We often tend to forget them or not to include them in our food for lack of knowledge to cook them. Yet there is a wonderful range of whole grains and seeds that are often small gold mines in terms of their nutritional value.
So I wanted to remind you, and maybe you discover, a combination of 10 grains and seeds, giving you information on their nutritional value with tips for cooking and inserting them in your menus.
We’ve been hearing about it for a number of years. Flax seeds are an interesting source of omega-3s and phytoestrogens. In addition, they contain valuable antioxidants that help fight free radicals, bad compounds in our body. A tablespoon (15 ml) of ground flax per day would also help prevent and treat constipation. Finally, flaxseeds have positive impacts on other intestinal problems (irritable bowel, diverticulitis, etc.) and also on the health of our heart.
It is when the seeds are ground that their positive health impacts are at their peak. After, you can add a little bit everywhere: in the muffin dough, in the yogurt, in the soups, in the meat patties, etc.
2- Chia Seeds
It is a seed that is becoming more and more popular. Its nutritional properties are very similar to flaxseed. There is a pale variety (more neutral taste) and a darker variety with a more pronounced taste. Like flax, chia is rich in fiber and good fats (omega-3). It is also an interesting source of protein, a good source of vitamin B9 and calcium.
Make the same use as flaxseed. Also preferably ground, you can integrate everywhere and it goes unnoticed.
On the market, we usually find white (rather blond) or red quinoa which both have a light hazelnut taste. Quinoa has exceptional nutritional value: in addition to containing several essential amino acids, it is particularly rich in proteins, manganese, iron and zinc. Its fiber content is also excellent. It is also gluten-free, making it a great alternative for people who are intolerant to it.
In the kitchen, quinoa can replace rice, pasta or semolina (couscous). It can also be added to oatmeal or serve as a dessert. Before cooking, it is advisable to rinse it to remove the bitter natural substance, which is called saponin, which covers its seed and which foam like soap. For quinoa measure two counts of water. Cook over low heat for about 15 minutes.
Barley is a delicious cereal that goes well with meats, as an accompaniment, and is also available as a vegetarian dish. There are two types of barley in the grocery store: barley and pearl barley. The latter undergoes a polishing treatment in the factory which removes the outer layer and the seed of the grain grain. The hulled barley also has the germ. It contains more nutrients than pearl barley. As recommended in Canada’s Food Guide, half of our grain intake is expected to come from whole grain cereals. Barley is ideal. Consumption of whole grains would be associated with a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and prevent obesity. Barley is full of antioxidants and is rich in fiber. It is not suitable for people intolerant to gluten.
The barley is cooked in three times its volume in water. It is cooked over low heat for about 45 minutes. You can add it to soups, make salads and you can even create a barley risotto. And why not cook it for dessert by adding fruit and nuts?
Originally from the Middle East, bulgur is sprouted durum wheat with no sound, which has been precooked with steam, then dried and crushed. It has a subtle nutty flavor and its color can range from yellow to brown. Wheat is a super food that contains many minerals and vitamins: phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, manganese, vitamin B, folate … the list is long. It is also a good source of fiber.
Its cooking is fast and it is used like rice or semolina of wheat. Just add the same amount of boiling water to the bulgur beans and cook for about ten minutes before stirring with the fork. Salads and tabbouleh are obviously in the spotlight.
I fell in love with this cereal. This is actually an old wheat variety. Spelled is found in many forms: flakes, grains, pasta and bread. Spelled has a fairly pronounced taste of nuts. It has all the nutritional values listed for wheat (bulgur) above.
I like to cook the grains of spelled in twice their volume in water and mix with vegetables, feta and many herbs. A beautiful salad! Otherwise, I love to cook with spelled flakes (wherever oatmeal is used, spelled flakes can be used). Homemade granola is a sure success.
7- Pumpkin Seeds
In addition to being pretty, pumpkin seeds have the advantage to end up in your salads! They are rich in magnesium, manganese, iron, copper and phosphorus. In addition, clinical studies have demonstrated the benefits of pumpkin seeds for relieving bladder irritation and for relieving the pain associated with prostate hyperplasia when men have urinating. They also contain good doses of phytosterols, lipids associated with positive impacts on cardiovascular health and also on the prevention of certain cancers. Astonishing, these little seeds!
As a garnish in salads, in homemade granola, added in cereals or natures, as a snack!
8- Sesame Seeds
First, when they are roasted, they are delicious as a side dish. Then, sesame seeds provide a good dose of minerals such as iron, zinc and magnesium. It is also an excellent source of calcium even if it is not known if absorption of this type of calcium is optimal. They contain several classes of antioxidants. Finally, 60 ml (1/4 cup) of roasted sesame seeds provide 5.4 g of fiber. That’s 20% of our recommended daily fiber intake.
We can add them everywhere too. In Asian salads, to coat fish, garnish on skewers, etc.
Buckwheat kernel has a strong nutty taste. We must gradually get used to this less known flavor. Buckwheat is full of nutrients and, like quinoa, does not contain gluten. Buckwheat contains quality protein. The latter would even play a beneficial role in the incidence of colon tumors and also reduction of gallstones. In addition, buckwheat, like most whole grains, is high in fiber.
Before cooking, the grains should be rinsed well under running water. The buckwheat is cooked in twice its volume in water for about 20 minutes. Buckwheat flour is obviously a must to make the famous buckwheat pancakes!
Oats have had their moment of glory in recent years. Several studies have linked its content of beta-glucan (a soluble fiber) and the reduction of cholesterol. It would not be huge, but it’s still interesting. Soluble fiber also helps maintain blood levels, which is great for people with type 2 diabetes. These valuable fibers also help normalize intestinal transit and also quickly create satiety. In addition to fiber, oats contain quality protein and many vitamins and minerals.
I love oatmeal. I always have on hand bags of quick cooking flakes and large flakes. Of course, it’s the key ingredient for granola, crisp and date squares. And I like to make a good bowl of gruel on occasion. It’s so comforting!