Just Ask for Whole Grains
 Issue: 50
December 2013
whole grain breads
Buckwheat Risotto
Whole Grains Forum Launches!
Let's Talk!






Buckwheat groats provide a delicious, nutty, chewy texture in this traditional dish, while goat cheese adds a rich, creamy flavor. 
Buon appetito!






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Dear Friends of Whole Grains,

December is in full swing, and we hope you are enjoying a festive holiday season.  With an abundance of family gatherings, office parties and holiday events, there are lots of opportunities to share your culinary creations with the ones you love.  Whether you're baking breads and desserts or whipping up savory dishes, every table and plate has room for whole grains!  

If you're in need of ideas, we're here for you as always, with recipes for everything from Quinoa Corn Chowder to Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies.   And we'd be remiss not to mention December's grain of the month - Buckwheat - which makes a wonderful crepe batter, to be cooked and filled with an endless list of possible palate-pleasers.  

While you're spending time with friends and family, sharing meals and holiday cheer, you're likely to be reflecting on the past year.  We're doing the same here at the WGC, and would like to share some news with you.  Throughout the year we receive scores of emails with consumer questions on a broad range of topics, which got us thinking:  There must be tons of people out there who have the same questions, and would benefit from the answers we've been doling out privately, one by one.   



So this year, our holiday gift to you is the shiny, new Whole Grains Forum!  The forum joins other lively conversations happening in our sister programs' forums over on the Oldways website, and we invite you to get in on the fun.  The forums are a great place to visit when you'd like to ask a question, or share ideas and tips about whole grains; or about traditional Mediterranean, vegetarian/ vegan, or African Heritage foods.  


To get a taste of what we might be answering on the Forum, here's an interesting question we received recently by email:

Q.  We hear a lot from people who say we should stay away from a lot of whole grains because they are high on the glycemic index, so how do you justify your enthusiasm for grains such as wheat or oats? (John)

A.  There are many great whole grain choices with a low glycemic index. Intact whole grains are virtually all low on the glycemic index, for example barley (GI of 28�2), buckwheat (45), and wheat berries (30�9).  Another good choice is whole grain pasta (48�5).  Because of the way pasta is extruded, its starch structure renders it lower on the glycemic index; al dente pasta also has a lower GI.  Breads tend to have a higher GI. Sourdough breads and sprouted grain breads both have a lower GI, so the best combination of nutrients and low GI can be found in sourdough and/or sprouted whole grain breads, according to recent research.  Of course, one way to lower the Glycemic Load of any food is to eat reasonable-sized portions.  If you're eating the grain foods listed above, in reasonable portion sizes as part of a healthy diet, you should be fine.  A healthy pasta meal, for instance, includes a one-cup portion of pasta topped with at least an equal amount of vegetables, beans, fish, etc.


Here are a few more questions we've answered recently.  We don't have room to include answers for all of them here -- so if these questions intrigue you, head on over to the forum and ask away!

Q.  Would soaking grains overnight provide some of the benefits of sprouting? (Mila)

Q.  I've just been reading your website and I'm a little confused as you talk about amaranth as a grain when I was informed contrary to ancient belief that it is not a grain; it is actually a seed.  (Lorraine)

Q.  My sister recently saw the Dr. Oz show featuring Dr. Davis and his wheat belly book.  I am scared to eat u.s. wheat.  Is it all GMO?  I have stayed away from wheat because of this but do miss eating bread. (Cindy)

Q.  What is the difference between 100% white whole wheat flour and 100% white whole wheat pastry flour? Whic is better for making pancakes? (Edward)

Q.  While taking my Chiropractic Physician training in the 1970s, we were taught that corn "did" contain gluten. However now I often read that corn does not contain gluten, and is noted as such on the WGC website. How is that possible? Sure would appreciate if you could direct me to some science-based references. (Robert)


Join Us!

Hopefully you found yourself saying "hmmm, I was wondering that exact same thing!"  Even if you didn't, the next time your curiosity is calling, bring it to the forum and share those thoughts!  We're here and ready to help, but putting your ideas and questions in front of the entire whole grain community means a lot more exposure for you.  And, since responding publicly can save us from answering the same question many times, it also means more free time for us to dream up creative and fun whole grain events and activities - a win for everyone!  So grab your cocoa and hit the keyboard...we'll see you on the Oldways Forum!
Best regards from all of us at Oldways and the Whole Grains Council,  

Program Manager 
Oldways  / Whole Grains Council

Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies
Oldways  /  Whole Grains Council 
Mallory Cushman                                  
Stamp Program Manager                                                        
Oldways  /  Whole Grains Council        


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