Rhonda’s Cooking


Archive for May, 2009

Confused about Whole Grain vs Whole Wheat?

Posted by rhondascooking on May 31, 2009

At least once a week someone asks me about  the differences between whole grain and whole wheat.  Because I kept getting that question, I thought that maybe I should just share the answer with all of you just in case you were wondering the same thing.  First of all, grains (also known as cereal grains) are grasses that are cultivated for the edible components of their fruit seeds1.  A whole grain is the entire edible part of any grains.  A list of grains includes the following:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Spelt
  • Corn
  • Oats
  • Rice
  • Buckwheat*
  • Rye
  • Quinoa*
  • Millet
  • Amaranth*
  • Sorghum
  • Teff

*not real grasses, considered as pseudocereals

The entire (whole) edible parts of the grain include the following2:

  1. Bran:  the outer layers of the grain that supplies antioxidants, B vitamins, trace minerals, and dietary fiber.
  2. Endosperm: the inner part of the grain with most of the proteins and carbohydrates and small amounts of vitamins and minerals.
  3. Germ:  the small but very important part; it sprouts, generating a new plant.  It is rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, trace minerals, antioxidants and essential fats.

As you see, most of the fiber and vitamins/minerals come from the bran and the germ parts of the grain.  When the grain is milled, the germ and the bran are stripped away leaving behind the endosperm, which is how white flour is produced.  Because this flour does not contain any vitamins or minerals, the government has required that iron and B-vitamins are added back in to the flour, hence the name “enriched wheat.”

So how do you select which bread to choose?  Here are some tips:

  1. Look at the ingredients label on the product.  Look for the words “whole grain”, “whole wheat”, or “100% whole grain.”  You would want to purchase this product.
  2. If you see the word “enriched” or “wheat flour” do not purchase.  Wheat flour is another name for white flour!  Do NOT be fooled by the words on the package—it’s just advertising!
  3. Beware of breads labeled as “7-grain” or “multigrain” as these may or may not be true whole grains; it could just be a marketing ploy.  The only way to know for sure is to read the ingredients label.
  4. Pay attention to the amount of dietary fiber on the label; if the product is a whole grain, it will be high in dietary fiber.

So the bottom line to this article, in terms of nutrition, both “whole grain” and “whole wheat” are great for you!  In fact, whole wheat is a type of a whole grain.

1“Cereal.”  Wikipedia. May 23, 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cereal>.  May 28, 2009.

2Duyff, Roberta Larson.  Complete Food and Nutrition Guide.  New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2006.

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Momma’s Oatmeal Breakfast

Posted by rhondascooking on May 31, 2009

By now, you have heard many stories and have seen many commercials promoting the goodness of eating oatmeal and other whole grains.  You may have seen the heart on the box of your favorite breakfast cereal or oatmeal container indicating that the product is great for the heart, as well as for reducing high cholesterol.  When I told my mom about eating 1 cup of oatmeal every day to help control her blood sugar and reduce her cholesterol, she almost cringed because she absolutely hated oatmeal.  She grew up on eating creamy grits with salt and butter!  So, I knew it would be a challenge.  Even though she knew the value, she still hated it.  So, I told her about different brands of cereals that have oats in them and that sparked an idea, which led her to create a recipe that works for her.  So, if you too are struggling with eating oatmeal, then you may want to give this recipe a try!

Momma’s Oatmeal Breakfast

4 tablespoons rolled “old fashioned” oats

1 cup cornflakes (or any similar whole grain cereal flakes)

1 cup non-dairy milk (soy, rice, almond, etc.)

Pinch organic raw Turbinado sugar (optional)

Grind oats using a clean electric coffee grinder until oats have become smaller pieces.  Add ground oats, cornflakes, and milk to a small bowl and serve immediately.  Typically the non-dairy milks are slightly sweet, so adding any sweeteners are optional.

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Gadget of the Week: Electric Toaster Oven

Posted by rhondascooking on May 31, 2009

It’s May and it is H-O-T in some parts of the country like Phoenix, Arizona!!  We have already hit triple digits, but only Black-Deck Toasterin the low 100’s! LOL!  Needless to say, sometimes it’s just too hot and requires more energy to fire up the big oven only to bake or roast something small.  So, this is where an electric oven comes in.  I use my toaster oven for a number of things all year round, but especially during the summer months!  There are so many varieties to choose from, that ranges from basic toaster oven to an electric convection oven.  Currently, I have just the basic toaster oven that I have had since 1999 and I only paid $30!  Talk about a great ROI (return on my investment)!  I use my oven for roasting vegetables, baking fish, toasting bread, and much more!

If you don’t currently own a toaster oven, I highly recommend that you purchase one sooner than later.  You can find these handy appliances everywhere as well as on Amazon.com.  Check it out:  http://tinyurl.com/l8xmmb.

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My Glam Day!

Posted by rhondascooking on May 1, 2009

I feel so refreshed now that I have had my wonderful glam day at Glam and Gloss Day Spa in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  It was absolutely fabulous to say the least!   Prior to arriving, I had a long week and night.   I had to fly out at the crack of dawn (5am) .  Where is Lake Charles?  Lake Charles is one of the 5 major cities in Louisiana and is located about 2 1/2 hours east of Houston–just take I-10East.  

As soon as I arrived at Glam and Gloss, I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw–pictures had not told half of the beauty and quaintness of this wonderful day spa.  Okay, now, this place has to be the bomb because I live in Phoenix, Arizona, the queen city of all things spa; I have definitely had my share of spas.  In fact, I really do not prefer day spas, but I tell you, Glam and Gloss has made a believer out of me.  It  is not just your typical day spa located in a shopping plaza.  It is more like a little a retreat in your own personal cottage.  Upon entering, wonderful sounds of jazz  is playing in the background, with wonderful fragrances filling the room.  The decor is also awesome–pink walls with black and white accents.  Once I got checked in by their “glam consultants” I was offered water or hot tea, which I love! 

There are so many services, but I had a pedicure and a facial which were awesome.  In fact, the facial was so relaxing, I went to sleep!!  Then I had my make-up applied and it was beautiful. 

So to sum up everything, I was treated like a queen at Glam and Gloss Day Spa, it was indeed worth my 2 hour drive from Houston.

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