Hy-Vee at Midday: Whole Grains

By Kimberly Proctor, Hy-Vee Dietitian

It's the final week of National Nutrition Month, but there's still time to embrace this year's theme and get your plate in shape! The MyPlate diagram provides a visual guide to help us make balanced food choices. "Make at least half your grains whole grains," is a key message from MyPlate. Today, Mount Vernon Road Hy-Vee dietitian, Kimberly Proctor, will highlight ways you can add flavor and nutrition to your meals using whole grain foods.

Whole Grain Nutrition
A whole grain still contains the three major parts that were present as the grain grew in the field: the bran, endosperm and germ. Each part provides a unique set of healthy nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats and fiber. Additionally, some whole grains have antioxidant capabilities equal to that of certain fruits and vegetables.

Research shows that the phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber in whole grains can help prevent chronic diseases. People who eat three or more servings of whole grains each day are at lower risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. Consuming a diet rich in whole grain foods can also help prevent obesity and aid in weight maintenance.

Tips for Adding Whole Grains to Your Diet
• Enjoy popular whole grain foods like oatmeal and popcorn more often.
• Replace staple items such as bread, rice, pasta, crackers and tortillas with their whole grain counterparts.
• When choosing grain products, look for those that list a whole grain as the first, and therefore most plentiful ingredient.
• Experiment with different grains. Your Hy-Vee HealthMarket carries a wide variety of whole grains such as quinoa, millet, buckwheat, bulgur, barley and rye.
• Use whole grains to contribute texture and flavor to pilafs, soups, salads and even desserts.


Colorful Bulgur Salad
(Serves 4)
Bulgur is whole grain wheat which has been parboiled and cracked to speed cooking time. It provides great texture and nutty flavor to this colorful salad.

All you need:
1/2 cup cracked bulgur wheat
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 small cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tablespoon chili powder
1 pinch garlic powder

All you do:

1. Place bulgur in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain and transfer to a small bowl.
2. In a small saucepan bring the chicken broth to a boil. Stir in the bulgur, remove from the heat and let stand for 1 hour.
3. Stir the cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and green onions into the bulgur.
4. In a small bowl whisk the lime juice, olive oil, chili powder and garlic powder together. Pour over the bulgur mixture and stir until combined. Cover and chill for 2 hours before serving. Stir before serving.
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