The Southern Glamper: Everyday Whole Grains Can Be Delicious and Healthy

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Everyday Whole Grains Can Be Delicious and Healthy

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Small changes add up to big results over time.  High quality ingredients and new cooking methods are the main stars of Every Day Whole Grains by Ann Taylor Pittman.  While learning about healthy whole grains, this book also shows home cooks how to cut fat and sugar. The finished dishes are worthy of bragging rights and easy to accomplish.  These changes are the just the ones needed to begin building a healthier diet.

I was introduced to this cookbook in a cooking class at Sur La Table led by Ann Taylor Pittman, the cookbook author. This cooking class featuring Everyday Whole Grains: 175 New Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice was enjoyable and delicious.  Participants cooked a meal sampling recipes from the cookbook.  We prepared salmon crusted with fried bulgur wheat, brussel spout and wheat berry salad, smoked polenta with browned butter and sage finished with salted chocolate chunk cookies.   I was hooked.




Returning home, I started trying recipes from Everyday Whole Grains with my family.  This also meant stocking the pantry with new ingredients I read about in the book.  Almost a year later, I'm still using this cookbook weekly and have enjoyed every recipe that I have tried.  My family and friends tasting the recipes have given a solid two thumbs up.

This cookbook has appealing photographs and information about whole grains that has inspired me to try a variety of ingredients at home.  I learned how almond paste adds flavor and cuts fat in pastry dough.  Different flours create different cookie textures and flavors.  Grains can be used to create both interesting texture and flavor in salads.  These are only a few examples of how whole grains can be used.

Cherry Almond Hand Pies
I've also used this cook book as a reference for learning about how whole grains and new cooking techniques can be incorporated into my already favorite staples at home.  Everyday Whole Grains is like a cooking course at my fingertips.   I can explore each recipe and new grain at my leisure.  I feel good about cooking healthier meals, snack and desserts with high quality and simple ingredients.

The authors tips and notes on each grain has been extremely helpful.  Ann explains her techniques fully so that any cook can easily follow along and achieve star quality results.  There are notes and introductions for each recipe that is helpful in deciding about which recipes to try.  It is clear throughout that the Mrs. Pittman has researched grains and how to effectively incorporate them into a delicious and nutritious diet.

I used to think of whole grains as breads and cereal.  But, whole grains can stretch far beyond these basic foods. Pickling, frying, and pureeing whole grains brings new life to many common dishes with uncommon results.  I've been amazed at how versatile whole grains can be in the kitchen.

My first recipe to try at home was one we did at the cooking class - Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies. This cookie has the right balance of sugar.  The cookbook describes 4 variations of this cookie with different flours.  There is even a gluten free option with brown rice flour.  I love having a few gluten free tricks up my sleeve for friends and family with specialized diets.

Crunchy Chewy Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies
The author describes throughout the book how she incorporates healthy recipes into her home.  It is an inspiring touch that encourages the reader to try something new too.  For my husband's 50th birthday and for New Year's Eve this year, I made a chocolate cake with yogurt cream filling and fresh berries.  This cake is made with whole wheat pastry flour and cuts the fat with greek yogurt in the filling.  Its a delicious cake without being overly sweet and is so simple to make.  It is a show stopper that even beginning cooks can replicate.

Chocolate Berry Layer Cake
Whenever cooking from scratch, I am able to control the ingredients quantity and quality.  And I believe this results in food where the food flavors truly shine as opposed to chemicals and unknown additives.
Brown Rice Cheese Crackers are Gluten Free

I have used Everyday Whole Grains to inspire my tailgate cooking this past year to treats to share at our family reunion.  Homemade oatmeal cream pies were a hit for our family reunion trip this past summer.  While this is still a sweet treat, ingredients were fresh and could be easily pronounced.  Store bought commercial oatmeal cream pies cannot compare to homemade ones.


Every recipe that I have tried has been outstanding.  And my family has definitely encouraged me as I tried new things.  Even a simple loaf of bread makes the traditional peanut butter and banana sandwich extra special! The Honey Wheat Sandwich Loaf is the perfect loaf of bread.  I have used this recipe the most.  And the left over bread can be made into a delicious Best Ever French Toast with Maple Apples.  Using evaporated milk instead of heavy cream and apples for a topping cuts both fat and sugar in this truly best ever french toast!  You'll be hooked the first time you try it.

Honey Wheat Loaf


Best Ever French Toast with Maple Apples

And while most of my photographs show sweeter foods, I have tried savory dishes from this book like Barbecue Barley.   This take on baked beans with barley as the main star.  Chicken salad gets makeover with pickled barley.  And Summer Salad with fresh grilled corn, arugula and tomatoes is the perfect side dish.  I've even added pickled grains to my tuna salad for a little something extra.

From snacks to sweets, main dishes to savory sides, this cook book helps make cooking tasty, fun and healthy.  We have embraced new ingredients in our kitchen and enjoyed each one. And I feel like I have learned so much as I have cooked my way through this book.  






While cooking through this book, I have tried new grains at restaurants too.  While in Florence, AL last fall, I tried a meatless Monday entree that consisted of creamed sorghum with roasted fall vegetables and a poached egg.  This dish inspired me to play with whole grain grits and seasonal vegetables to create my own meatless Monday meals.

Blueberry Strudel Bars

Everyday Whole Grains is a great addition to any cook's kitchen.  It has really encouraged me to get out of a cooking rut in my own kitchen.  I now find myself thinking about ways to add farro or quinoa to a traditional breakfast or dinner meal.  The textures and flavors are fun to play with as I prepare meals for my family.

This book would also make a great gift for someone looking to cook healthier meals or just someone that is adventurous in the kitchen.  Pick up a copy for yourself, a friend or a family member.  I'm already thinking of who would enjoy this book in my life besides myself.

GRACE IS A PARTICIPANT IN THE AMAZON SERVICES LLC ASSOCIATES PROGRAM, AN AFFILIATE ADVERTISING PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MEANS FOR SITES TO EARN ADVERTISING FEES BY ADVERTISING AND LINKING TO AMAZON.COM. THESE FEES ARE USED FOR FUTURE CAMPING FUN AND PROJECTS!



2 comments:

  1. Ok, Grace, you've convinced me I need to add another cookbook to my collection!! I want to make the Honey Wheat Loaf!! I also want to find healthy alternatives to my regular breakfast fare of yogurt or an Adkins shake. Thanks for posting this review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You will love this cookbook! It is great! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

    ReplyDelete

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