Grain of the Week – Spelt

March 27, 2014 at 5:39 AM | Posted in Grain of the Week | Leave a comment
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Spelt, also known as dinkel wheat, or hulled wheat, is an ancient species of wheat from the fifth millennium BC. Spelt was an important staple in parts of Europe from the Bronze Age to medieval times; it now survives as a relict crop in Central Europe and northern Spain and has found a new market as a health food. Spelt is sometimes considered a subspecies of the closely related species common wheat (T. aestivum), in which case its botanical name is considered to be Triticum aestivum subsp. spelta. It is a hexaploid wheat, which means it has six sets of chromosomes.




Spelt has a complex history. It is a wheat species known from genetic evidence to have originated as a hybrid of a domesticated tetraploid wheat such as emmer wheat and the wild goat-grass Aegilops tauschii. This hybridisation must have taken place in the Near East because this is where Ae. tauschii grows, and it must have taken place before the appearance of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum, a hexaploid free-threshing derivative of spelt) in the archaeological record c. 8,000 years ago.
Genetic evidence shows that spelt wheat can also arise as the result of hybridisation of bread wheat and emmer wheat, although only at some date following the initial Aegilops-tetraploid wheat hybridisation. The much later appearance of spelt in Europe might thus be the result of a later, second, hybridisation between emmer and bread wheat. Recent DNA evidence supports an independent origin for European spelt through this hybridisation. Whether spelt has two separate origins in Asia and Europe, or single origin in the Near East, is currently unresolved.




The earliest archaeological evidence of spelt is from the fifth millennium BC in Transcaucasia, north-east of the Black Sea, though the most abundant and best-documented archaeological evidence of spelt is in Europe.[6] Remains of spelt have been found in some later Neolithic sites (2500–1700 BC) in Central Europe. During the Bronze Age, spelt spread widely in central Europe. In the Iron Age (750-15 BC), spelt became a principal wheat species in southern Germany and Switzerland; by 500 BC, it was in common use in southern Britain.
References to the cultivation of spelt wheat in Biblical times (see matzo), in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and in ancient Greece are incorrect and result from confusion with emmer wheat.



In the Middle Ages, spelt was cultivated in parts of Switzerland, Tyrol and Germany. Spelt was introduced to the United States in the 1890s. In the 20th century, spelt was replaced by bread wheat in almost all areas where it was still grown. The organic farming movement revived its popularity somewhat toward the end of the century, as spelt requires fewer fertilizers




Spelt, without and with husks

Spelt, without and with husks

Spelt contains about 57.9 percent carbohydrates (excluding 9.2 percent fibre), 17.0 percent protein and 3.0 percent fat, as well as dietary minerals and vitamins. As it contains a moderate amount of gluten, it is suitable for some baking. However, because spelt contains gluten it is not suitable for people with coeliac disease. In comparison to hard red winter wheat, spelt has a more soluble protein matrix characterized by a higher gliadin:glutenin ratio.



Spelt flour is becoming more easily available, being sold in British supermarkets for a number of years. Spelt bread is sold in health food shops and some bakeries in an increasing variety of types of loaf, similar in colour to light rye breads but usually with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Biscuits, crackers, and pretzels are also produced, but are more likely to be found in a specialty bakery or health food store than in a regular grocer’s shop.
Spelt pasta is also available in health food stores and specialty shops.
Dutch Jenever makers distil with spelt. Beer brewed from spelt is sometimes seen in Bavaria and Belgium and spelt is distilled to make vodka in Poland and elsewhere.
Flour from sprouted spelt grains is increasingly available throughout North America in grocery and health food stores.
In Germany, spelt loaves and rolls (Dinkelbrot) are widely available in bakeries as is spelt flour in supermarkets. The unripe spelt grains are dried and eaten as Grünkern (‘green grain’).
Spelt is more expensive than modern wheats, first because it is a minority product, but also because it requires the extra stage of husk removal before milling. It makes a rather soft, light loaf with a very good flavour, and it is particularly good for flatbreads, because they can become crisp without being hard (ordinary wheat pizza, for instance, tends to be either tough and leathery or hard).


