April Superfoods Focus on Whole Grains

Chesney Blue, RD
Nutrition Care Manager/Dietitian
Green Hill, Inc.

Whole grains are cereal grains that are unrefined and contain the germ, endosperm and bran.

Types of Whole Grains include Wheat, Oat, Barley, Brown Rice, Farro, Freekeh, Spelt, Emmer, Kamut, Rye, millet, Quinoa, Amaranth, Buckwheat, Black Rice, Red Rice, Wild Rice, Bulgur, Corn. Also available are whole grain flours, couscous, pastas and breads.

With the entire grain kernel intact, whole grains contain more fiber, protein and other key nutrients than their refined (“white”) counterparts. Eating whole grains has been associated with lower risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease and better weight maintenance.

Cook grains like rice; bring dry grains to a boil with water or broth and simmer, covered until liquid is absorbed. Or cook like pasta with larger amount of liquid and strain after cooked.
• Whole grains in general take longer to cook, so follow manufacturer instructions on time.
• Short cuts: soak whole grains overnight to shorten cooking time. This works great for steel cut oats, kamut, brown rice, wheat berries and farro.
• Rice cookers work well in cooking all sorts of grains, not just white rice.
• Unlike refined grains, whole grains have a shorter storage life. Use often and rotate your inventory properly – first in, first out FIFO.

Butternut Squash and Garbanzo Bean Freekeh Curry Stew
Curry flavored freekeh stew with roasted butternut squash, beans and kale

Yield: 6

12 oz Butternut Squash, Fresh
1 tbsp Oil, Olive
1 cup Diced Onions, Fresh
2 tbsp Minced Garlic Cloves, Fresh
2 tbsp Ginger Root, Fresh, Minced
1-1/2 tbsp Curry Powder
8 oz Greenwheat Freekeh
1 qt, 2 cup Vegetable Stock from Scratch
1-1/2 cup Beans, Garbanzo, Canned, Drained, Rinsed
4 oz Kale, Fresh, Chopped
1-1/2 cup Roma Tomatoes, Fresh, Diced
2 tbsp Less Sodium Soy Sauce

Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and place on a roasting pan. Roast in a 350F degree oven until tender. When cool enough to handle, peel and dice. In a pot over medium high heat, drizzle oil and heat. Saute onions, garlic and ginger until onions are translucent. Add the curry powder and toast for 1 minute. Add the grains and toast for another minute. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, including the diced butternut squash, and cook covered until grains are tender about 10 more minutes. Serve hot.
Chef Notes: Freekeh is another old grain that is gaining in new popularity; roasted young green wheat. Can’t find it? Substitute with many different grains, such as bulgur, rice, or quinoa – final nutrition will vary.