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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

a healthy nutrition and hydration plan

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Taking care of yourself through sports nutrition is just as important to being a good surfer as any other factor.

Water sports enthusiasts, in general, need lots of stamina to keep up, and it’s important to know what your body needs.

Being an athlete requires good nutrition to keep your energy levels optimal – especially when training and performing in a competition.

The following guide features healthy food recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and ideas and tips to keep surfing all day and healthy all week.

What to Drink: Fluid Intake

Drinking water is a crucial aspect of physical fitness, and no section on nutrition would be complete without an honorable mention.

When you’re dehydrated, you don’t perform well – you get tired faster, and the risk of heat stroke increases.

So how much fluid is enough?

Water

Here’s a basic water intake guideline. It varies from surfer to surfer:

4 hours before training: drink 300-500 ml of water;
2 hours before training: drink 150-350 ml of water;
20 mins while training: drink 130-250 ml of water;
If you train again within 12 hours: drink at least 1.5 liters of water;

Adding sodium to foods or fluids can help you retain fluid and maintain plasma electrolyte balance.

That’s not hard, right? As you can see, it doesn’t take much.

So how do you know if you have had enough? Here’s a simple way of monitoring your hydration levels – check your urine:

If your pee is light-colored, you’re well-hydrated;
If you can only squeeze out a little, and it’s darkish color – drink up;

Are you surfing in the heat? This probably applies to 80 percent of surfers, but you will dehydrate faster if you’re not used to it.

If you are going to a competition in a temperature you’re not used to, acclimatize yourself before competing:

Train in a similar environment before competing;
Go to the site at least a week before game day and practice;

Easy access to water will also increase consumption:

Keep fluids close and accessible;
Keep water chilled;
Add a little flavor;
Sodium can enhance taste and encourage the desire to drink;

Are you tired of drinking water? Make your own sports drink. You can quickly make a fluid replacement drink by mixing:

500 ml of unsweetened orange juice;
500 ml of water;
1.25-1.75 ml of salt;

Smoothies

Smoothies are probably the best way to get all the nutrients your body needs before and after physical exercise or training.

The benefits include:

Quickly and easily digestible, meaning fast energy and quick recovery;
Do not have to be broken down, like solid foods;
Hydration;
Simple and convenient;
Easily consumable even if you’re not hungry;
One smoothie can contain all the essential nutrients your body needs for training, before and/or after;

The best smoothies will be fluid blends that are:

High in carbs;
Moderate in protein;
Low in fat and fiber;
Have just a dash of electrolytes (sodium and potassium);

Smoothies: they contain all the essential nutrients your body needs for training, before and after | Photo: Anthony Shkraba/Creative Commons

Here’s a super easy smoothie recipe:

One 355 ml can of frozen orange juice (not thawed);
Two 355 ml cans of 1 percent milk or skim milk (use empty juice can for measuring);
One pinch of salt;

Blend everything in a blender, and it’ll make four servings.

Caffeine

The effects of caffeine are still not completely understood. However, consensus says that the benefits of caffeine are:

Stimulation of the central nervous system;
Reduces perceived effort of exercise;
Enhances muscle fiber contraction;

If taken an hour before exercise, just a small amount of caffeine (70-150 mg) can enhance reaction time, concentration, and alertness and improve performance for both endurance and short, high-intensity actions.

Several beverages containing caffeine. Drip coffee, brewed coffee, instant coffee, espresso, brewed tea, cola, etc., are examples.

Other good and natural sources of caffeine are:

Guarana seeds;
Kola nut;
Yerba mate;

Coffee: if taken an hour before exercise, it can enhance reaction time, concentration, and alertness and improve performance | Photo: Pixabay/Creative Commons

The possible adverse side effects of caffeine are as follows:

Insomnia;
Headache;
Nervousness;
Anxiety;
Inability to focus;
Arrhythmia;
Tachycardia;
Hypertension;
Lightheadedness;
Irritability;
Nausea;
Gastrointestinal distress;

You are always the best judge of your body and your comfort intake levels.

Caffeine takes time to work through your system. Take it sparingly and in small doses. Give it about 30 to 60 for effects before having more.

What to Eat: Dietary Intake

Know which to food to ingest before, during, and after surfing.

Carbohydrates

Contrary to popular belief, carbs are good for you, and you will need them when training and performing.

Carbohydrates are stored in your muscles – where you need the energy – so you can go harder, longer.

People often get confused about carbohydrates.

Some are not so good, such as simple carbs found in lots of processed foods, and then there are the good ones, the ones you need, found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and yogurt.

The other misconception is how many carbs to consume, which varieties, and when.

Because surfing is such an endurance watersport, loading up on carbs while riding waves for long periods of time will significantly increase your performance.

It’s great to load up while training.

Come competition day, though, and it is better to decrease the percentage of carbohydrates from fiber and stick to lighter, easily absorbed ones like fruits and veggies.

Due to the nature of competitions, with all the stop-and-go activities, if you load up with too much protein and fiber, you may find yourself feeling bloated and heavy.

Too many carbs, like anything, of course, is not good. It’s best to load up 1-4 days while training before a competition.

