Good Grains

A Whole New Way to Look at Nutrition

Grains 0918 
September 2018 Issue

by Lindsay Gifford
Recipes, photos and information provided by Oldways Whole Grains Council

September is National Whole Grains Month and Pink’s annual health issue, thus we have teamed up with the Oldways Whole Grains Council for the scoop on the health benefits of whole grains, as well as to share new, delicious recipes to teach you how to incorporate nutritious whole grains into your healthy lifestyle. Let’s face it...there is a lot of information out there on eating healthy and much of it is contradictory. So, with the help of the Oldways Whole Grains Council, let’s break it down:

What is a Whole Grain?
All grains start life in their natural state as a whole grain, which is the entire seed of a plant. This seed (or kernel) is made of three edible parts—bran, germ and endosperm. As long as these three parts are still present in the original proportions it is considered a whole grain. Some whole grains include: amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn (including whole cornmeal and popcorn), millet, oats, quinoa, brown rice, rye, sorghum, teff, triticale, wheat (including: spelt, emmer, farro, einkorn, Kamut®, bulgur, cracked wheat, wheatberries) and wild rice.

Who is the Oldways Whole Grains Council? They are a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, working to increase consumption of whole grains for better health. They encourage manufacturers to create delicious whole grain products and help guide consumers to find whole grain foods and understand their benefits.

Whole Wheat vs. Whole Grain: Well, whole wheat is one kind of whole grain, but not all whole grains are whole wheat.
Grains 0918 Stamp

How to Determine if a Product Contains Authentic Whole Grains:  The Oldways Whole Grains Council makes it easy! Just look for the Whole Grain Stamp on the food package. There are three stamps: 1) 100% Stamp: All of the product’s grain ingredients are whole grains and it includes at least 16 grams (a full serving) of whole grain per serving. 2) 50%+ Stamp: At least half of the products grain ingredients are whole grain and the product has at least 8 grams (a half serving) of whole grain per serving. 3) The Basic Stamp: The product contains at least 8 grams (a half serving) of whole grain, but may contain refined grain, too. The Whole Grain Stamp is on more than 12,000 products in 58 countries.

Elevate Flavors: You can create a multitude of flavors in your baking by swapping out different whole grains like using brown rice flour for a hint of caramel flavor. And, it’s not just for baking, whole grain pasta stands up to richer sauces and brown rice is perfect for making fried rice.

Delicious and Nutritious—

Whole grains are linked to many health benefits from head to toe, including:
• Lessens inflammation                                         
• Improvement of gut bacteria
• Slows cognitive decline                                       
• Lowers levels of: bad cholesterol, BMI & weight
• Lowers risks of: type-II diabetes, heart disease and stroke
• Greater servings of whole grains at breakfast are related to higher scores in reading comprehension, fluency and math in elementary students.
• Compared to people who eat the least whole grains, people who eat the most have a 16-18 percent lower mortality rate, 18 percent lower risk of death from heart disease and 12 percent lower rate of death from cancer. Luckily, most grains are gluten free.

Next time you head to the store, give whole grains a try. These delicious whole grain recipes are a great way to begin. Then, log on to for more information, specific health benefits, substitution suggestions, culinary tips, upcoming events (like the Whole Grains Conference Nov 4-6) and a WHOLE lot of great recipes.

Grains 0918 BeetBurgersBeet Burgers
Active Time: 10 mins | Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins | Servings: 4

2 tsps Olive Oil            
½ cup Mushrooms, finely chopped
¼ tsp Salt            
¼ tsp Pepper
½ cup Quinoa, cooked        
1 medium Beet, finely grated
½ tsp Cumin            
¼ tsp Chili powder
¼ tsp Smoked paprika        
4 small Whole wheat pitas
1 (15-oz.) can Black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup Raw walnuts, crushed or ground into a loose meal
Optional for Serving: Avocado slices, Spinach, Blue cheese, or Goat cheese

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper, and cook until slightly browned and fragrant—about 3 minutes, then remove from heat. In a large bowl, mash the black beans with the mushrooms. Add the quinoa, beets, spices, and walnuts, and stir.  

