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20 Stellar Ways to Top Your Oatmeal {Giveaway}

by Cassidy Stockton in Contests, Featured Articles, Recipes, Whole Grains 101

Everyone knows oatmeal is good for you. We’ve touted its health benefits here and here. We’ve walked through all of the different types and how to make the perfect bowl of steel cut oats. We’ve shared loads of recipes, but this is the first time we’ve really delved into how to make oatmeal really special for you and your family. We often hear that folks don’t like oatmeal. Well, sure, a gloopy mess of oats is rather unappealing. That’s why we want to remind you that we offer many different types of oats- each one with a unique texture sure that is sure to hit the spot.

20 Ways to Top Your Oatmeal

Take your oatmeal of choice and pick one of these toppings, or try them all, and treat yourself to a delicious breakfast. Some of these toppings might seem absurd and some seem downright unhealthy. Take a step back and open your mind. Forget what you know about oatmeal and think about oats as a canvas for all types of flavors. And remember, we don’t suggest eating The Ice Cream Social every day, but once in a while. A little indulgence is good, after all, you are still eating a bowl of oatmeal.

Check out all of the recipes here and download a handy calendar to keep on the fridge for when you need a little extra inspiration. 

20 Ways to Top Your Oatmeal

The Jet Setter: You’ll be ready to take on any day by topping your oats with a shot of espresso, chocolate covered espresso beans and whipped cream, but you’ll probably want to skip this one for the kiddos.

Peaches and Cream: Turn your oats into a Southern favorite with sliced fresh peaches, heavy cream and toasted pecans.

The Gilgamesh: Take a culinary journey by topping your favorite bowl of oatmeal with pistachios, chopped dates, a drizzle of honey, milk and a dash of cardamom (or cinnamon).

The Alaskan: Try smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, and fine red onion for a delightful breakfast.

20 Ways to Top Your Oatmeal

Romancing the Bowl: Top your oatmeal with a tablespoon of Nutella® brand hazelnut spread, add some halved strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream to be ultra-decadent.

The Old School: Top your oats with brown sugar, a pat of butter and a sprinkle of salt.

The Truck Stop: You don’t have to be a trucker to eat like one. Top your favorite oatmeal with a fried egg, ham or sausage, shredded cheddar cheese and hot sauce (we like Sriracha).

The Ice Cream Social: For a decadent breakfast (or dessert), add a small scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, chopped peanuts and a maraschino cherry (of course).

20 Ways to Top Your Oatmeal

The Elvis: To your favorite oatmeal, add a tablespoon of Peanut Butter, 1/2 of a sliced banana and two crispy strips of bacon.

The Camper: Smores aren’t reserved for a campfire anymore. Top your hot oats with crumbled graham crackers, chocolate chips and marshmallows.

The Power Lift: Power up for your day with 5 egg whites, steamed spinach and toasted hemp seed

The Texan: Make your oats with a Texan-flair by adding crumbled chorizo, black beans, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, a drizzle of BBQ Sauce and top it off with a fried egg.

20 Ways to Top Your Oatmeal

Carrot Cake:  Make your oatmeal reminiscent of carrot cake with shredded carrots, walnuts, raisins and brown sugar.  Top with a scoop of cream cheese frosting, if you have it for a true carrot cake experience.

Doctor’s Orders: Oatmeal topped with blueberries, a big dollop of gut-lovin’ non-fat Greek yogurt, and two tablespoons of ground flaxseed.

Get Your Goat: Goat cheese, sliced pear, walnuts and honey are a decadent and decidedly healthy addition to your favorite oatmeal.

The Crunchy Granola: Start your day off right by topping your oatmeal with chia seed, goji berries and a drizzle of agave nectar.

20 Ways to Top Your Oatmeal

The Hang Loose: Turn your bowl of oats tropical by adding coconut flakes, pineapple chunks and chopped macadamia nuts.

Oat Couture: Make breakfast classy by adding dried cherries, crème fraiche and a balsamic reduction to your favorite bowl of oats.

Thai-Me-Up Oats:  All the flavors you love from Thai food come together for a sweet and spicy breakfast- sprinkle red pepper flakes over a dollop of peanut butter and a healthy helping of shredded coconut.

Oats-Over-Parma: Take a trip to Italy with prosciutto, Parmesan and sun dried tomatoes.

