Posted by: lornasass | April 23, 2009

WHOLE GRAINS CONFERENCE 2009: DELICIOUS HIGHLIGHTS

stampIt boggles my mind that whole grains are such a tough sell since I love eating them and have done so for decades.  But it’s still an up-hill struggle to get mainstream Americans to jump on the wholegrain bandwagon.

The Whole Grains Council (www.wholegrainscouncil.org) campaign to “Make (at least!) Half Your Grains Whole” has contributed significantly to boosting consumption by 20% from 2005 to 2008, but the increase has to be at least 217% for the campaign to reach its stated goal.

The Council is also responsible for the smart idea of adding a Whole Grain Stamp to products that contain at least 16 grams per portion.  The stamp helps confused consumers make wise choices once they’ve decided to increase the whole grains in their diets.

As whole grains and the products made from them become more delicious and more readily available, increased consumption will be a natural.  At the conference held last Monday through yesterday, I had an opportunity to do some serious tasting.  My first bite of FullBloom Baking Co.’s buttery Toasted Oatmeal Bar (www.fullbloom.com) made me certain that its great taste and texture would be enough to create a convert. The kamut bulgur produced by Sunnyland Mills (www.sunnylandmills.com) cooks in under 15 minutes and makes a terrific couscous-like base for salads and pilafs.  Bob’s Red Mill (www.bobsredmill.com) offered conferees an outstanding Ginger Power Muffin made with teff and amaranth flours.  (I’m going to try to get the recipe and share it with you.)

Seeds of Change (www.seedsofchangefoods.com) now has shelf-stable pouches of organic, microwavable brown basmati rice and seasoned rice and bean blends.  King Arthur’s white wholewheat flour and their wholegrain baking book (www.kingarthurflour.com) make it easy for both professional and home bakers to make the delicious switch to wholegrain flour.  And for those who love to nibble but not do much work, a start-up company called Essential Eating (www.essentialeating.com) has created pretzels of sprouted whole grain wheat flour that provide more fiber and protein than more common brands.

It’s an exciting time for whole grains!  For regular updates, go to the Whole Grains Council web site, where you will find the conference papers posted within the next month.  You can also sign up for an RSS feed that will deliver hot-off-the-grain-mills news.


Responses

  1. Thank you for mentioning the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Book. We also have many whole grain recipes on our web site. Joan@bakershotline

  2. Hi Lorna
    Thank you for mentioning the 100% sprouted whole grain pretzels in your news letter. This particular product is new but our partners on this item have been in business for a long time. The pretzels are being produced by UNIQUE PRETZELS BAKERY thus the name on the bag. They have been incorporated as a pretzel manufacturer for over 120 years. Essential Eating has been promoting whole grains for over 15 years. We opened the first commercial sprouted flour mill about three years ago in Mifflinville, PA. We joined with a 75 year old and very modern flour mill called Brandt MIlls. We currently sell sprouted flour to many bakeries that produce 100% sprouted whole wheat bread, rolls, cookies, and soon pasta. Most of these products are in grocery stores such as Wegmans and Whole Foods. Sprouted flour is the only 100% whole wheat flour you can use it as the only flour ingredient and still get a great tasting product. And that is because of the starch that turns into a simple vegetable sugar during the sprouting process… We are the only 100% whole grain pretzel on the market due to sprouted flour.
    We are barely noticed in most markets but growing fast. We support the Whole Grain movement and are trying to inform all that will listen to our message. Thank you for your efforts as well.

    Peter Eckman

  3. Ginger Powered Muffins
    (from page 39 in my book The Power of Flour: Cooking with Non-Traditional Flours)
    2/3 cup olive oil
    2/3 cup brown sugar or 1/2 cup honey
    3 eggs
    1 cup cooked sweet potatoes or pumpkin, pureed
    1/3 cup plain yogurt
    1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
    1/2 cup teff flour
    1/2 cup quinoa flour
    1/2 cup wheat germ or flaxmeal
    2 teaspoons ginger
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    Preheat oven to 350º. In a medium bowl cream oil and sugar or honey. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Add sweet potatoes or pumpkin and yogurt and mix well. Sift dry ingredients into mixing bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Do not overmix. Scoop batter into greased muffin tins or mini-loaf pans. Bake 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done.

    • Tiffany: thank you so much for sharing the recipe from your terrific and very imaginative cookbook–gorgeous color pictures too. Why don’t you tell people where they can order it.

      • Thanks Lorna! A compliment like that from you means a lot! For personally signed copies of my latest book, “The Power of Flour: Cooking with Non-traditional Flours” go to my website at http://www.tiffanyhaugen.com. I have many more recipes from that book as well as my other cookbooks. It is also on Amazon and available from Frank Amato Publications.

  4. Lorna,

    It was nice to see you again at the WGC conference. I enjoyed your cooking demonstration and your love for whole grains was contagious! Thank you for your nice words about our Kamut Bulgur.
    Your friends at Sunnyland Mills

    • Hi Mike: I made a delicious Indian-style pilaf with the kamut bulgur you put in the conference goody bag. I’m hoping to post it on my blog soon. I have a hunch you’d already caught the whole-grain fever before my demo, but thanks for the kudos. Happy cooking! Lorna


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