Find out how to incorporate wholegrains into your's and your family's meals.
The truth is, there are simple ways to add whole grains to your diet and most wholegrains are simple to cook. Here are five quick and easy ways!
Since wholegrains absorb more water than refined grains, you can add more water when you cook brown rice. One cup of brown rice should be soaked in 2 cups water for half an hour and cooked for around 20 minutes. To cook a mixture of brown and white rice, soak brown rice first before adding in the white rice and cooking.
You will find that the cooking time is much shorter with a little pre-soaking. Adding slightly more water will also give you a softer texture.
If you have not tried brown rice before, you could start slow with a 20% of brown rice mixes with white rice.
Ever tried to look for wholegrain spaghetti in our supermarkets but cannot find them? The next time you are in the supermarket, try looking for wholemeal spaghetti. Wholemeal spaghetti is a wholegrain product. Wholemeal products are made from wholegrain flour. Like wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta is made from wheat with the husk intact. Wholemeal pasta also comes in a variety of shapes, most commonly spaghetti and lasagne. It can take a little longer to cook than white pasta. Do check the package for cooking instructions.
Add the pasta only after the water is boiling with a few drops of oil to prevent the pasta from sticking. Wholemeal pastas will take 12 to 25 minutes to cook depending on their size. Remember that you still want your wholemeal pastas to be al dente, firm but not too mushy or hard on the inside.
Look out for brown rice vermicelli too! They may take longer to cook than regular beehoon, so let them soak for ten seconds in hot water while they soften and rinse in cold water for 3 minutes to prevent it from breaking easily. If you think brown rice vermicelli breaks more easily than regular ones, how about creating a brown rice vermicelli soup. Without having to toss the noodles around in a wok or pan, you won't have to worry about the vermicelli breaking.
This is one of the easiest ways to boost your intake of wholegrains. It usually works well to substitute a portion of plain flour with wholemeal flour. In other words, if the recipe calls for 2 cups plain flour, you can use 1 cup of wholemeal flour and 1 cup of plain white flour. By doing this, you may need to add an extra pinch of baking powder.
You can also use cooking oats or crushed wholegrain cereal as breading for fish and chicken. Remember to use cooking oats instead of instant oats so that your coating will not burn before your fish or chicken is cooked. You can also semi-cook your fish or chicken before you coat them with your wholegrain crumbs. This can shorten the cooking time in the oven so your coatings won't burn before the insides are cooked.
Many foods made from wholegrains come ready-to-eat. These include wholemeal bread, wholegrain breakfast cereals and wholegrain biscuits. Try out these simple tips:
Are you new to cooking whole grains? Here is an easy recipe that you can follow:
Note: Unlike stir frying, cooking brown rice vermicelli (beehoon) in soup can prevent the fragile and brittle vermicelli from breaking too much. Let them simmer in the soup to cook.
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