By Katrina Deisler
Today is all about sneaking more nutrients into your diet, first veggies with Roots Collective, and now whole grains!
As Christmas comes up, that means plenty of delicious food, but those yummy recipes don’t always deliver all the nutrients you need. Getting nutrients, especially whole grains, can be difficult.Whole grains, including oats, whole meal bread, whole grain pasta, couscous, barley, and even popcorn, are full of fiber which aids digestion,and can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Whole Grain Goodness have teamed up with chefs Terry Edwards and George Craig, who are run pop-up restaurant, Check On, to share 5 easy tips to get more whole grains into your diet.
Whole Grain Hacks…
1. Oats are tops… try topping a favourite recipe with rolled oats. Terry and George say they’re great on fish like cod or salmon, and they work well as a coating for chicken breast, too.
2. Oh, crumbs… If any of your recipes involve breading, make your bread crumbs from wholemeal bread (or a mixture of white and wholemeal, if you’re not ready to commit). Extra crumbs will keep in the freezer if you’re not using them straightaway.
3. Go nutty for risottos… Terry and George love to make risotto using spelt or whole barley, which have a rich, nutty flavour.
4. Get poppin… Popcorn is a whole grain, and goes great in salad, according to Terry & George. Swap out croutons, you’ll be surprised how good it tastes!
5. Go halfsies… Subtly introduce more whole grains into your diet by going half and half while baking (half regular flour, half whole meal flour).
Why not test out these wholegrain tips for yourself with Terry & George’s flatbread pizza recipe below? It’s made with wholemeal flour that contains plenty of whole grains.
Terry and George’s Whole Grain Flatbread-Style Pizzas
Makes 8 (each pizza serves 1 person)
1kg strong wholemeal bread flour
2 tsp salt
2 x 7g sachets easy bake yeast
1 tbsp roasted fennel seeds
6 tbsp rapeseed oil
600ml lukewarm water
For the topping:
320g tomato passatta
400g tenderstem broccoli, blanched in boiling water for a couple of minutes
2 courgettes, shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
2 red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
24 baby plum tomatoes, halved
4 x 125g mozzarella balls, drained
1 tbsp dried oregano
Rapeseed oil, for drizzling
1 bag of rocket (70g)
Mix the flour, salt, yeast, fennel seeds, oil and water in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook, for 5 minutes to make a soft, smooth dough. Form the dough into a ball and put it in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size – about 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220°C, 200°C fan, Gas 7. Tip the risen dough out onto the work surface and divide it into 8 pieces. Oil four large baking sheets and put two portions of dough on each one. Flatten each portion out with your hand to an oblong/flatbread shape, about 30 x 18 cm.
Spread passatta over each piece of dough. Cut the broccoli stems in half lengthways and into smaller pieces and place them in lines down the middle. Curl courgette ribbons and arrange them round the edge. Sprinkle chilli over. Add tomato halves then pull apart the mozzarella balls and nestle chunks of the cheese on top.
Bake, 2 trays at a time, for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with oregano, drizzle with rapeseed oil and garnish each one with a handful of rocket leaves. Serve immediately.
If you don’t have an electric mixer with a dough hook, knead the dough by hand for at least 5 minutes.
For a lighter base, make the dough with half wholemeal bread flour and half plain strong bread flour.
To speed up the dough rising, put the bowl in a fan oven at about 40°
Check our Terry & George’s book, Feeding Friends, for more delicious recipes…