Friday, November 13, 2009
Good Health Guideline: Whole Grains
Welcome to the final installment of my GHG series. I've enjoyed the discussion so far. I didn't purposely save whole grains for last, but it is one of the more vague of the WW guidlines: "Choose whole grains whenever possible." If you take this literally, it's almost always possible to choose whole grains. If you walk into a restaurant and notice they have no whole grains, you could leave.
In reality, I don't always choose whole grains, even when it's possible. The one-point difference between white pasta, which I love, and whole-wheat pasta, which I don't particularly enjoy, isn't enough to convince me to make the switch. I buy wholegrain breads most of the time, but every now and then I enjoy a slice of sourdough or Italian or even a bagel.
Besides, when I think whole grains, I don't think of things made with whole grain flour, I think of actual whole grains. The Kashi pilaf pictured above is one of the tastiest whole grain products I've found. There is a Mediterranean Pilaf recipe on the box that is fantastic, and I've made variations on that theme by changing up the vegetables or seasonings. You can also add fruit and cinnamon and have a great breakfast pilaf or even a dessert. Kashi makes a lot of great products, including 2-point granola bars that blow the WW snack bars out of the water and have a lot more wholesome-seeming ingredients. The crackers and cereals are great too.
I have not managed to make oatmeal in any way I like except in granola and cookies. There is something yucky about the flavor. I've tried steel-cut oats, rolled oats, old-fashioned oats, overnight oats... I've dosed them up with all kinds of things. I do, however, like Quaker's multigrain cereal, so it really must be something about cooked oats. I like raw oats in yogurt, just not cooked ones.
I enjoy a lot of other whole grains: Barley, quinoa, brown rice, etc. The only thing that keeps me from having them more often is the cooking time. I had a rice cooker but it never did a very good job of cooking rice and grains evenly. Maybe I need to try another model. I do have some recipes for cooking whole grains in the slow-cooker, so I should probably dust those off, especially now that the weather is getting colder and I'm starting to feel the call of comfort foods. A warm bowl of grains can be just as comforting as macaroni and cheese (ok, almost as comforting, anyway), I just don't always think of them first.
Any favorites you'd like to share?
"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07