The New Year has begun and what better way to start the year off by learning about the basics of wheat. January is National Wheat Bread Month so take advantage, stay informed and make the most out of it!
All About Wheat
Did you know that wheat makes up a majority of our foods? Breads, pastas, tortillas, noodles, cereals, flours, couscous and cookies are all some examples of foods that contain wheat.
Wheat grows in kernels and these kernels consist of three parts: the bran, which is the outer layer, the endosperm, which is the middle layer, and the germ, which is the inner layer.
Each layer contains certain nutrients, thus when you eat the whole kernel (i.e. whole wheat product) you’ll get all the nutrients!
• Fiber – it keeps you full which increases satiety, helps regulate bowel movements and helps maintain blood glucose. This is mostly found in the bran, or outer layer.
• Protein, Carbs and Fats – helps build muscle, skin, and hair, and provide you with energy throughout the day. These macronutrients can be found in the endosperm and germ.
• Vitamins and minerals – such as, vitamin B complex, keeps your body strong, regulates metabolic functions and keeps your body functioning efficiently. Iron is another important mineral that aids in the formation of hemoglobin. Vitamins and minerals, also known as micronutrients, can be found in the endosperm and germ layers.
Whole-grain foods use the whole kernel, which means you’ll get all of the nutrients the kernel has to offer! When the bran and germ are stripped off or milled to improve shelf life, it also removes the fiber, fat and many of the B vitamins and minerals. This type of product is known as refined grains. This is the reason why I encourage my clients to choose more whole grains.
5 Delicious Wheat-filled Meals Ideas
1. Avocado toast – Top a slice of whole wheat bread with mashed up avocado, a sliced up boiled egg and top with tomato slices! Yum!
2. French toast – Using your choice of bread, dip it into an egg and cinnamon mixture. Cook until brown and top off with fresh strawberries and blueberries for a sweet breakfast!
3. Sandwiches – Make your own sandwich with chicken or turkey slices, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and a thin slice of mozzarella cheese. Make it into a Panini by using a Panini grill or just grilling the sandwich on the stovetop until golden brown. You can also try prepping your own tuna or egg salad and place on top of a slice of whole-wheat bread.
4. Stuffing – Make your own stuffing from scratch by using whole wheat bread cubes to pair with your oven-roasted chicken or turkey.
5. Banana bread – Try this dessert out by swapping white flour with whole wheat flour or try my recipe for Banana Bread!
There are many wheat food choices to choose from and so much that you can do with them in the kitchen. Figure out what type of wheat products you like the most and incorporate it into your daily menus
Your turn to take action: What wheat-containing foods will you eat and how will you prepare them? Let me know in the comments below!