Grain of the Week – Bulgar

February 6, 2014 at 9:38 AM | Posted in Grain of the Week | 2 Comments
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Bulgur (also bulghur, burghul or bulgar) is a cereal food made from the groats of several different wheat species, most often from durum wheat. It is most common in European, Middle Eastern, and South Asian cuisine. The word bulgur is of Turkish origin.




Bulgur for human consumption is usually sold parboiled and dried, with only a very small amount of the bran partially removed. Bulgur is recognized as a whole grain by the U.S.D.A. and the Whole Grains Council. Bulgur is sometimes confused with cracked wheat, which is crushed wheat grain that has not been parboiled. Whole-grain, high-fiber bulgur and cracked wheat can be found in natural food stores, Middle Eastern specialty grocers, and some traditional grocery stores. Bulgur is a common ingredient in Armenian, Assyrian, Lebanese, Turkish, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean dishes. It has a light, nutty flavor. In Turkey, a distinction is made between fine-ground bulgur, called köftelik bulgur, and a coarser grind, called pilavlık bulgur. In the United States, bulgur is produced from white wheat in four distinct grinds or sizes (#1 Fine, #2 Medium, #3 Coarse and #4 Extra Coarse). The highest quality bulgur has particle sizes that are uniform thus allowing a more consistent cooking time and result.
Bulgur is also known as “Dalia” in North India. Dalia is popular all over the wheat-consuming regions of North India. It is often prescribed by nutritionists while patients are recovering or ill. It can be consumed as sweet dalia or regular dalia.
Bulgur can be used in pilafs, soups, bakery goods, or as stuffing. In breads, it adds a whole grain component. It is a main ingredient in tabbouleh salad and kibbeh. Its high nutritional value makes it a good substitute for rice or couscous. In Indian cuisine, bulgur or daliya is used as a cereal with milk and sugar. In the United States is often used as a side dish, much like pasta or rice. In meals, bulgur is often mistaken for rice because it can be prepared in a similar manner, although it has a texture more like couscous than rice. A popular South American carnival food, bulgur is often prepared with flower pollen and tapioca syrup and fried in patties.
In Turkey, bulgur is prepared (using pilavlık bulgur) as pilaf in chicken stock, with or without sauteed noodles, or cooked with tomatoes, onions and red pepper. The fine grind (köftelik bulgur) is used for making kısır, a bulgur salad similar to tabbouleh, prepared with tomato paste, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, olive oil, and other salad ingredients to personal taste. Pomegranate molasses (nar ekşisi in Turkish), which is more sour than sweet, is commonly used in favor of lemon juice to add tartness. A variety of mezes and main dishes are prepared with köftelik bulgur, such as çiğ köfte, içli köfte, and ezogelin soup. It also forms the base of a soup, tarhana, which is made with yogurt to which hellim/halloumi has been added. In Cyprus, it is used to make koupes (also known as bulgur köftesi), a variety of kibbeh.

Parboiling of bulgur in central Turkey

Parboiling of bulgur in central Turkey

The food was popular in all regions of the Turkish Ottoman Empire and variants of the name are in all the corresponding languages (including bollgur in Albanian, πλιγούρι, pligoúri or πουργούρι, pourgoúri in Greek, gurgur in Aramaic and բլղուր (բուլղուր) in Armenian).
The Saudi Arabian version of bulgur, popular in Nejd and Al-Hasa, is known as jarish. The Arabic word jarish simply means cracked or coarsely ground. The Saudi Arabian jarish dish is an ancient one.



