning that is commonly less allergenic than other forms. Substitute spelt equally for wheat in any recipe.
 
Triticale – the first man made grain, triticale is cross between rye and wheat. Because of this, it is actually nutritionally superior to both varieties. Its taste is similar to that of the nutty flavor of wheat and it has a texture similar to that of rye’s chewiness. Most commonly it is used as flour, but is available as flakes or berries.
 
Couscous – popular in North Africa, these hearty beads are most commonly served in a spicy stew. Couscous is made from ground up semolina, which is the endosperm of hard durum wheat.
 
Wheat – extremely nutritious and even easier to transport, store, and process, it isn’t surprising that wheat is the world’s most common cereal grain. Wheat grows well in areas with little water and extreme temperatures.
 
Bulgar – made from whole-wheat berries that have been steam treated, dried, and cracked, Bulgar is used in everything wheat is including, salads, stuffing, casseroles, and bread loaves.
 
Cracked Wheat – simply put, cracked wheat is wheat berries that have been ground and milled into smaller pieces. It is quick cooking, so it makes a great breakfast cereal.
 
Many grains will last for a long period of time. Just make sure they are tightly sealed to prevent any bugs and stored in a dark, cool place to prevent any rancidity. Revitalize! provides a great resource for anyone looking for wheat free products. 
 
Revitalize! Health Spa & Organic Store
311 W Kennewick Ave
Kennewick, WA 99336
Phone: 509-586-6574

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