Sunday, January 27, 2008

Smuggling in the Grains & Upping the Fiber

SMUGGLING IN GRAINS? SHHHHHHHHHHH! If you don't tell them, they won't know!
This is one area where I have a lot fun! Sometimes when I am making out menus, I take time to see where I can smuggle in extra grains, especially if I have ran out of wheat for bread or simply know that I won't have time to make it.
*OATS- oh the places you can smuggle these in! You can put quick oats in just about anything! Meatloaves, meat patties(including turkey and beef), muffins, cookies, and you can even grind them into flour and use them with white flour for almost anything and no one will ever know! (Or you can use them in the place of white flour on some occasions if ground very fine.) Oat groats can be cooked and put in soups, tossed in salads, used in casseroles, blah blah.
*BARLEY- a great fiber grain! One serving has like 7 grams! Barley can be cooked and tossed
into soups, over salads, in casseroles, or sweetened just like rice for breakfast. It can be ground and used as flour in breads, biscuits, muffins, etc. (Warning: this grain is so high in fiber that it can cause some tummy trouble, go easy!)
*BROWN RICE- can be used as the 2 above. I used some the other day in my Sloppy Jo Biscuit Cups and called it Sloppy Jo Hash. I never purchase white rice, brown is now always used in every dish. It does have to cook longer so I cook a big batch and freeze extras for the next round. I also use it to make Spanish Rice, by simply tossing in a cup of salsa!
*Rye- I have not had much luck in being able to find fresh rye around here and have bought the flour a couple of times at the Mennonite General Store when I could. I have found it to make wonderful bread and you don't have to use caraway seeds if you don't like them! And dark rye homemade bread...mmm, just the thought makes me smile!
*FLAX- I know its a seed but since this also deals with fiber, I included this jewel! I have grown very fond of this little seed over the past year or so. I have found a place to buy them very cheap. I grind them in my little coffee bean grinder and keep them in a Ziploc in the fridge and put them in almost everything that I can. I make marshmallow treats with Cheerios or a Bran cereal and I sprinkle in a tablespoon or two ( I recommend using a heaping spoon of peanut butter in the butter and marshmallows to help you hide it when you use it!). I have put a few sprinkles in the meatloaf, a few sprinkles on oatmeal, some use it in smoothies, in every muffin that I make, in my homemade granola, in my fruit crisp topping, etc. It does have a strong taste and it is high in fiber so go easy or you won't get by with this one! Also, I have read that it needs to be ground for the most nutritional benefits!
*MILLET- probably a little favored around here. This grain is not very high in fiber, but from what I have read, is a great source for other goodies that we need. I have found it to be a great starter cereal for babies as it can be cooked up soft and fruit such as applesauce and bananas can be easily added. It has a mild flavor and can be found for a great price. I have found it for .50 a pound! I highly recommend it! My kids love it flavored like rice with butter and sugar or sweetened with honey with a little vanilla added.
******I'll post more on this when I can!

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