Nutrition facts:

Compared to unenriched white rice, bulgur has more fiber and protein, a lower glycemic index, and higher levels of most vitamins and minerals. One cup of dry bulgur contains approximately:

* Energy: 1717 kJ (412 kcal)
* Dietary fiber: 25.6 g
* Protein: 17.21 g
* Carbohydrate: 69 g whereof 0.8 g sugars
* Fat: 1.86 g whereof 0.2 g saturated fat
* Potassium: 574 mg
* Iron: 3.44 mg
* Glycemic Index: 48
Per 100 grams


One of America’s Favorites – Grits

January 6, 2014 at 9:50 AM | Posted in breakfast, One of America's Favorites | 2 Comments
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One of America’s Favorites – Grits


Grits, mainly a breakfast side-dish

Grits, mainly a breakfast side-dish

Grits refers to a ground-corn food of Native American origin, that is common in the Southern United States and eaten mainly at breakfast. Modern grits are commonly made of alkali-treated corn known as hominy.
Grits are similar to other thick maize-based porridges from around the world such as polenta. “Instant grits” have been processed to speed cooking.
The word “grits” derives from the Old English word “grytt,” meaning coarse meal. This word originally referred to wheat and other porridges now known as groats in parts of the UK. Maize, unknown in Europe in the Middle Ages, is a food derived from corn (a New World plant) and “corn” had been used to describe wheat products in many European regions. “Grits” may be either singular or plural; historically, in the American South the word was invariably singular notwithstanding its plural form (cf. such food names as “spaghetti” or “linguine”, likewise plural in form).



Grits have their origins in Native American corn preparation. Traditionally, the hominy for grits was ground by a stone mill. The results are passed through screens, with the finer sifted materials being grit meal, and the coarser being grits. Many communities in the United States used a gristmill until the mid-twentieth century, with families bringing their own corn to be ground, and the miller retaining a portion of the corn as a fee. In South Carolina, state law requires grits and corn meal to be enriched, similar to the requirements for flour, unless the grits are ground from corn from which the miller keeps part of the product for a fee.
Three-quarters of grits sold in the U.S. are sold in the South, throughout an area stretching from Texas to Virginia, sometimes referred to as the “grits belt”. The state of Georgia declared grits its official prepared food in 2002. Similar bills have been introduced in South Carolina, with one declaring:
Whereas, throughout its history, the South has relished its grits, making them a symbol of its diet, its customs, its humor, and its hospitality, and whereas, every community in the State of South Carolina used to be the site of a grits mill and every local economy in the State used to be dependent on its product; and whereas, grits has been a part of the life of every South Carolinian of whatever race, background, gender, and income; and whereas, grits could very well play a vital role in the future of not only this State, but also the world, if as Charleston’s The Post and Courier proclaimed in 1952, “An inexpensive, simple, and thoroughly digestible food, [grits] should be made popular throughout the world. Given enough of it, the inhabitants of planet Earth would have nothing to fight about. A man full of [grits] is a man of peace.”
In the South Carolina Low Country region the uncooked ground corn is referred to as “grist” and the cooked dish is “hominy.” This should not be confused with the more usual usage of hominy.
Grits are usually either yellow or white, depending on the color of corn. The most common version found in supermarkets is “quick” grits in which the germ and hull have been removed. Whole kernel grits sometimes are called “Speckled.” Grits are prepared by simply boiling the ground kernels into a porridge until enough water is absorbed or vaporized to leave it semi-solid.




Prepared grits

Prepared grits

Whole kernel grits are prepared by adding five or six parts boiling water (seasoned with salt – 1/4 tsp for each cup of water) to one part grits and cooking for 20 to 30 minutes. Grits expand when cooked and need periodic stirring to prevent sticking and lumps forming. Grits are most typically served seasoned with generous amounts of butter. On occasion they are served with grated cheese, butter, sausage, bacon, or red-eye gravy; it is significant that corn products are typically not served sweet.[citation needed] Grits may also be accompanied by fried catfish, salmon croquettes, and in the Low Country of coastal Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia, by shrimp as a traditional breakfast dish. Charleston-style grits are boiled in milk instead of water, giving them a creamy consistency.
Solidified cooked grits may be sliced and fried directly in vegetable oil, butter, or bacon grease, or they may be breaded in beaten egg and breadcrumbs first.



