So my good friend Amy (author of a fantastic blog: Love from Amy), asked me a question about grains.
Do you think that grains are harmful to a good diet? I don’t know why they’re not a good thing for Whole30, but I want to keep eating them. I just feel like I need more than potato carbs.
I thought, this is a great topic to research and know more about! Amy is gluten intolerant, so any wheat products are obviously out of the question.
For this topic, I went to one of my go-to resources: Dr. Sears. Since I got my health coach certification from Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, I have some great material from the classes I took. One of which is Prime Time Health: “A scientifically proven plan for feeling young and living longer.” I appreciate the science he puts into this book in terms I can understand.
Dr. Sears suggests 3 supergrains: Quinoa, Amaranth, and Buckwheat. These are safe for the gluten intolerant. Wild Rice is also incredibly nutritious, more so than white or brown rice.
- Quinoa: I have used quinoa a lot! I’ve used it mostly to add protein to vegetarian dishes. It is easy to cook and has a great texture. I’ve put it in soups, added it to salads, made it into a salad, even made a pumpkin quinoa bread (made with quinoa flour). Nutritionally, quinoa’s proteins are of a higher quality than most cereal grains, since its amino acids are more evenly balanced. It is also an excellent source of magnesium, iron, and potassium (Visual Food Encyclopedia, pg. 343)
- Amaranth: I have not used amaranth at all. I did find some fantastic information on Dr. Weil’s website:
Like buckwheat and quinoa, amaranth is an especially high-quality source of plant protein including two essential amino acids, lysine and methionine, which are generally low in grains. Amaranth is packed with iron and calcium, and its fiber content is triple that of wheat. Amaranth is completely gluten-free and suitable for those with celiac disease; what’s more, it is an especially digestible grain, making it a traditional food for people recovering from illness or transitioning from a fast or cleanse.
I’d like to give this grain a try, wouldn’t you!? It can be popped like corn, cooked like porridge, or added to a variety of recipes. I’m going to check this out and see if I can find a recipe worthy of posting.
- Buckwheat: I’ve used buckwheat flour, that’s about my extent of knowledge on buckwheat. One thing I love about researching about food for Foodie Thinking and for anyone who asks questions is the amount of excellent resources I stumble upon. If you have any questions about buckwheat, they can be answered on Dr. Axe’s website. Here is a great guide to buckwheat from his website to get you started:
- Wild Rice: We’ve all probably had some wild rice, mixed into pilaf maybe. I hadn’t thought of it before as a super healthy food, but research proves me wrong. Organic facts came up with this great Image:
Not only that, wild rice is also delicious with proteins such as poultry, wild game, and seafood (Visual Food Encyclopedia, pg. 341)
Hopefully you learned as much as I did from that research on Gluten-free Grains! I am excited to try something with amaranth. And I would love to add more of all four of these grains to my diet to begin replacing all the white flour I use.
Now on to some ideas to boost your menu! We had a few new winners this week:
Homemade English Muffins, which I typed up for you in my recipes. If you get my weekly emails or follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen the delicious picture of those! We love these because we can freeze them and they are the perfect Weekend breakfast with an egg, avocado, and cheese. They are made with white flour, so obviously not the healthiest. But certainly healthier than buying them at the store and much cheaper as well! This makes 12-18 depending on how big you make them.
We also made Irish Cabbage with bacon per my brother’s request. He loves cabbage AND bacon, so when the two are served together, his life is complete. I added quiet a bit of white vinegar to this recipe since I think the tanginess of vinegar complements the fattiness of the bacon. It was an easy dinner since I just made some rice and sauteed some pork to accompany the cabbage. Side note to my frugal friends: this is a nice budget friendly meal since cabbage and rice are quiet inexpensive!
Our quick meal for the week was a roasted potato, kale and cauliflower salad. I took a picture of this one for you since it’s a bit hard to describe. Basically, I diced the potatoes, threw them on a pan, tossed them in grapeseed oil and salt, and roasted them in a 400 degree oven until crispy. I did basically the same idea with the cauliflower, cutting them into florets and roasting them the same way as the potatoes. I sauteed some kale until the leaves started to crisp around the edges. Then I threw all three in a big bowl, added some crumbled feta, some red wine vinegar, and some pepper. I gave it a gentle toss and then plated it up! I put some sliced salami on Mr. Foodie’s plate for extra flavor and filling factor.
Homemade Pho is one of our favorite things to try making. We have not come upon a recipe that really does it justice…yet. I tried this Vegetarian Pho by Cookie and Kate. I found the broth turned out pretty darn close to my idea of a meatless pho broth. But I personally love the richness of a pork pho broth! So, until I have enough bones to make a good broth, this vegetarian option is not bad!
Please post your ideas for how to use the 4 gluten free grains! If anyone has ideas on how to use amaranth, I’d especially be interested!