Benefits of Whole Grains

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.

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Benefits of Whole Grains

Whole grains, essentially seeds of grass, give you ingredients you need for everyday life.

Whole grains not only have unique fibers and slow-burning carbs to fuel your body with energy but also have good supplies of B vitamins, as well as most of the minerals your body needs to work right.

They can even give you a significant boost of antioxidants and protein.

That doesn’t mean people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease (the autoimmune condition treated by avoiding gluten) should go against medical advice and eat gluten-containing grains.

But even if you’re on a gluten-free diet by medical necessity, you should still get the benefits of eating wholesome gluten-free grains, like buckwheat, brown rice, quinoa, and millet.

Recipe of the Day:  Persian Couscous with Apricots and Pistachios

Active Preparation Time:  11 minutes

Total Preparation Time:  31 minutes

The spices and flavors – ginger, cardamom, turmeric, pistachios – of the Middle East are abundant in this side dish, which features couscous, the traditional wheat-based food of North Africa.

By dipping into these herbs and spices, you can power up the appeal of foods without using salt.

Serve this couscous with a legume recipe for whole grain goodness, heart-healthy fiber intake, and anti-inflammatory spice power.

Makes 6 servings (about 3/4 cup each)

1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Pinch of cayenne pepper (see Notes)

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1-1/2 cups pearled (Israeli) whole wheat couscous (see Notes)

2-1/2 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth

1/3 cup shelled pistachios

*Use as many organic ingredients as possible.

1.  Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes.  Add the ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, and cayenne and cook for an additional 4 minutes, stirring frequently.

2.  Add the apricots, couscous, and broth.  Stir well and cover.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking, until the couscous is tender and the liquid is absorbed.

3.  Sprinkle with the pistachios and serve.

Notes:  Omit or slightly increase the amount of cayenne to adjust for your desired spice preference.

Pearled (or Israeli) whole wheat couscous, available in natural food and specialty stores, is a larger variety and takes longer to cook than the traditional couscous.

Variation:  To make this gluten-free, substitute brown rice couscous, adding more broth as needed in step 2; cooking time should be reduced by about 5 minutes.  Check that all other ingredients are gluten-free.

Per serving:  282 calories, 6 g total fat (0.5 g saturated), 38 mg sodium, 51 g total carbohydrates (10 g sugar), 8 g fiber, 10 g protein.

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Have an awesome day!

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Dick and Lenay


from Plant-Powered For Life by Sharon Palmer, RDN

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join us on our natural weight loss journey.


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