WIN IT! We want to give five lucky folks a chance to try all five of these oatmeal varieties. To enter, follow the prompts below (be sure to click on the “leave a comment” to see what the secret question is, then click on “I did it”) and we’ll select five winners at random from all who enter by 11:59 pm on 10/14/13.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Popcorn

Simple Tips to Unjunk Your Popcorn {Guest Post}

by Guest in Featured Articles, Recipes

What does a picky eater 3-year-old have in common with a 70-year-old grandparent?  Popcorn is their favorite whole grain snack!  At my cooking demonstration at the American Museum of Natural History’s Global Kitchen Exhibit for over 800 participants I made my wildly popular Popcorn with Brain Butter using an air-popper and I learned a lot about this beloved snack!   Here are some interesting observations:

  • Most people (at home or at work) pop their popcorn in microwaveable bags loaded with partially hydrogenated oils and artificial flavorings (make sure to ready the ingredients) or buy it ready-to-eat – both can be very high in sodium.  And, as a result, most kids couldn’t identify a corn kernel!
  • There was a big taste difference between freshly popped popcorn kernels and the ready-to-eat varieties.  With the freshly popped getting double thumbs up!
  • An air-popper is a novel appliance with many people wanting to put it on their wedding registries or buy it as a great gift.  It uses air, not oil which keeps the fat level low.
  • Many people didn’t know it was considered a healthy, whole grain snack – what a bonus!

Popcorn

Growing up, my sisters and I always popped popcorn old school on the stove on Friday nights in the “burnt” popcorn pot (with parent supervision!).  Every time we popped the corn kernels it was always an exciting experience and the wonderful aroma signaled movie night at our house!  These simple memories made family time, fun-time.  No need to burn a pot if you have an air-popper.

Popcorn with Brain Butter

I’m a big fan of the Cuisinart Popcorn Maker because it pops most kernels and doesn’t make a mess of popcorn lose all over the place (I’ve gone through many air-poppers to find the perfect one!)  My favorite corn kernels are Bob’s Red Mill because they are GMO-free and have a delicious taste whether it’s the white or yellow corn kernel varieties.  And, this delicious whole grain snack adds needed dietary fiber to keep our digestive tract in tip-top shape!

Popcorn with Brain Butter

What are you waiting for… let’s get popping!  Here’s my recipe to unjunk this wildly popular whole-grain snack food that boosts good nutrition, too!   I’ve remade this much-loved snack by using an air-popper to pop the corn kernels and then adding flaxseed oil instead of butter.  Flaxseed oil’s yellow color looks like butter, but this healthy fat rich in omega-3 fatty acids protects our hearts and sharpens our brains.  Add a few pinches of sea salt to taste and munch away.

Popcorn with Brain Butter

Popcorn with Brain Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Popcorn Kernels (White or Yellow)
  • 1 tablespoon Flaxseed Oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Sea Salt

Directions:

  1. Place popcorn kernels in air popper and pop following manufacturer’s directions.
  2. In medium bowl, drizzle flaxseed oil over popped corn and sprinkle with salt; toss to coat evenly.

Makes 4 serving (1 cup per serving).

Nutrition Facts per serving: 70 calories; 4g fat (0g sat fat, 1g mono, 2g poly, 0 g trans); 0mg cholesterol; 8g carbohydrate (2g fiber, 0g sugar); 1g protein; 30mg sodium; 4% Daily Value (DV) iron.

What’s your favorite topping on popcorn?

– Stacey Antine, MS, RD, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, co-host, Family Food Expert Internet Radio Show, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA.

 

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brm 3

Cooking Whole Grains in Your Sleep {Guest Post}

by Guest in Featured Articles, Recipes, Whole Grains 101

Not everyone—in fact, few—may think about whole grains as nostalgic comfort food, but I do. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area with parents who loved to cook delicious, all natural meals with ingredients from our local Co-op and garden, and whole grains featured prominently in our family meals.

While I thought we were simply eating delicious dishes, Mom and Dad had ulterior motives, namely, making sure that my brother and sister and I had all of the strength and energy we needed to fuel us through our various sports, school and extracurricular activities. Hearty grains—in breads, cereals, salads, soups and more—laid the perfect foundation for the stamina we needed.

