jueves, 16 de mayo de 2013

How to store and cook whole grains

STORING
  • You should store whole grains in airtight containers away from heat, light and moisture.
  • Whole grains such as brown rice or pasta, don't keep as well as refined grains, so you should buy them in small amounts. 
  • Wholemeal bread has a shorter shelf life than white bread, so check the expiration date when purchasing. Store it in the fridge to prolong its shelf life.
COOKING
It is not difficult to include whole-grains in your cooking. You may have to pre-soak the grains a little longer or add more water, especially if you are cooking brown rice:
  • If you want to shorten cooking time, soak whole grains in water before cooking.
  • Add more water when you cook whole grains as whole grains absorb more water than refined grains.
  • Add the pasta only after the water is boiling with a few drops of oil to prevent the pasta from sticking. Wholemeal pastas will take 12 to 25 minutes to cook depending on their size. Remember that you still want your wholemeal pastas to be al dente, firm but not too mushy or hard on the inside.
  • Cook whole-grains using healthier preparation methods too, such as with less oil and salt.
  • One of the easiest ways to boost your intake of whole grains is to substitute a portion of plain flour with wholemeal flour. In other words, if the recipe calls for 2 cups plain flour, you can use 1 cup of wholemeal flour and 1 cup of plain white flour. By doing this, you may need to add an extra pinch of baking powder.
  • You can also use cooking oats or crushed wholegrain cereal as breading for fish and chicken. Remember to use cooking oats instead of instant oats so that your coating will not burn before your fish or chicken is cooked. You can also semi-cook your fish or chicken before you coat them with your wholegrain crumbs. This can shorten the cooking time in the oven so your coatings won't burn before the insides are cooked.
  • Apart from this general advices, check the package for cooking instructions.
Note: You may see the unpolished rice in different colours (yellow, brown, red...) but they all are equaly nutritious regardless of their colour, as it is only due to the pigments in the bran of the grains.

It is possible to have wholegrains even if you don't cook. Use ready-to-eat wholegrain products such as wholegrain cereals and wholemeal bread.
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