Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What are grains and who needs them? Everyone.

These great tasting little beauties are an essential part of healthy eating.  There are many health benefits to grains.  First, grains are seeds taken from grasses and have been used all over the world as a staple in meals.  Today we use a lot of wheat and rice, but we have a great deal of choices like barley, buckwheat, brown rices, wild rices, rye, quinoa, sourghum, oats, and millet.
  • reduces heart disease
  • reduces hypertension
  • reduces type 2 diabetes
  • reduces inflammatory disease
  • reduces risk of certain cancers
  • great source of fiber
  • aids in weight management
  • and more
The grain is broken up into 3 parts bran, endosperm, and germ.  The bran is the coarse outer layer that protects the inner portion.  It is high in fiber, trace minerals, and vitamin B.  The Endosperm makes up the middle of the grain.  This provides energy for the growth of the plant and is mostly a carbohydrate.  The germ is the core of the grain kernel.  It contains vitamin E and B healthy fats, and antioxidants.   When the grain is used in its complete, complex, state it is most nutritious.   Unfortunately with processing at a peak most of the nutrients are "refine" right out of the food.  The bran and the germ are removed in most processed foods.  Some of their vitamins and minerals may be added back after the milling process, but refined grains still have fewer nutrients and fiber than the whole grain.  Take a look at white and whole wheat bread.  They have about the same calorie count but the wholewheat has significantly more fiber and protein.  The white bread will contain empty calories.  The fiber in the whole wheat will also aid the carbohydrate in a slower release of sugar into the blood stream.  It is always better to eat complex carbohydrates than refined.

In a natural unprocessed form, whole grains contain vitamin E, Vitamin B, iron, and protein.  Grains can be easily stored to last between harvesting.  This would provide a continual food and energy source for people.   I can't help but think about Joseph and how God told him of a great famine was coming.  He instructed the King to store grain for 7 years to get ready for this great famine, Gen 41:49.  The people of Egypt kept from starving because of the food stores.  This grain was unprocessed meaning it still contained all three parts of the grain.  They would crack the grain, ground into flour, and soak.  Man can not live by bread alone but it was used as a major energy source to the workers.  Beer and bread were the staple of the workers diet.  Occasionally they would have a few things like onions, garlic, and dates.
What was in the Beer? Millet, Barely, corn sugar, yeast, and a few herbs.  This beer was considered to be a source of energy, non intoxicating, and one of our first antibiotics.  See a great article on The Medicinal Beer of Ancient Egypt.

If you would like to attempt to make this beer see Beer Recipe here.

9 grain cereal

9 Grain cereal
This is a mixture of 9 grains contains hard wheat, soft wheat, pearly barely, oats groats, corn, millet, flax, rye, and hulled barley.  This array of grain will give you lots of energy and  be filling to the appetite. This cereal would be used to help warm you up and start your day.  Almost like a oatmeal, but with so much more flavor.  We made some today and my kids kept asking for more, recipe was super simple.

5 cups water
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup 9 grain cracked cereal mix
1 cinnamon stick
dash of salt
fruit for top, optional

Bring 5 cups of water to boil and add milk, grains, cereal, and salt.  Simmer for 30-45 minutes string regularly.   Serve with cut fruit of choice or by it self.  Kids loved both ways.

Grains allow us to cook simply with great nutrition.  I found my kids absolutely loved this cereal, and it is more nutritious than 80 percent of cereals on the shelves today.  Meaning this grain cereal has not been altered, it contains all three nutritious parts.  Nothing was added back in to replace nutrients lost.  I will be making this into a bread as well.  See up coming post on grain bread and rolls.
"Live simply so that others can simply live", Mother Teresa 

Project for today

A catholic how to draw step by step.  This is the sacred heart of Jesus.  This can be drawn and they give a color guide as well. 

No comments:

Post a Comment