Form into 4 large patties, then set in the fridge to chill while your oven preheats to 375° F. Arrange patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake at 375° for 30-40 minutes, gently flipping at the halfway mark. Serve each burger in a whole wheat pita. Feel free to garnish with other toppings, like avocado slices, mixed greens, or cheese.
(Recipe by Kelly Toups, Oldways Whole Grains Council—adapted from The Minimalist Baker)


Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas and Herbs
Active Time: 20 mins | Total Time: 20 mins | Servings: 6

1 bunch Scallions, finely chopped    Grains 0918 Bulgar   Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Tbsps Fresh mint, finely chopped
2 Tbsps Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste        
1 cup Coarse bulgur
2 large Garlic cloves, minced 1 (15-oz.) can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup finely chopped Fat-leaf parsley, or a combination of parsley and dill

Prepare bulgur according to package instructions. Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the scallions and cook, stirring, until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and continue to cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine the warm garlic and scallion mixture with the cooked bulgur and chickpeas. Add the parsley, mint, lemon juice, and the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil and toss together. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature. 
(Recipe by Oldways)

Breakfast Quinoa with Figs and Honey
Active Time: 5 mins | Total Time: 20 mins | Servings: 4

1 cup of White quinoaGrains 0918 Fig
2 cups Water
4 whole Cloves (or ¼ tsp ground cloves)        
Honey, to taste
1 cup Toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped        
1 cup Dried figs, sliced
2 Cinnamon sticks (or ½ tsp ground cinnamon)    
1 cup Almond, soy, or rice milk

Rinse quinoa under cool water to remove coating. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add the quinoa, water, cinnamon, and cloves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cover, allowing quinoa to simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed, and the grain is tender. Remove the spices. Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Stir in the dried figs, nuts, milk, and honey to taste. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld, and the fruit to soften. *Note: You may use red quinoa but the cooking time may be about 5 minutes longer. This recipe makes great leftovers: just gently reheat the next day to enjoy. 
(Recipe by Oldways)

Oldways Homemade Granola
Active Time: 5 mins | Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins  |  Servings: 14Grains 0918 Granola

5 cups Rolled oats (regular or old-fashioned)
1 cup slivered Almonds
¾ cup shredded Coconut
¾ tsp Salt
¼ cup Canola oil (or coconut oil)
½ cup real Maple syrup

Preheat oven to 250°F. Mix oats, almonds, coconut, and salt together in a large bowl.Add oil, then add maple syrup and mix thoroughly. (The oil will coat your measuring cup, helping the syrup slide out easily.)Transfer to two rimmed sheet pans, and spread granola evenly in pans.Bake at 250°F for 1 ¼ hours, stirring every 20 minutes to allow granola to cook evenly. Allow to cool in pans, then store in an air-tight container.
(Recipe by Oldways)

Greek-Style Vegetarian Lasagna
Active Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins | Servings: 12

2 Tbsps Extra virgin olive oil Grains 0918 Lasagna
1 Onion, diced
4 cloves Garlic, minced            
2 medium Zucchini, sliced
1 Tomato, chopped            
1 tsp Ground oregano
1 (16 oz.) jar Prepared marinara sauce    
½ cup Kalamata olives, sliced
1 cup part-skim Ricotta cheese        
⅔ cup Feta cheese, crumbled
1 Egg, beaten                
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb Whole wheat or whole grain lasagna noodles
2 (10 oz.) pkgs Frozen chopped spinach, thawed, excess liquid squeezed out

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions, removing from water when they are still a little chewy in the middle (more firm than al dente). Set aside to drain.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion. Saute 3 minutes and add garlic and oregano, sauteeing for two minutes more. Add the zucchini and saute until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and jar of tomato sauce, and cook for about 1 more minute. Turn off heat, cover, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the egg, ricotta, and feta cheese and a generous amount of black pepper. Assemble lasagna: In a 13 x 9 inch baking pan, spoon a little of the sauce mixture into the bottom. Place a layer of the cooked lasagna noodles across this sauce. Ladle a generous helping of the sauce and veggie mixture over this, and spread half of the feta-ricotta mixture over the sauce. Sprinkle ¼ cup of the kalamata olives over this. Repeat this layering two more times, finishing with cheese. Add more oregano and pepper to top of lasagna if desired. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook uncovered, for another 15-20 minutes until lasagna is bubbling and cheese is browned on top. Allow lasagna to rest for 20 minutes or so before serving.
(Recipe by Oldways)

Grains 0918 Cheesecake2

Lemon Bars with Tahini Cookie Crust

Active Time: 20 mins  |  Total Time: 3 hrs  |  Servings: 9

½ cup Rolled oats    
½ cup Sesame seeds
¼ tsp Salt        
10 soft Dates
¼ cup Tahini
1 Tbsp Arrowroot starch
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp Sugar
14 oz Extra firm tofu    
Zest of 2 Lemons
1 cup Lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about 7 lemons)
¼ tsp Turmeric, for color

Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8x8 inch baking dish with parchment paper. Add oats and sesame seeds to a high powered blender or food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds, until the sesame seeds break down into a crumbly powder. Add the salt, dates and tahini and blend for another minute, until everything is combined. Transfer mixture to the parchment-lined baking dish and spread evenly to form a crust, pressing down firmly until it’s evenly distributed and well packed. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and there is some browning on the surface. Remove from oven to cool slightly.

