If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, the choice is inevitably pasta. When I’m not eating pasta, it’s beans and rice or pizza or some other carbohydrate-laden item. Since I know I’m going to eat a lot of grain products, I try to purchase whole grains whenever possible because I know they’re better for me. I frequently add whole wheat to recipes that call for all purpose flour. I thought, overall, that I was doing pretty well in the whole grains department.
Recently, Oldways and the Whole Grains Council contacted me to let me know that September is Whole Grains Month. I’m pretty sure they picked September as a month-long birthday present to me. I wasn’t familiar with either organization, so I spent a little while poking around their websites and I learned some really interesting things:
- The council has assigned each whole grain as a “grain of the month”. Maybe I should make an effort to cook at least 1 dish each month with the grain of the month? Rice is the grain of the month for September and corn is the grain for October, so that’s easy, but other months feature amaranth, sorghum and buckwheat, which I have no experience with.
- Whole white wheat is whole flour that’s made from white wheat, so it’s a whole grain (unlike regular white flour, which isn’t). There’s no difference nutritionally between whole wheat and whole white wheat.
- Sprouting grains increases many of the key nutrients in the grains and may be less allergenic for some people. Now I want to go buy Ezekiel bread—it’s been too long since I’ve had any.
- If you’re feeling lost and confused about how to cook some of the whole grains, the WGC has recipes for each one of them. Thank goodness, because if I’m going to do that aforementioned cooking of 12 different grains in the next year I’m going to need some help.
After doing my research, I decided to see how many whole grains my pantry had. This is what I came up with:
Not bad, but now that I realize how many whole grains there are I know I could do a lot better. Even worse, 3 of those boxes aren’t things I bought, they’re HLS swag. Still, I’m going to eat them so they count towards my collection. How awesome is it that popcorn is a whole grain? I’m really looking forward to trying the Kamut pasta and hopefully some other new grains soon after.
Do you love whole grains as much as I do? You’re in luck. Check out what else the Whole Grains Council told me:
The Whole Grains Council wants consumers to celebrate Whole Grains Month by joining The Whole Grains Stampede, a sweepstakes designed to bring these healthy and delicious nibbles top of mind. An initiative of Boston-based 501(c)3 educational non-profit Oldways and its Whole Grains Council (WGC), the sweepstakes will award one winner a year’s worth of Quaker products (a whole lotta whole grains) plus $5,000 to spend on groceries.
Whole grain lovers simply visit the WGC website in September and share their favorite whole grain products bearing the ubiquitous black-and-gold Whole Grain Stamp. Each entry will be included in a random drawing to win two amazing prizes:
- 1st Prize, courtesy of The Quaker Oats Company, includes $5,000 for groceries and a year’s worth of whole grain Quaker products delivered quarterly right to your doorstep – a total of 25,000 grams of whole grains
- 2nd Prize, an iPad2, chock full of food and health apps, courtesy of Ultragrain from ConAgra Mills.
To join the Stampede and qualify for the drawing, the Whole Grains Council invites consumers to visit the WGC website anytime from now until September 30 and report their favorite products bearing the Whole Grain Stamp. One first prize winner and one second prize winner will be selected via random drawing on October 6, 2011.
Full disclosure: Oldways and the Whole Grains Council contacted me to let me know about Whole Grains Month and the Whole Grains Stampede. They did not, however, provide me with any product or compensation for this post. All of my opinions about whole grains are completely my own.