Category Archives: Recipes

Why You Should Eat Whole Grains

grains

Various Whole Grains

We are often told to eat whole grains, but do you really know why?  Some of the benefits of eating whole grains that have been found in repeated studies and recent studies are:

  • Stroke risk reduced by 30-36%
  • Type 2 diabetes risk reduced by 21-30%
  • Heart disease risk reduced by 25-28%
  • Better weight maintenance
  • Reduced risk of asthma
  • Healthier carotid arteries
  • Reduction of inflammatory disease risk
  • Lower risk of colorectal cancer
  • Healthier blood pressure levels
  • Less gum disease and tooth loss
  • Boosts your immune system

Whole grains are filled with dietary fiber which most people don’t get enough of.  They are also full of Vitamin B, folate, iron, magnesium, selenium and other essential vitamins and nutrients.   If you have any of the problems listed above or need improvement in, it is definitely worth adding whole grains to what you eat.  Some of the different whole grains you can choose from are Amaranth, Barley, Farro, Kamut, Buckwheat, Millet, Oats, Bulgur, Corn, Quinoa, Rice (black, brown, red, wild),  Wheat, Rye, Sorghum, Spelt, and whole wheat pasta and breads.

The fiber in whole grains breaks down more slowly to keep your digestive system working, which helps reduce cramps, gas, and that uncomfortable bloated feeling that makes you feel sluggish and tired.  However,  if you’re not used to eating whole grains, don’t suddenly inundate your system with to much at once because that can actually cause more bloating. Gradually add these various grains to your diet along with plenty of water until you body is able to tolerate your fiber increase.  You can mix brown or black rice in with the white rice you eat.  Add some barley or other type of grain to your soup.   When baking, substitute half of the flour with whole wheat pastry flour.  Add some uncooked whole oats to bread recipes and meatloaf or meatballs.  Be creative in finding ways to add more whole grains to your meals for a healthier life.

I eat mostly whole grains, but felt I needed some more so I found a whole grain medley at my local grocery store.  There are all kinds of grains in the isle with the rice and beans.  This medley has brown rice, rye, bulgar, wheat, red quinoa, and wild rice.  All you have to do is boil 1-1/2 cups of water and then add one cup of the medley and let it cook on low for about 30 minutes.  I store this in the refrigerator and every morning I scoop some out, add vanilla almond milk and heat it up in the microwave.  Then I add walnuts and fruit.  I like blueberries or any kind of berries or bananas.  If I happen to be out of fresh fruit, I add whatever dried fruit I have such as raisins, dried cranberries or apricots.  This simple and quick breakfast has made a huge difference in how I feel for the rest of the day.   Since I don’t usually have 30 minutes to cook this in the morning, I just make it while I am making dinner and then I have breakfast made for almost a week as well.  The mixture of these grains gives it a nutty and slightly sweet flavor but if you like, you could always add a little honey if you want to sweeten it up more.  This breakfast is more filling than cereal and I feel like it gives me more nutrients and minerals that just eating oatmeal.   You can mix your own grains together if there are some you like more than others.

I hope you decide to add more whole grains to your diet.  Your body will thank you.

Bean Sloppy Joe’s

I have always loved a good Sloppy Joe sandwich.  The other day it just seemed like a Sloppy Joe day to me, so I pulled out several recipes but none of them really appealed to me.  I decided to take what I liked about each one and make my own recipe. Since I don’t eatContinue Reading

Beet Hummus

I know beet hummus probably sounds a little strange.  That is what I thought when I first came across the recipe below, but it is actually quite good.  My husband had made a beet dish and we had a few beets left over.  I was searching for a recipe to use the rest of themContinue Reading

Kale and Sweet Potato Salad

You may already know what a super food kale is.  I almost decided not to write about it because the grocery stores I shop at for kale are having a hard time keeping it in stock so there are times when I can’t get it.  It seems like everyone is rushing in for some kale. Continue Reading

White Bean Dip

I like beans, also known as legumes, and usually eat them in some form every day.  They have been called the “poor people’s meat” because they are rich in protein, but they don’t have the fat.   Since I don’t eat meat, this works great for me.  They are inexpensive and there are so manyContinue Reading

Dark Chocolate Truffles

With this being Valentine’s weekend, I am sure there will be a lot of chocolate consumed.  However, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing if you eat the right chocolate.  There have been a lot of studies done showing that dark chocolate, made with at least 60% cocoa, can have great health benefits. DarkContinue Reading

Barley, Bean and Vegetable Soup

I love eating soup in the winter, especially when it gets as cold as it has been.  Once the temperature dips into the 20s and below, I feel cold all the time and soups and hot tea or apple cider become staples for me.  Also, with soup you can get all the vitamins and nutritionContinue Reading

Get Empowered for 2014!

I can’t believe we have already been into 2014 for a week!  I gave some thought to the new year, but have been spending a lot of time wrapping up loose ends of 2013.  I am now ready to embrace 2014 and move forward..  I had a good 2013, but am hoping for an evenContinue Reading

Homemade Apple Butter

Last week I posted a recipe for homemade apple cider.  It was quite popular with my family and as I said last week, if I was ambitious, I would make some apple butter as well.  Since I had ten pounds of apples and I was cutting them up anyway, I did go ahead and makeContinue Reading

Homemade Apple Cider

I don’t know how it is where you are, but here in North Carolina we are having colder weather than usual.  It usually doesn’t get this cold until the end of December or January.  So, when I noticed that November 18 is National Apple Cider Day it seemed like a good idea to make someContinue Reading