Folk wisdom contends that dry grits, scattered where ants will eat them, can be used to kill them by causing them to ‘explode’ as the grits expand inside them. However, laboratory tests on fire ants have shown that grits in soybean oil and treated with pesticide may be used against fire ants. It is the pesticide, not the grits that kills the ants.



* Also here’s a link to It’s all about Grits and Grits Recipes.






Crazy for Quinoa: 35 Recipes for the Healthy Whole Grain

October 24, 2013 at 9:54 AM | Posted in Delish | 1 Comment
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Some healthy and delicious recipes containg Quinoa. It’s all from the Delish web site and you can get all the recipes by clicking the link at the bottom of the post.




Crazy for Quinoa: 35 Recipes for the Healthy Whole Grain
Quinoa has been the latest and greatest grain on the market for some time now. Its popularity stems from its healthful qualities as well as its delicious, nutty flavor, which pairs well with a plethora of different foods. Try these 35 quinoa recipes to learn how to cook with this good — and good-for-you — grain.
Looking for more grain dishes? Try these great grain recipes to improve your health.



Quinoa Salad with Sugar Snap Peas – This bright salad is perfect for picnics….
Vitamin-Boosted Salad with Black Quinoa, Fennel, Avocado, and Grapefruit – This gorgeous salad is super healthy and sure to keep you feeling great…..




Quinoa with Roasted Red Pepper, Green Beans, and Red Onion – Protein-packed quinoa is a great pick for the starring grain in this vegetarian dish….


Get these and 32 more healthy recipes and tips by clicking the link below

Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Strips w/ Long Grain and Wild Rice

August 25, 2013 at 5:44 PM | Posted in Perdue Chicken Products, Uncle Ben's Rice | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu: Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Strips w/ Long Grain and Wild RiceChicken Strips and Long Grain and Wild Rice 005




Well I got my voice back, family wonders if that’s a good thing or not! But I just haven’t felt up to par today. It seems since I went through the Cancer Trial I’ll have a day or two of feeling like this every few months. I just feel really run down and no energy but it only lasts a day or so. Thank God for that Cancer Trial though, I was Stage 4 Melanoma at one point. So things could have a lot worse. Really didn’t feel like cooking and not all that hungry so I prepared Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Strips w/ Long Grain and Wild Rice.



I used Perdue Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Breast Strips. Since using these a while back I now keep a package or two of these in the freezer. Their great for Lunch or Dinner and a breeze to fix and delicious. They come breaded and you just bake them for 12 minutes, flipping them over after 6 minutes and their done. Good for salads, sandwiches or just by their self. To go worth the Chicken I microwaved a bag of Uncle Ben‘s Ready Rice Long Grain & Wild. I guess my favorite among the Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice. Another tasty and easy to fix item, just microwave for 90 seconds and it’s ready. A very easy meal to prepare but quite good! It’s not bad being a slug every now and then! For dessert later a Healthy Choice Chocolate Swirl Frozen Yogurt.




Perdue Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Breast StripsPERDUE® Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Breast Strips

Ingredients: Boneless skinless chicken breast with rib meat, chicken broth. Contains 2% or less of salt, yeast extract, brown sugar, natural flavors.

Breaded with: White whole wheat flour, wheat flour, water, salt. Contains 2% or less of natural flavors, dextrose, dried yeast, natural paprika extract, potassium chloride, yeast extract, maltodextrin, dried garlic, natural paprika and annatto extracts, yellow corn flour.

Serving Size 3oz (85g)
Servings Per Container About 8
Amount Per Serving (* % of Daily Value)
Calories 160
Calories from Fat 50
Total Fat 6g (9%)
Saturated Fat 1.5g (8%)
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 35mg (12%)
Sodium 490mg (20%)
Total Carbohydrate 13g (4%)
Dietary Fiber 1g (4%)
Sugars 1g
Protein 14g (25%)



UNCLE BEN’S® READY RICE® Long Grain & WildUncle Ben's Long-Grain-Wild

The rice that’s always ready to enjoy. Now, you can have our original delicious Long Grain & Wild Rice recipe with 23 herbs and seasonings in just 90 seconds. This microwaveable pouch also eliminates prep and cleanup. UNCLE BEN’S®. ‘Perfect Every Time’®.