While the crust is baking, add all filling ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. After crust cooks, pour filling evenly on top and cook 35 minutes at 350°F. Let cool 10 minutes, then refrigerate uncovered for at least 2 hours (to let the custard set) before cutting with a sharp knife. Cut into 9 pieces and store covered in the refrigerator. (Recipe by Kelly Toups, Oldways)
The combination of lemon and tahini is a match made in the Mediterranean. For a healthier twist, we use tofu to lend the creaminess.

Burrito Bowls with Chicken
Active Time: 25 mins | Total Time: 25 mins | Servings: 4

1 cup Quinoa, uncooked
2 cups Vegetable broth, low sodium
1 (15 oz.) can Black beans
1 cup Pineapple, finely chopped
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 Red onion, finely chopped, divided
¼ cup Cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
Juice of 1 Lime
1 Green bell pepper, cut into ½-inch dice
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch dice
½ tsp Chili powder
¼ tsp Paprika
1 cup cooked Chicken breast, diced
2 cups Spinach, cut into strips
1 Avocado
½ cup Plain nonfat Greek yogurt, for garnish

Add the quinoa and vegetable broth to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to a simmer, and let cook, covered for 12-15 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed, and the quinoa shows its curly “tail”. Drain and rinse black beans and warm over the stove, on low, with a few tablespoons of water or broth. While the beans are warming, add the pineapple, jalapeno, ¼ cup of the red onion, cilantro, and lime juice to a small mixing bowl, and stir to combine.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bell peppers, remaining red onion, chili powder, and paprika and cook until onions become translucent, and peppers are tender (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally. To create your burrito bowl, ladle about a half cup of quinoa in a bowl and top with black beans, sautéed peppers and onions, chicken, spinach strips, avocado slices, and pineapple salsa. Garnish with a dollop of Greek yogurt, as desired. 
(Recipe by Oldways)

Whole Grain Blueberry Muffins
Active Time: 10 mins  |  Total Time: 30 mins  |  Servings: 12

3 Tbsps Canola oilGrains BlueberryMuffinsOW750 edited
½ cup Pure maple syrup
1 cup Plain low-fat yogurt (regular or Greek)
1 Egg
1⅓ cups Whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 cup Rolled oats
2 tsps Baking powder
¾ tsp Salt
½ tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Baking soda
1 cup Fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400°F, and prepare a 12-cup standard muffin tin with spray, butter and flour, or paper baking cups. Measure the oil into a measuring cup, then add the maple syrup. (The syrup slips easily from the measuring cup due to the oil.) Pour oil and syrup into a large bowl, then add yogurt, egg and vanilla. Beat vigorously with a spoon or whisk until everything is well mixed. In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine all dry ingredients except the blueberries. Then stir the dry ingredients and the blueberries into the wet ingredients, until just moistened. Do not overmix! Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling each cup just short of the top. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until tops are browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving. 
(Recipe by Oldways and the Whole Grains Council)

Easy Peach Crisp
Active Time: 5 mins | Total Time: 45 mins | Servings: 2

1 tsp ButterGrains 0918 PeachCobbler
½ cup Rolled oats
1 tsp Sugar
¼ tsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Olive oil
2 cups Peaches, diced (or apples, berries, etc.)
Optional for serving: Vanilla frozen yogurt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 6 ½-inch cast iron skillet with butter. In a small bowl, toss the oats with the cinnamon, sugar, and olive oil. Put the fruit in the skillet, then top with the oat mixture. Bake for 35 minutes, until fruit is bubbly and oats are golden. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then top with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt, if desired. (Caution: skillet will be very hot) Recipe Note: When peaches aren’t in season, we make this simple crisp with apples, berries, or any other fresh fruit that’s available. For an even easier shortcut, you can use granola in place of the oat-olive oil-sugar mixture. (Recipe by Kelly Toups, Oldways)

Creamy Polenta
Active Time: 45 mins  |  Total Time: 45 mins  |  Servings: 4

3 cups of Water
½ tsp Salt
1 cup Dry whole grain polenta (or whole grain yellow corn grits)
1 tsp of any Dried spice of choice (sage, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, etc.)
1-2 Tbsps of Oil or butter of choice (including vegan butter)

