Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Treat Yourself To Whole Wheat

Whole wheat has always had a "crunchy granola" reputation. People usually associate it with aging hippies or health nuts. However its; one of the best tasting and best for you kinds of breads out there. Nowadays whole wheat has also expanded into crackers and even bagels. It's easy to forego anything white when you have nutritionally better brown and wholesome.

Two hundred years ago whole wheat was the only bread around. For centuries bakers baked bread with flour that the bran, endosperm and germ before milling came about . The bran is the hard outer coating or husk, it contains vital nutrients such as dietary fibers and essential fatty oils.  The endosperm part of the plant is reproductive part that is ground into white flour( barley endosperm is responsible for beer production). Germ is the embryo part of the wheat plant and it's often used in making cereals. All three are high in calcium , iron and fiber and the mineral selenium known for its' different properties. Whole wheat does have a drawback - a short shelf life. It doesn't last as long as white bread and can get moldier and staler quicker than the other.

Whole wheat is not just relegated to bread. There are all sorts of yummy treats to try . It's  also a good idea to get off white floured products from an early age. Whole wheat bagels are popular and are a healthier alternative to regular ones. Pastas as well as "going brown." Many companies including stores are offering whole wheat spaghetti and vermacelli along with a variety of other kinds. Are there whole wheat cookies?Surprisingly yes! There is even a Nestle's Tollhouse recipe for crunchy  chocolate chip cookies. There are also variations involving different kinds of nuts and dried cranberries. However whole wheat cookies do have sugar(albeit brown or molasses)  can be fattening so be careful. Unfortunately there are no  national brands. Most whole wheat cookies come form individual bakeries and bakers at farmer's market.

Whole wheat is a treat. It's also better for you than processed white flour.it;s also tasty no matter what way you have it. Try if for your morning toast or evening pasta.

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