Why eat whole grains? Well, whole grain foods are much healthier than foods made with bleached or processed (white) flour. Whole grains contain more fiber, less sugars and often fewer calories. Energize your morning with whole grains.
Whole Grain Bread for Breakfast
When you're watching your diet, bread can be a real culprit. Whole grain breads, however, are much more nutritious; they contain more fiber and more nutrients to fuel your body. Having more fiber also means that you'll feel fuller longer, which keeps you from unnecessary snacking or binge eating later in the day.
Whole Grain Bread Recipe
This recipe is for a whole grain wheat bread and makes a great addition to a whole grain breakfast. In a bowl, mix 2 ¾ cups hot water, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup honey, 2 tablespoons molasses and 1 tablespoon sea salt. Then add 2 cups whole grain wheat flour and mix. Then add 2 tablespoons dry active yeast. Now add 4 more cups of whole grain wheat flour and mix well. You should mix until the consistency is even. Add more flour as needed to keep the dough from becoming too sticky. The less flour you use, the fluffier the bread will turn out.
Cover the bowl of dough and allow it to rise for about half an hour to 45 minutes. Now grease two bread pans and flour the pans to keep the bread from sticking. Punch the dough down to its original size. Now on a floured countertop, place the dough and shape into a ball with your hands. Divide this ball in half, one half for each of your prepared bread pans. Let rise again until nearly doubled.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 36 minutes (41 minutes if you forgot to preheat). When the bread is done baking, turn it out onto cooling racks. You can eat it fresh out of the oven with some real butter for a real treat. For storage, wrap it in tin foil after it has completely cooled and store it in a room temperature pantry. This recipe has a yield of 24 servings (two loaves).
Whole Grain Breakfast Bars
These fruit and nut bars are simply the perfect breakfast food. They're healthy, low in fat, full of fiber and great to grab on your way out the door every morning. Kids love these too! These breakfast bars are great to make ahead of time as they store well in the fridge.
First preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine 4.75 ounces of whole wheat flour (about one cup). Add 2 cups of old fashioned rolled oats (not instant), 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda and ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt. Take 2 ripe bananas and in a separate bowl, mash them until smooth. Add ¾ cups brown sugar, ¼ cup reduced fat milk, 2 tablespoons of canola oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 large egg and 1 large egg white. To this banana mixture, add your flour mixture and stir until well mixed. Now add ¾ cups chopped walnuts and ¾ cup dried cranberries and mix or knead until all ingredients are combined. The dough is now ready to be spread into a 13×9 inch metal baking pan. For best results, spray the pan with cooking spray.
Bake at 375 for 22 minutes. You can tell the bars are done when a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Important: allow to cool while still in the pan. Place the full pan on a wire rack to allow air to circulate to cool evenly. Once cool, cut into 16 bars. 1 bar equals 1 serving. Store refrigerated in waxed paper or a Tupperware container to prevent sticking.
The Good a Whole Grain Breakfast Will Do
According to the USDA, eating a diet rich in whole grains has a vast number of health benefits. Eating more foods with whole grains reduces your risk of heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity and diabetes, just to name a few. Since foods rich in whole grains contain more fiber than foods made from processed white flour, your digestive system has a much easier time digesting the food thereby reducing bloating, constipation and even colon cancer. Eating whole grains also helps tremendously with weight management, as you replace the processed foods you’ve been eating with the healthier whole grain options. Making this one simple switch can result in a dramatic decrease in body fat, as well as an increase in energy making exercise and living an active lifestyle even easier.