A Whole Lotta Whole Grains


February 4, 2013 by Meg G.

The lovely folks over at From Scratch Club just launched their next book club series! Over the next few weeks, I’ll be reading and cooking along with…

Whole Grains for a New Generation

This gem by Liana Krissoff (who will be part of the book club discussions – so cool!) is going to be quite a treat. We’ll be cooking by grain and first up (to ease you in) is rice. Simple enough, right? But before I allowed myself to pick a recipe or two, the nerd in me just had to read the introduction and some of the informative stuff up front. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

Whole Grains Vs. Refined Grains

Photo via FoodHappy

Photo via FoodHappy

I think most of us know that white rice is not as nutritious as brown rice. But do you know why? Well, each grain consists of three main components: the germ, endosperm, and bran. The germ contains vitamins B and E, essential amino acids, and oils; the endosperm contains mostly starch (carbs); and the bran contains fiber and B vitamins. When we process and refine grains, they are reduced to their carbohydrates and all of those vitamins and nutrients are lost.

Protein in Whole Grains

Photo via Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Photo via Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

As a vegetarian, I’m always thinking about how much protein is in my diet. According to Liana, the Center for Disease Control suggests that an adult woman like myself ought to consume 46 grams of protein per day. (Yikes! Not sure I get there all the time.) Whole grains have quite a bit more protein than refined grains. Which grain is the winner of the Most Protein Award? Surprisingly enough, it’s NOT quinoa, the magical grain pictured above, which is a complete protein and contains 8g of protein per cup. Rather, a 1/2 cup of rolled oats contains 10g of protein! To give you some sense of comparison, a 1/4 block of extra-firm tofu contains 8g, and a large egg contains 6g of protein.

Breakfast of Champions: Liana's Muesli Recipe

Breakfast of Champions: Liana’s Muesli Recipe

If you’re thinking that this book sounds like a snooze fest, you’re wrong. Liana’s recipes include things like chickpea-flour crepes with quinoa, melted peppers, and goat cheese; beet and apple salad with savory granola; warm spelt and new-potato salad with bacon (or fake bacon) and dill; gingery sweet potato and millet stew with edamame; and bulgur and black bean burgers with cilantro mayo and carrot slaw, just to name a few.

Thinking you might want to cook along with us? Just head over to Goodreads and join the group! Or, hop over to Twitter and follow @FSCBookClub or Like FSC on Facebook. They’re giving away copy of Liana’s book, so be sure to check out their blog.

Do you already cook with whole grains? I’d love to hear some of your favorites, your fears, and your go-to recipes.

6 thoughts on “A Whole Lotta Whole Grains

  1. Mere says:

    This is fantastic. I am really interested in cooking and baking with whole grains, particularly in re-vamping traditional baking recipes by substituting white flour with spelt or whole wheat. Here’s a recipe for my favorite scones, made with 50% spelt flour: http://chocolateandchard.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/rosemary-white-chocolate-scones.html I hadn’t heard of this book before; I definitely need to track down a copy!

    • Meg G. says:

      If you get a copy you should totally join the From Scratch Club book club on Goodreads! (Heck! Join it anyway!) It’s such a great community of folks who are interested in whole food, cooking from scratch (obvi), homesteading, etc. You’d fit right in!

  2. Chef Randall says:

    I might be linking this article again as I am working on a post about basmati rice. Wonderful post and the cookbook looks great. Going to see about purchasing one.

    Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to your next post.

    Chef Randall

  3. […] A Whole Lotta Whole Grains (smallworldsupperclub.wordpress.com) […]

  4. Christine says:

    Woo hoo! So glad you are part of the FSC Book Club again this round 🙂

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