Now, as a busy working mother, endurance athlete, fitness instructor, and cookbook author, I need more strength and endurance than ever, and my favorite comfort grains continue to serve me well. Whether it’s steel cut oats, millet, bulgur, quinoa or amaranth, whole grains contain the fiber, minerals, phytonutrients and vitamins I need for maximizing my speed and endurance, stabilizing my blood sugar, and repairing my muscles after a grueling training session.

Thermos Oatmeal 2

As if that weren’t enough, my big quinoa salads and barley soups also prevent the release of the cortisol hormone, which contributes to fatigue and poor mood, bone health, athletic performance and ligament health.

The only downside (if you can call it that) to many of my favorite grains is that they can take a while to prepare. But I am happy to share my solution, one that I am certain you will use as often as I do once you try it: I make my whole grains in my sleep. Overnight. In my handy little thermos.

I wish I could claim ownership of this nifty technique, but many of my backpacker friends knew all about it long before they shared it with me. You don’t need a hiking trip or a backpack, to likewise hijack this method for preparing grains, just a well-insulated thermos, some boiling water, and your favorite grains.

Thermos Oatmeal

It’s as easy as this:

Step 1: Place your favorite Bob’s Red Mill dry grains into a thermos with a tight-fitting lid (preferably vacuum seal). About 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup is perfect for an individual portion.

With the exception of wheat berries and kamut (see note), you can use almost any grain you like, including farro, steel-cut oats, quinoa, amaranth, pearl barley, you name it. (Note: kamut and wheat berries will still work, but you will need to soak them overnight before using the thermos method).

Step 2: Add a pinch of salt (optional, but really brings out the flavor of the grains).

Step 3: Add boiling water to the thermos. Use the water-to-grains ratio specified on the package to determine how much to add. For example, if using 1/4 cup dry quinoa, add 1/2 cup boiling water.

Step 4: Seal the lid and swish the contents around a bit.

Step 5: Go to sleep!

Thermos Oatmeal with Goji and Chia

In the morning, unscrew the lid and enjoy your perfectly cooked grains!

I like just about any grain with a splash of milk (dairy or non-dairy) and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey, but sometimes I like to jazz things up with some dried fruit, chia seeds and nuts, too.

There’s no need to limit this method for breakfast: stir in some black beans and salsa, or leftover chicken and some jarred pesto for an instant lunch to go (already in the thermos!) Alternatively, set up your grains and boiling water (or boiling broth) in the morning and return to cooked grains after work (perfect for a salad, side dish, or stir-fry).

Enjoy! You’ll be jumping and leaping for joy with all of your added energy!

Camilla Saulsbury is a wife, mom, bestselling cookbook author, blogger, recipe developer, fitness expert and endurance athlete. Her culinary focus is translating food and flavor trends into fast, fresh, whole foods-based recipes that deliver deliciousness and energy in equal measure. Visit PowerHungry.com to read more from Camilla. 

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Discover Farro

Farro Hangout

by Cassidy Stockton in Whole Grains 101

FarroHOA2

Please join us for a Grains of Discovery Hangout series on Google Plus as we explore the trendy “new” grain Farro . Learn what it is, how to use it, and why you want this grain in your arsenal. Get some great recipes from our esteemed panelists Jean Layton (Gluten Free Doctor), Liz Della Croce (The Lemon Bowl), Dorothy Reinhold (Shockingly Delicious) and Hollie Green(Joy Foodly). Ask questions and enter to win a Grains of Discovery prize package.

Tune in at 5 pm PT on 9/18: http://goo.gl/4R93O6

Get more information, amazing recipes and enter to win a the Grains of Discovery prize package here:http://glutenfreedoctor.com/farro-grains-of-discovery-2/

Can’t make it? We’ll share a recorded version after the fact so you can still brush up on farro.

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Discover Chia

Discover Chia

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Whole Grains 101

Thousands of years ago, chia seed was a staple in the diets of ancient Mayans and Aztecs. The word chia is derived from the Mayan language, meaning “strength,” and Aztec warriors relied on chia seed to boost energy and increase stamina. Today this tiny seed is a favorite of athletes, especially distance runners, who tout it as an endurance enhancing superfood.

