One of my food standards I adhere to 99% of the time is whole grains must come first in any baked good, cracker, bread, or cereal I eat. I am fine with a portion of white flour but "whole" grain has to be the 1st ingredient. First, let me point out what some might find obvious that many don't know... the first ingredient in any prepared food is always the largest by volume. Second, there are lots of clever names for "white flour" that sound like a whole grain but they are not, the word "whole" must precede the grain... so buyer beware. All grains start life as whole grains and in their natural state growing in the fields whole grains are the entire seed of a plant, like wheat for example. This seed, which is called a kernel, is made up of three key parts: the bran, germ, and endosperm. Whole grains contain all three parts of the kernel. Refining removes the bran and germ, leaving only the endosperm. Without the bran and germ, about 25% of a grain's protein is lost, along with at least seventeen key nutrients!
I made my whole grain commitment five years ago during the time we made whole grain oats the first ingredient in Erin Baker's Breakfast Cookies. At first I thought I would really miss out... I was always the first one to plunge my hand into the bread basket! What I came to discover is just by taking five seconds to qualify food before I put it into my mouth made a HUGE positive difference. It only took a few months for me to completely loose my craving for 100% white baked goods and now I really don't enjoy them unless the baked good is exceptional. My palate is searching for the bran and germ... that's what I want... whole grains! I can liken the experience to when I stopped drinking soda. It now just tastes like a spoon full of sugar... too sweet.
Like us there are a fair amount of food manufacturers that are going out on a limb to bring you healthier food. Baking products with whole grains shortens shelf life simply because the grain is less refined and more 'alive' with nutrition. Products made with whole grains can break down faster by molding or drying out. The common misconception is that a product that spoils faster is bad... but I am here to tell you, that if you have any baked good that will sit in your pantry for more than three months you shouldn't eat it... it's dead.
This is a big one to tackle in terms of transitioning to a healthier diet... but in the end you will see that your body will reward you by craving the good stuff and releasing you from "wanting the white." I was very reluctant to give up my "white" and I not only survived but am thriving! Baking healthy for myself, my family, and you is one of my greatest joys, let's get healthy together!
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