Bring the water and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Slowly pour the polenta into the boiling water in a steady stream, stirring while you do so. Turn down the heat to low and continue whisking until the polenta has thickened enough that it doesn’t settle back on the bottom of the pan when you stop stirring.After 20 minutes of cooking, stir in the spices and oil. Cook the polenta for an additional 10 to 20 minutes, adding water as needed. Stir vigorously every 5 to 10 minutes, making sure to scrape the sides, bottom, and corners of the pan. Cook 30 minutes total for softer porridge-like polenta or 40 minutes for thicker polenta. Serve immediately, in a bowl topped with your favorite legumes, veggies and sauce! Note: Make sure to get whole grain polenta. If the package says “degerminated,” it’s not whole grain.
(Recipe by Oldways)

Buttermilk-Buckwheat Pancakes
Active Time: 15 mins | Total Time: 25 mins | Servings: 12

¾ cup Buckwheat flour            Grains Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes edited
¾ cup Whole white wheat flour
3 Tbsps Sugar                
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking soda            
3 Tbsps Unsalted butter, melted
1 Egg, beaten                
2 cups Non-fat buttermilk, divided
Vegetable oil

Heat a large griddle pan over medium heat. Prepare batter while pan is heating. Whisk together the dry ingredients (flours, sugar, salt, baking soda) in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, stir egg and 1 cup of the buttermilk until combined, then slowly add in melted butter until incorporated. Add the buttermilk/egg mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring to blend. Add in the remaining buttermilk to batter. Stir only until everything is combined, batter may be slightly lumpy. Do not over mix.Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the pan with vegetable oil. Ladle ¼ cup batter onto the hot pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the pancake to cook for 2-3 minutes, or until bubbles come the surface. Flip the pancake and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with butter and maple syrup.
(Recipe by Karen Mansur, Oldways and the Whole Grains Council)

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal
Active Time: 5 mins  |  Total Time: 5 hrs  |  Servings: 4

Canola oil            Grains 0918 PumpkinOatmeal
¼ cup Pecans, chopped        
⅔ cup Fresh or frozen cranberries    
1 cup Milk (we used nonfat milk)    
3 Tbsps Maple syrup        
¼ cup Ground flax seed
1 Tbsp Pure vanilla extract    
2 tsps Pumpkin pie spice        
1 cup Uncooked steel cut oats    
1¼ cups Water            
1 cup 100% Pure pumpkin purée (not pie filling)

Use canola oil to grease the inside of the slow cooker, to prevent sticking. Pour water, spices, maple syrup, vanilla, flax and pumpkin into a separate bowl and whisk until combined. Pour pumpkin mixture and oats into the slow cooker and stir to combine. Then, evenly sprinkle cranberries and pecan pieces on top. Cover and cook on low for 4.5 to 5 hours. We use a programmable slow cooker so that we can get more than five hours of sleep and still wake up to warm oatmeal. Once the oatmeal is done cooking, the programmable slow cooker holds the food warm. (Otherwise, you can make this ahead of time while you’re at home, then store in the fridge.) Divide into 4 bowls and serve immediately, or put leftover servings into the fridge for later. When reheating, we like to stir in a few tablespoons of milk upon serving to produce a more creamy oatmeal. To reheat individual servings, add about ¼ cup water or milk and microwave on high for about 1½ minutes. 
(Recipe by Kelly Toups, Oldways and the Whole Grains Council)

Roasted Butternut Squash with Spelt
Active Time: 50 mins  |  Total Time: 50 mins  |  Servings: 6

Butternut squash (about 2 pounds) Grains 0918 ButternutSquash 
4 Tbsps Extra virgin olive oil, divided
2½ cups Vegetable broth (or chicken broth)        
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar        
½ tsp Sugar
¼ tsp Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes            
1 large Shallot, finely chopped
1 bunch Parsley, finely chopped (about 1 cup)        
6 oz. Ricotta salata cheese or crumbled feta
1 cup uncooked Spelt, farro or other chewy whole grain     
⅓ cup Toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Preheat oven to 375° F. Peel squash (or use Delicata squash, unpeeled), remove seeds, cut into cubes. Toss with about half of the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast until tender, about 40 minutes. Cool slightly. While the squash is roasting, cook the grain with broth in a medium covered saucepan, until the grains are tender but still chewy, about 25-30 minutes. Drain and cool slightly. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, 1 tablespoon water, Aleppo pepper, and sugar until sugar dissolves. Stir in the minced shallots. Cover and refrigerate the dressing until needed (at least a half hour in the fridge deepens the flavor, but it’s still good if you’re in a rush.) In a large bowl, combine the cooked squash, cooked grain, dressing, parsley, and cheese. Toss with the remaining olive oil. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Top with toasted pepitas at time of serving. Note: you can buy pepitas already roasted, or buy raw ones and toast briefly on a hot, unoiled pan until they start to brown and “pop.”
(Recipe by Oldways)

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