~by Regan Jones, RD
[Disclosure: Some of the products mentioned in this post were either given to me as a sample or to the dietitians quoted. To my knowledge none of them were paid -- nor was I -- to promote these products. Uncle Ben's - who is mentioned below - was a sponsor of a conference I attended earlier this year and partially funded some of my attendance to that event. I was not asked or compensated to write this post. ~Regan]
There's a "Day" for everything.
You know... Bacon Lover's Day, Cheese Lover's Day, Wine Lover's Day... it's all good, albeit a bit over-the-top when it's something as obscure as Clam on the Half Shell Day (which I bet you missed earlier this week. Heartbreaking....)
Anyway, some days do need a little boost. Bock Beer Day, for instance, was on March 20th. (I was busy celebrating my anniversary, so don't blame me.) I bet it came and went without any fan fare... am I right?
But today I'm doing my part to help support Whole Grain Sampling Day. Yeah, I know... name alone it doesn't sound attention worthy, but it is -- if for no other reason based on the fact that American Institute for Cancer Research includes Whole Grains on their "Foods That Fight Cancer" list. I'm sorry but #FightCancer? #SignMeUp! [Plus, there are some pretty cool promos going on in conjunction with the day, not the least of which is a discount on Barbara's cereal. And I know there are some of you Barbara's fans out there #holla!]
The problems I personally find in adding more whole grains to my family's diet involve 1) time & convenience and 2) gluten content of whole wheat flour. (I LOVED white whole wheat flour baking before we new that my husband had a gluten-sensitivity.) If gluten isn't a problem for your family, then I highly recommend replacing half of the flour in your normal recipes with King Arthur's White Whole Wheat flour. You will be amazed at how little it changes the taste or texture... but gives a boost to the nutrition.
But for those of us who are looking for gluten-free ways to increase whole grains without a ton of extra time in the kitchen, there are some really tasty convenience items available. Here's what I, along with some of my dietitian colleagues, recommend:
- I recently received a package of this as a sample and confess, I was hesitant. I tend to think of "packaged" mixes and "ready-to-eat" as offering little in the way of flavor, but too much in the way of stuff I don't want. This was a very pleasant surprise. Short ingredient list, tasted great, good texture... and frankly, the first time I'd had black rice at home. It's not a "low-sodium" food, but because it didn't need any extra salt to taste, overall as an addition to the meal it really wasn't too much, in my opinion."
- "They have a great product line including Hot Oats, Super Oats and Power O's. You can get them at grocery stores like Kroger and Whole Foods and also on Amazon!" ~Lindsay
- "Love Grown oatmeal in a cup. Easy-peasy to "make," delicious and not "too sweet." ~Brierley
Recommended by Bonnie Johnson, MS, RD
- "At EXPO west, I got to try Think Thin's oatmeal cup and it was awesome! I always take oatmeal cups on the road with me...but the sugar in the big name brands makes me feel oogly...Think Thin has a great tasting product with about half the sugar of other brands ." ~Bonnie
Recommended by Betsey Bingham, MS, RD
- "This is my new fave. I know they sell Schar in the states. I buy it at Globus here in Germany. They are best GF bread in my opinion and this one has quinoa flour, linseeds, and sunflower seeds." ~Betsey
Recommended by Holley Grainger, MS, RD
- "We're fans of the Bird's Eye Steamfresh Whole Grain Brown Rice--It cooks up in about 90 seconds and the only ingredients are brown rice and water. The girls will eat it as is straight from the bag but I use it for rice salads regularly." ~Holley
Recommended by Alexis Joseph, MS, RD
- "They're super crunchy like regular pretzels, but they're made with quinoa, brown rice, flax, chia, sesame seeds, amaranth, and millet rather than refined white flour. You can buy them at Kroger or Whole Foods."
How about You? What are your favorite quick-and-easy whole-grain choices??