What are whole grain foods? Many grains can be used for cooking: buckwheat, oats, wheat, millet, barley, rice, etc. Growing in the fields grains are the seeds of a plant. They also called “whole grains”. These seeds (kernels) consist of three parts: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. The bran is hard multi-layered outer skin of the kernel. It contains important antioxidants, B vitamins and fiber. The germ is an embryo which, if fertilized, will sprout into a new plant. It contains many B vitamins, protein, minerals, and healthy fats. The endosperm, the largest portion of the kernel, contains carbohydrates, proteins and small amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Different grains have different nutritious value. For example, barley is very good source of fiber and selenium, as well as phosphorus, copper and manganese. Another grain, buckwheat, is a very good source of manganese, magnesium and dietary fiber. Buckwheat also contains two flavonoids: rutin and quercitin. The protein in buckwheat is a high quality protein, containing all eight essential amino acids, including lysine. Millet also has important nutrients, including manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. Oats are an excellent source of manganese and a very good source of selenium. In addition, oats are good source of vitamin B1, dietary fiber, magnesium and protein. Obviously all grains can be used to prepare vegan or vegetarian foods. During milling process some parts of the seed removed or changed. As the result the different forms of grains are produced. For any processed grain the less damaged kernel the closer it gets to “whole grain”. Less processed grains have higher nutritious value. In the same time they usually take longer time to cook and not as delicious as more refined grains. Any cooking recipe should be adjusted according to what form of grain was selected. Usually many published recipes assume that the most widely available form of grains is used. Here are some examples of processed grains which are widely available, easy to cook and are or very close to it’s original “whole grain” form: pearled barley (milled to retain all of the germ and at least two thirds of the bran), buckwheat, rolled oats and millet. br> & Because whole grains have more of the kernel intact, they go bad more quickly than super-refined products. Any whole grain flours, where the healthy oils in the germ have been exposed by the milling process, should be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. Other whole grains such as barley, millet, quinoa, oats, and brown rice can be kept in a cool, dry place in an airtight container and they will stay fresh for months or longer.
On this web site you can find many whole grain recipes. You can also learn more about whole grains at http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org/ or http://www.mypyramid.gov/pyramid/grains.html
Whole grain recipes:
Barley Puree (great recipe for kids)
Barley Kasha with Canadian bacon
Crumbly Pearl Barley Kasha (vegan or vegetarian recipe)
Barley Kasha with Potato (vegetarian or vegan recipe)
Crumbly Pearl Barley Kasha with Tofu (vegetarian or vegan recipe)
Classic Russian Buckwheat Kasha (vegan/vegetarian)
Kasha Kupecheskaya, traditional vegetarian or vegan Russian recipe
Buckwheat Kasha with Egg
Buckwheat Kasha with Cottage Cheese or Tvorog
Roasted Buckwheat Kasha with Roast beef (great kids recipe)
Kasha Selyanskaya (Country Style) – traditional Russian recipe
Pshennaya Kasha (vegetarian or vegan recipe)
Millet Kasha with Cottage Cheese (Tvorog)
Millet with Pumpkin
Millet Kasha with Prunes and Walnuts (great recipe for kids, vegetarian or vegan recipe)
Russian Style Oatmeal (Porridge, Ovsyannaya Kasha)
Oatmeal with Chicken or Turkey
Carrot Oatmeal (vegan or vegetarian recipe)
WARNING! Always check the ingredients you are planning to use. In some individuals several grains and food ingredients can cause severe allergic reactions and medical problems*. Also some ingredients are should never be given to kids of certain age. Consult your doctor to learn more and who is susceptible.
Now, after you learned basic of cooking kasha you can select one of many kasha cooking recipes available on this web site and start cooking!