Most of us eat significantly too many grains. We consume it in the form of bread, tortillas, pasta, rice, and cereals. These foods are generally made from cornmeal, rice, wheat, or barley. While whole grains (bran, germ, and endosperm intact) are higher in fiber and slower to effect blood sugar and insulin levels, Americans still consume in excess of 130 pounds of grains a year. Sadly, the majority of the grains consumed are refined (bran and germ removed). Refined grains cause a significant spike in blood sugar and insulin. Over consumption of refined grains can lead to an increased risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, digestive problems, and obesity.
So how can grains be part of a balanced diet? First, always opt for whole grains. This maximizes the nutritional benefits. Second, make the bread, pasta, cookies, and grains from scratch as often as possible. Below is a basic recipe for whole wheat bread. It is a perfect starter recipe to which you can add all sorts of flavor and nutrition. Think cinnamon walnut raisin bread; cranberry pecan bread; pesto bread; cheddar bread...get creative. The bread can be prepared and cooked in ONE HOUR!
PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 DEGREES
1-1/2 Cups Warm Water
1 Tbs. Organic Honey
1-1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1 Tbs. Active Dry Yeast
4 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1. Combine salt, yeast, honey, and water in a large bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
2. Add flour one cup at a time and begin mixing by hand. Keep adding flour until the dough sticks to itself and not your hands or the bowl.
3. Form dough into the desired loaf shape and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cover with a towel and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
4. Bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy!