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April 2018 Edition
5 Easy Ways To Put Whole Grains On The Menu
by Dana Angelo White MS, RD, ATC, President of Dana White Nutrition, Inc.
Patrons are looking for more whole grain menu offerings and the options available to chefs are more exciting than ever before. Learn more about the health benefits of whole grains plus some inspiration for how to best incorporate grains into healthy recipes.
Whole grains undergo less processing than refined grains. Thanks to this lesser degree of handling, whole grains have a different flavor profile and a longer list of nutrients to offer. Whole grains contain more protein, essential oils, antioxidants, iron and several energy-producing B-vitamins. They are also higher in slow digesting fiber, which means whole grain versions of bread, cereal, rice and pasta will keep you feeling fuller longer.
According to the experts at the Whole Grains Council, people who get regular doses of whole grains have a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Whole Grain Goodness – 5 Ways
Whole grain options reach far beyond wheat and several of the most popular grains are naturally gluten free. Here are 5 whole food applications to up your whole grain quota.
1. Pasta Change Up
Health conscious patrons are seeking lower carb options and pasta made from brown rice, quinoa or a combo of whole grains and legumes are widely available. These types of pasta alternatives feature various flavors and textures and can be paired up with a wide range of sauces, vegetables and protein to compliment their unique profiles.
2. Experiment with Ancient Grains
The term “Ancient Grains” made the National Restaurant Association’s list of Top 20 foods for 2018. Farro, millet, amaranth, quinoa and sorghum are some of the most sought after ancient grains on the market and it’s easy to see why. They are versatile, nutrient dense and easy for large batch cooking. Sorghum is also more eco-friendly, using up to 1/3 less water to grow than comparable crops. Use ancient grains for stuffings, hot and cold salads and soups.
3. Granola Mania
Homemade granola is a menu attention grabber. It is easy, fast cooking and a wonderful way to use up grains, nuts and dried fruit. Prepare lightly sweetened with agave, honey or maple syrup then use granola to add crunch to baked goods, parfaits and smoothies. Use certified gluten free oats for allergen friendly versions and add incorporate other grains like popped sorghum or puffed millet for some extra crunch.
4. Small bites
Small balls and bites are the newest snack craze. Adding rolled oats, raw or cooked quinoa, popped sorghum or puffed rice will add body, texture and nutrients to protein balls, granola bites and homemade bars.
5. DIY Multigrain Flour Blends
Grind whole grains into custom flour blends for homemade pasta, biscuits and other quick breads. These flours can also be cooked down into a hearty porridge similar to polenta whisked with broth, milk, almond milk or another dairy free alternative.
Dana Angelo White MS RD ATC is a culinary dietitian, cookbook author and media consultant. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dana will be hosted a free webinar titled Hot Trends in 2018: Dietitian Approved on April 24, 2018. View the free webinar here.
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