Chia seed contains a wealth of fiber—5 grams in just one tablespoon. It is the fiber in chia that causes chia seed to swell when combined with water, creating chia gel. Whether you eat chia gel or just the raw seeds, the hydrophilic action of chia seed will keep you full longer than many other seeds. Amazingly, chia gel can also be used as a substitute for eggs in many baked goods. Use a proportion of 1 to 6 ratio of Chia Seeds to Water to make chia gel. Use approximately one tablespoon of chia gel to replace one large egg in your baked goods.

Discover Chia

The mild, nutty flavor of chia seed goes well with both sweet and savory dishes. Use chia seed in puddings and smoothies, sprinkle on top of porridge and salads, and add to baked goods in place of flaxseed meal or poppy seeds. Try our recipe for chia fresca (video below), a refreshing drink perfect for a hot summer day in place of lemonade or use it as pre- or post-workout fuel. Looking for a fool-proof way to get chia into your diet? Make our blueberry refrigerator jam (recipe on the bag)! The gelling nature of chia makes it an ideal (and nutritious) substitute for pectin in jam. No matter the dish, you can increase the nutritional value of any meal with a sprinkle of chia seed.

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Discover Millet

Discover Millet

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Whole Grains 101

Let me start by saying that millet is one of my favorite grains. In fact, it’s one of my favorite Bob’s Red Mill products. We see it most often in birdseed blends, but it’s been popular across Asia for thousands of years. Millet was revered as one of five sacred crops in ancient China and was first farmed 10,000 years ago. Millet is mentioned in the Old Testament, the writings of Herodotus, and the journals of Marco Polo. Clearly, I’m not alone in my love of millet.

Millet has a mild, sweet flavor and quick cooking time, making it a tasty, convenient, whole grain addition to any meal of the day. Unlike most other grains, this versatile, gluten free grain is alkaline, which makes it easy to digest and helps balance the body’s natural tendency towards acidity. Millet is an excellent source of dietary fiber and a great solution for those looking to add more fiber to their diet. Discover Millet

Enjoy whole grain millet as a unique alternative to rice in salads and stir-fries. Cook millet for a sweet breakfast porridge or add uncooked millet to breads for a crunchy texture. Serve millet with a drizzle of olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper in place of mashed potatoes for a delightful side that will enhance any meal.

The light flavor of millet allows it to be sweet or savory, which means the possibilities are endless! Luckily, we have developed some delicious recipes for millet to help get you started. Millet Spring Roll Salad combines all of the wonderful flavors of spring rolls without the effort of making them! Whip up these Spinach and Lemon Millet Arancini for your next party and bask in the praise for your culinary prowess. Serve these Millet Burgers with Olives, Sun-Dried Tomato and Pecorino from Grain Mains for your next Meatless Monday to the delight of your family.

Sarah House shows you how to make perfect millet in the video below. Cheers!

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Teff Grain

Discover Teff

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Recipes, Whole Grains 101

Have you heard of Teff yet? It’s the next big thing, I’m certain of it. Teff is quite possibly the world’s smallest grain (about 100 grains are the size of a kernel of wheat!). Teff originates in Africa and has been a staple of traditional Ethiopian cooking for thousands of years. Whole Grain Teff (Tef, T’ef) an ancient North African cereal grass, is a nutritional powerhouse. The germ and bran, where the nutrients are concentrated, account for a larger volume of the seed compared to more familiar grains.

Discover Teff

With a mild, nutty flavor and lots of calcium, protein and fiber, whole grain teff is a great addition to porridge, stews, pilaf or baked goods. Cooked whole grain teff makes a unique hot breakfast cereal similar in consistency and texture to wheat farina. Teff can be made into polenta, added to veggie burgers, cakes, cookies and breads. Naturally gluten free, teff is a wonderful way to mix up your menu with something a bit exotic.

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Jowar/Sorghum Grains

Discover Sorghum

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Whole Grains 101

Sorghum? Isn’t that what they make syrup from? Well, yes and no. Yes, they do make syrup/molasses from a variety of sorghum. That is not the same variety as the one we mill into flour and are now offering as a whole grain. Sorghum is a wonderfully chewy whole grain that is also known as milo or jowari in different parts of the world.

Sorghum originated in Africa thousands of years ago, and then spread through the Middle East and Asia via ancient trade routes, traveling to the Arabian Peninsula, India and China along the Silk Road. Today sorghum remains a staple food in India and Africa, yet it is still relatively unknown in many parts of the world.

