For me the meaning of a better quality of life begins at the table that’s why we’ve brought in our resident vegetarian and food policy expert Tiffany Griffin to share some basics on healthier eating habits through the vegetarian lifestyle. ~ Heather Watkins Jones
I first heard of spelt at a “meeting of the minds” in Durham, NC. I brought my banana pizza to the potluck, resulting in a number of strange glances and comments from the peanut gallery (“banana pizza?!?!?”), after a few adventurous souls vetted the delectable flavors of roasted banana, sugar, cinnamon, and creamy cheese, someone exclaimed, “and this crust! Is it spelt?!?” I thought to myself, sp-who?, sp-what? Audibly I uttered, “nope, whole wheat,” trying to conceal the fact that I had never even heard of spelt. When I got home that evening and fished around on the internet, I learned that spelt was similar to wheat—but has 30% more protein and is well tolerated by folks who are sensitive to wheat. Score and score! … and much more to learn, for there are a lot of grains out there! Sooooooo many grains that I decided to dedicate the entire month of May to grains on my website Como Water!
Trying out new grains for a particular bread, cereal, pasta, sweet baked goods, or savory side dish might seem daunting, but it need not be. For me, the first step was simply to get name recognition. So in this post, I’m giving you my “A to Z of grains.” Each grain below marked with an asterisk (*) is gluten-free and those with the hyperlink are ones I’ve used in recipes on my blog (click the hyperlink to get the recipe).
Let go of your fears and give some of these new to you grains a try. I’ve had a lot of fun playing around with these different grains and found that it’s really nice to mix it up and deviate from the typical enriched pasta or white rice. When buying grains, look for undamaged, kernel with uniform color. I tend to buy in the bulk section of the grocery store, which is also a great way to try new grains without committing to an entire package of something. When cooking grains, remember: rinse before cooking, test for doneness, and fluff before serving! When storing grains, keep them in an airtight container, in a cool dry place.
*Looking to expand your knowledge base of whole grains even further be sure to check out the Whole Grains Council website.
*Quinoa image used under Creative Commons from sweetbeetandgreenbean
The Blacker The Berry Food “Resident Vegetarian” Tiffany Griffin is a Psychologist by day and successful food blogger in her other waking hours. Check out Como Water to keep up with all of her veggie eating adventures.