Otherwise, you’ll just be putting on extra weight that’s not going anywhere if you’re not training.

Pasta: a good source of good carbohydrates | Photo: Klaus Nielsen/Creative Commons

Here are a few examples of sources of good carbohydrates:

1 large bagel = 60 g
1 small banana = 15 g
1 cup/250 ml cooked pasta = 30 g
¾ cup/175 ml cooked oatmeal = 15 g
1 cup/250 ml flaky unsweetened cereal = 30 g
1 cup/250 ml cooked rice = 45 g
1 medium potato = 30 g
1 cup/250 ml milk = 15 g
1 cup/250 ml cooked corn = 30 g
1 cup/250 ml fruit yogurt = 30-40 g
2 cups/500 ml sport drink = 30 g

Now, memorize the following tips:

Your body needs carbs to burn for energy, or you’ll get tired fast;
Load up 1-4 days while training before a competition, so you have lots stored;
Come game day, stick to lighter foods, so you don’t feel heavy or bloated;
Don’t load up on carbs when you’re not training – you need to burn off those consumed carbs, or you’ll put on extra weight;

Minerals

Chances are, if you’re eating enough quantity from a wide variety of food sources, you are getting enough minerals.

Minerals are also uber important for sports nutrition and energy.

So if you’re not sure if you’re getting enough or if you’re feeling tired or exhausted, here’s a list of excellent mineral sources:

Iron: green leafy vegetables, beans, tofu, cabbage, millet;
Calcium: almonds, soya milk, broccoli, spinach, watercress;
Zinc: lentils, whole grains, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds;
Iodine: asparagus, kelp;
Magnesium: soya beans, avocado, bananas, apples, nuts;
Selenium, phosphorous and potassium: strawberries, tomatoes, chickpeas, and yeast extract;

Competition Day

Are you entering a surf contest? Prior to competing, generally allow:

3-4 hours to partially digest a big meal;
2-3 hours for a moderate-sized meal;
Less than 2 hours for a pre-event snack;

Where it comes to hydration, remember the following:

Drink 500 ml of fluid 2 hours before your event;
Drink 250-500 ml 45 to 30 minutes before your event;
Drink 150-350 ml every 15 to 20 minutes during your event;

Competitive surfing: a pre-heat nutrition and hydration plan will balance the body's energy needs | Photo: Dunbar/WSL

Less than 90 minutes between events or heats, choose mostly carbohydrates with ample fluids.

For example, water, sports drinks, sports nutrition bars, fruit, unsweetened juices, bagels, low-fat muffins, cereal bars, granola bars, trail mix, fruit leather, or nuts.

If you’ve got more than 90 minutes between events or heats, have a mini-meal with ample fluids like water, juice, or milk.

For instance, a half-to-full sandwich, peanut butter and crackers, or low-fat muffin and cheese.

Recovery Mode

Spend energy to get energy – very true.

But you need to re-pay that spent energy back to your body, and the body isn’t a very patient loan shark.

The sooner you replenish with the right nutrients, the better your body will respond and recover.

Exercise is hard on the body, and within just two hours, you may have used up all stored carbohydrate energy, start breaking down various muscle and red blood cells and lost over two liters of water (sweat).

The body’s cells are most receptive to re-nourishment in the first 30 minutes after intense activity – this is stage 1. Within 1-2 hours after, it is considered stage 2.

There are four main nutrients necessary for these critical recovery stages:

Carbohydrates;
Protein;
Fluid/Sodium;
Antioxidants (especially vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene);

So, what’s a good example of a post-exercise, sports nutrition recovery meal plan?

Stage 1

For stage 1, within 30 minutes after exercise, your body will need:

Banana, yogurt, or juice;
Peanut butter sandwich, strawberries, milk, or juice;
Flavored milk, granola bar, apple, and water;
Sports drink, cheese strings, grapes, juice, or water;
Low-fat muffin or bagel, homemade smoothie (blend milk, yogurt, fruit, juice, and ice);
Protein bar, orange, pretzels, and juice or water;
Meal replacement drink, carbohydrate sports bar, apple, or water;

Stage 2

For stage 2, 1-2 hours after exercise, your body should get:

Meat or cheese sandwich loaded with veggies and milk or juice;
Chicken and vegetable stir-fry with brown rice, and milk, juice, or water;
Whole wheat pasta with meatballs, vegetable salad, and milk, juice, or water;
Grilled salmon, quinoa or whole wheat couscous, raw veggies with light dip, and milk, juice, or water;
Bowl of cereal with yogurt or milk, fresh fruit, and water or juice;
Scrambled eggs with cheese and diced peppers, whole wheat bagel, and milk, juice, or water;
Lentil soup, whole wheat bun, Greek yogurt/regular yogurt, fruit salad, and water, soy beverage, or milk;
Pasta salad tossed with chopped vegetables, canned tuna or chicken breast, and milk, juice, or water;
Cottage cheese or Greek yogurt, fruit salad, low-fat muffin, and milk, juice, or water;

Fruits: they help maintain a stronger immune system and prevent cell damage | Photo: Lisa/Creative Commons

An Everyday Diet Plan

While you’re out of the water, it’s also essential to have healthy eat and drink habits.