Discover Sorghum

This gluten free grain is an excellent source of dietary fiber and a wonderful way to include the health benefits of whole grains in a gluten free diet. Unlike some gluten free grains, the hearty, chewy texture of whole grain sorghum is very similar to wheat berries, making it an ideal addition to pilafs and cold salads. Replace the noodles or white rice in soups with sorghum for a more nutritious alternative. Sorghum has a relatively mild flavor, but adds a gentle earthiness to dishes.

Surprise and delight your friends and family by serving popped sorghum instead of popcorn at your next gathering. Sorghum is easy to pop in the microwave or on the stove top and makes a fun conversation piece for movie night.

Whether you pop it or eat it as a whole grain, sorghum has a wonderful nutritional profile and is a perfect addition to your diet. In the video below, Sarah shows you how to make perfectly cooked sorghum grain. We’ll show you how to make perfect popped sorghum next week, but if you just can’t stand it, check out the video here.

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Bob Feature

Perfect Steel Cut Oats

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Whole Grains 101

Bob tells us all about steel cut oats and shows us how to magically make more time in the day.

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Coconut Flour

A Little More About Coconut Flour {Guest Post}

by Guest in Featured Articles, Whole Grains 101

What in Bob’s Red Mill Is Coconut Flour?

Do you ever hear some people talk about different kinds of flour, new seeds, or see a word on a menu that you have no idea what it really is? Sometimes when I walk into the “natural foods” section of the grocery store, I see things that look pretty cool, but sometimes just keep walking because I’m not sure what they are or how I’m supposed to use them. I just wonder “What in the world is that? And how am I supposed to use it?” When I heard about coconut flour, that was exactly how I felt, except for this time, with Bob’s help, I have done some research, experimented with some recipes, and feel like I know a little more about coconut flour. Hopefully I can share what I’ve learned with you so that you can add it to your shopping list and add a little healthy touch of coconut to your family’s diet instead of walking on by.Coconut Flour

What is coconut flour?

Coconut flour is a soft, flour like product made from the pulp of a coconut. It’s actually a by-product made during the coconut milk making process. When making coconut milk, you have to soak coconut meat. That pulp is then dried out and ground into this powdery flour.

What are the health benefits of coconut flour?

Many people look to coconut flour to help create gluten free baked goods. Gluten free is definitely a great reason to use coconut flour, but that’s not all it has to offer. Coconut flour is also extremely high in fiber with almost double the amount found in wheat bran. In just 2 tablespoons of coconut flour, there are 5 grams of fiber (20% of the recommended daily value) and 8 grams of carbs. Mayo Clinic says a diet with plenty of fiber can help keep you regular, help maintain weight, and lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

How do you cook with coconut flour?

Cooking with coconut flour can be a little tricky. I have had a couple of recipes completely bomb. Once you get the hang of it though, it’s a super easy way to add nutrients and fiber to a ton of dishes. There are two things to keep in mind when working with coconut flour. Since it is so high in fiber, it requires a ton more moisture. There is also no equal substitution when working with coconut flour. You can usually substitute about 20% of the flour in a recipe for coconut flour and add at least 20% more liquid. My personal experience also says that when working with baked goods, you should also add about 3-5 eggs for every cup of coconut flour you are using. You can also add a tablespoon or two of coconut flour to sauces and gravies. It is a little clumpy so take your time when adding it in. Coconut flour has a naturally sweet flavor that can really add a nice little something extra to dishes.

Honestly, when you’re beginning to bring coconut flour into your cooking, stick to already established recipes. Once you start to get a little more comfortable, you can begin to experiment. I speak from experience… botched recipes can be costly and a little disheartening. Practice with some great recipes online first. You can even check out my first great coconut flour recipe success: Whole Wheat Coconut Blueberry Muffins.

Resources for More on Coconut Flour

–          Mayo Clinic article on benefits of high fiber diet

–          Nourished Kitchen: A great blog with tips on baking with coconut flour

–          Livestrong article on the benefits of coconut flour

–          Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour facts

–          Bob’s Red Mill Hangout on Google+: Tips for Baking with Coconut Flour

About Ashley – Ashley is a mom, wife, sister, daughter, and friend working to navigate through the mysterious world of Mommyia. Read more about her adventures at Momicles and follow her @Momicles2010.

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