Nutritional Claims & Product Benefits:

Good Source of Folic Acid
Good source of iron
0 g Trans Fats & No Saturated Fat
Squeeze pouch to separate rice.
Tear to vent.
Heat on HIGH for 90 seconds.
Cooking time for 2 pouches – 2 ½ minutes. Microwave times may vary. Take care when handling and opening the hot pouch. Refrigerate unused portion.

In the Skillet
Gently squeeze the sides of the pouch to break apart the rice, and pour contents into a skillet. Add 2 Tbsp. of water and heat.
Stir rice occasionally until heated thoroughly.
Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup (125 g)
Per Serving % Daily Value*
Calories 190

Calories from Fat 18

Total Fat 2.0g 3%

Saturated Fat 0.0g 0%

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 630mg 26%

Carbohydrates 39.0g 13%

Dietary Fiber 2.0g 8%

Sugars 1.0g

Protein 5.0g;-Long-Grain-Wild#.UhpZ6hvOk20


Fried Walleye Fillet w/ Long Grain and Wild Rice, Carrots, and Whole Grain Bread

March 20, 2013 at 5:28 PM | Posted in carrots, fish, rice | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu: Fried Walleye Fillet w/ Long Grain and Wild Rice, Carrots, and Whole Grain Bread



I had tried for several years to get a prosthetic leg to work but was unsuccessful due to my stub was cut so short. But I’m always Fried Walleye 002checking the news and web sites for new developments on legs. I’ve now found out through a routine exam and some x-rays it will be impossible for me to wear a prosthetic leg. I had a right hip replacement about 4 or 5 years ago due to arthritis. After doing some checking they found that my left hip is in terrible shape with arthritis. And because my left leg femur bone is cut so short they can’t perform a hip replacement and the hip is in such bad shape it would never support the wear and tear of normal use of the leg. So in a wheelchair I’ll remain but I’m Cancer Free and able to get around be it by a walker or wheelchair. So life goes on as they say, “The world is what you make of it. If it doesn’t fit you make alterations.” On a more positive note for dinner tonight I prepared; Fried Walleye Fillet w/ Long and Wild Rice, Carrots, and Whole Grain Bread.


I had one Walleye fillet leftover from the Meijer that i had purchased a while back. To prepare it i seasoned it with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn. I then rolled it in Progresso Italian Style Bread Crumbs and pan fried it in Canola Oil about 4 minutes per side, came out golden brown. I just love the taste of Walleye.


To go with my Walleye I prepared Long Grain and Wild Rice, Mini Carrots, and Aunt Millie’s Light Whole Grain Bread. The Rice was Uncle Ben‘s Long Grain and Wild Rice. It comes in a microwavable Bag, just heat for 90 seconds and serve. I boiled the Mini Carrots, about 20 minutes until fork tender. For dessert later a Healthy Choice Chocolate Swirl Frozen Yogurt Cup.





UNCLE BEN’S® Long Grain & Wild Rice

UNCLE BEN’S® Long Grain & Wild Original Recipe helps make an everyday meal more special. With a unique blend of wild and long grain rice and 23 all natural herbs and seasonings, it is sure to dress up your meal. It’s a delicious and trusted family favorite!

Nutritional Claims & Product Benefits:

Cholesterol Free
0g Trans Fat
No Saturated Fat
Excellent Source of Folic Acid
Nutrition Facts
Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice – Long Grain and Wild — Microwave In A Pouch
Servings: 1 Cup
Calories 190 Sodium 630 mg
Total Fat 2 g Potassium 270 mg
Saturated 0 g Total Carbs 39 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 2 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 1 g
Trans 0 g Protein 5 g
Cholesterol 0 mg

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