Just Ask for Whole Grains
 Issue: 68
June 2015
whole grain breads


sorghum   ................................................. 




molasses sorghum cookies

You'll be surprised at how smooth and creamy your cookie dough becomes when you make molasses cookies with sorghum flour. Plus, they're gluten free.

Courtesy of Sara Baer-Sinnott,  from The Oldways Table, by Sara and co-author K. Dun Gifford.




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Dear Friends of Whole Grains,

A guaranteed hit at summer potlucks and picnics, sorghum is taking center stage as June's Whole Grain of the Month. This naturally gluten free grain may not be as ubiquitous as brown rice or quinoa, but as more and more families become aware of its versatility and subtle sweetness, you can bet that we'll be seeing a lot more of it.

These chewy little pearls cook up in about 25-40 minutes, and can be substituted for couscous in recipes, due to their similar size and texture. Staying true to sorghum's traditional culinary uses in Africa, it also makes a wonderful base for porridge, or can be eaten popped, like popcorn. In addition to grain salads and sides, sorghum can also be used in baked goods. This month's featured recipe, Molasses Sorghum Cookies, uses sorghum flour, a popular pick in gluten free baking, as the sweet taste and texture somewhat mimic that of wheat flour.

FREE Whole Grain Cooking Class           
Cooking Light's executive chef, Anna Bullet has teamed up with Craftsy to bring you a free online mini-class called Creative Ways with Whole Grains. The class consists of about an hour of videos, and teaches students about how to cook with different whole grains, featuring 14 of Cooking Light's most popular recipes! If you'd like to incorporate more whole grains into your kitchen, but are short on ideas and techniques, this 4-lesson mini-class is the perfect place to start! Click here to check it out
Healthy Diet with Whole Grains May Improve Prostate Cancer Survival   

Just in time for Father's Day, we are delighted to share an exciting link between whole grains and men's health. In a study of over 900 men diagnosed with prostate cancer, Harvard researchers analyzed their eating patterns and followed their health records for 14 years after diagnosis. They found that men who ate a typical "Western diet" (high in red and processed meat, high fat dairy, and refined grains) had more than twice the risk of prostate-cancer related death, and a 67% increased risk of death from all causes.

On the other hand, those who ate a healthy diet (with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and fish) had a 36% lower risk of death from all causes. This study affirms that nutritious, balanced diets promote the best health outcomes, and that whole grains are an integral component of an overall, healthy diet. This Father's Day (June 21), nurture your family's most important asset, health, by preparing a nutritious meal chock full of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Check out our recipe page for ideas.

Myth: All Grains Make Your Blood Sugar Spike (Not!)

Research links many chronic diseases, from diabetes to heart disease, with diets that send your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride. The Glycemic Index rates how quickly carbohydrate foods are converted into glucose - and many grain foods have a low GI score (55 or less on the 1 to 100 GI scale is considered low).  Virtually all intact whole grains have a very low GI score: whole grain barley has a GI of about 25, wheat berries about 30, rye berries about 35, buckwheat about 45, and brown rice about 48, to cite a few examples. While GI can be a useful measure for those who fully understand the science behind it, be aware that by GI alone, a piece of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (GI of 38) may inadvertently look like a healthier choice than a serving of quinoa (GI of 55). That's why it's important to take a big picture perspective on diet and health. To learn more about healthy carbohydrate choices, check out our recent blog post on the subject.

Summer Baking Resources 

With school out for the summer, now is the perfect time to transform the kitchen into a classroom, and allow eager, budding chefs to build necessary life skills. Luckily the Home Baking Association has put together a number of tools to help teachers and families step up their baking game this summer, and experiment with a plethora of whole grain flours.

Getting started:This baking glossary will help you get the basics straight, while this sheet identifies which kitchen tasks are age appropriate for different children. Also, if you run a nutrition education program, here is a blueprint of the items that you'll need to start a baking program, including a cost breakdown.

Expanding Knowledge: If you enjoy baking, but are hesitant to stray from the written recipe (by adding more whole grains, or incorporating fruit and veggie purees, for example) check out this 45-minute "Substitution Science" webinar. For education based whole grain recipes, check out this Leavening History lesson, this Pumpkin Power 'book and bake' lesson, or this whole grain soft pretzel lesson. Then, once your class has mastered the basics, learn to bake for people with different dietary needs (such as food allergies, or low sodium) with this lesson.

Recipes: Lastly, the Home Baking Association also has a number of tried-and-tested whole grain recipes, such as: Carrot Cranberry Whole Grain Quick Bread, Oatmeal Jam Bars, Pumpkin Whole Grain Bread, Quick Raisin Granola Breakfast Rolls, White Whole Wheat Muffins, Great Grains Granola, and Whole Wheat Pita Pockets.


Be sure to follow us on Instagram (@Whole_Grains_Council) for scrumptious recipe and meal ideas, and a behind the scenes look at all things whole grain. We're planning a special promotion for Whole Grains Month this September, so follow along with us to stay in the loop. Also, if you know of any great whole grain Instagrammers that we should be following, do tell! #wholegrainscouncil


Best regards from all of us at Oldways and the Whole Grains Council,  

Kelly Toups, MLA, RD, LDN                                   
Program Manager                                                        
Oldways  /  Whole Grains Council       

Cynthia Harriman
Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies
Oldways  /  Whole Grains Council  
Harley Songin                                   
Stamp Program Manager                                                        
Oldways  /  Whole Grains Council          


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