Fruits and Veggies

We’ve all been told to eat our veggies and that they’re good for us.

But in case you need more examples, here are three extra good reasons fruits and veggies are great for sports nutrition:

Fruit and veggies help maintain a stronger immune system;
Fruit and veggies prevent cell damage;
Fruit and veggies provide lasting energy;

Remember that it is especially important to get enough fruit, including superfruits, and veggie nutrients when training, competing or traveling because of the extra stress put on your body.

The Reds

Contain nutrients such as vitamins A and C.

Vegetables like tomatoes also contain lycopene, which is one of the phytonutrients responsible for the color red.

Vitamins A and C are essential for building strong bones.

Go for tomatoes, red bell peppers, beets, radishes, red onions, red/purple cabbage, etc.

The Greens

Contain lutein, zeaxanthin, folate, Vitamin A, and potassium.

Lutein, zeaxanthin and Vitamin A help protect the eyes and promote good vision. Potassium plays a crucial role in muscle contraction.

Go for dark leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, arugula, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, Brussels sprouts, green peppers, etc.

The Oranges

Contain potassium and are rich in carotenoids such as beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A in the body and helps support immune function.

Go for carrots, pumpkin, orange-colored squash, sweet potatoes, etc.

The Purples

Contain nutrients like anthocyanins which may have antioxidant properties that support heart, eye, and brain health.

Go for eggplant, purple potatoes, purple cabbage, etc.

The Whites

Contain allicin and indoles, which have antioxidant properties.

Go for onions, garlic, potatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms, turnips, parsnips, artichokes, etc.

Grilled salmon: a good source of healthy unsaturated fats | Photo: Malidate Van/Creative Commons

Fat

Are you getting enough good fat? The right kind of fat is good, but only certain fats are.

Not enough fat in the diet may compromise growth and maturation and negatively affect health, including hair, skin, and bones.

Fats are good for:

Providing energy;
Transporting and absorbing vitamins (A, D, E, K);
Protecting organs and cells;
Creating specific hormones;

Sources of Fat

Polyunsaturated fats, especially when including Omega-6, are essential. These are found in such foods as:

Nuts and seeds;
Sunflower, safflower, and corn oils;
Fish and fish oil;
Avocados;

Monounsaturated fats are also very good, but in moderation:

Olive and canola oil;
Peanuts and peanut butter;

Saturated fats are ok, but in small, less frequent portions:

Dairy and meat;
Hydrogenated oils;

Trans fats are the bad fats. Your body can’t absorb or break them down. Stay away from them. They can be primarily found in processed foods.

Food Storage

Foods lose their nutrients from excessive exposure to air, sunlight, water, and heat.

The following tips can help keep your foods nutrient-rich:

Store vegetables and fruits separately in air-tight containers in the fridge;
Ripen fruits in a paper bag (with an apple or banana) in a cupboard – not out in the sunlight;
Quickly wash produce just before consumption;
Eat vegetables raw or steamed;
Avoid boiling vegetables;
Microwave vegetables with minimal added water;
Cover leftover/uneaten cooked vegetables with air-tight wrapping;
Cover cut fruits with air-tight wrapping;

Food storage: keep nutrients in a cool and dry place | Photo: Polina Tankilevitch/Creative Commons

Eat Well And Save Money

Do you want to eat healthy without spending too much money?

We all have reasons to save a few pennies here and there – we’re students, parents, we’re chasing our dreams, need to buy a new board, travel to a competition, etc.

Here are a few ideas to help you get away from the mac ‘n’ cheese diet and get the nutrients you really need:

Bring your own reusable water bottle;
Use coupons;
Buy in bulk – freeze the extras;
Cook in bulk – freeze the extras;
Buy canned or frozen foods;
Don’t buy pre-packaged/convenience foods;
Buy only fresh foods you can eat before they go bad;
Make your own snacks;
Pre-pack your own lunches – invest in reusable storage containers;

Things to Avoid

The best way to curb junk-food cravings is to keep healthy, quick, and tasty snacks handy, such as dried fruits, nuts, popcorn, or toasted salty beans – they really are delish.

And you can also have actual good treats like frozen yogurt or natural dark chocolate.

Of course, there’s another appropriate saying you may have heard – everything in moderation.

Nevertheless, whenever possible, try to avoid or reduce the intake of alcoholic beverages, processed foods, and excessive caffeine.

Alcohol

We all like to drink a few beers or glasses of wine now and then, especially after a big event or big win.

Just don’t do it before competing, as it will most certainly affect your physical and mental performance.

The negative effects of alcohol performance are as follows:

Reduces performance potential by up to 11 percent in elite athletes and perhaps by as much as 15-30 percent in high school athletes;
Impairs the athlete’s reaction time for up to 12 hours after consumption;
Delays exercise recovery – alcohol impairs blood glucose for up to 36 hours, affecting energy production and optimum physical/mental performance;
Decreases protein synthesis for the repair of muscle tissue during post-exercise/recovery;
Reduces Human Growth Hormone (HGH) release up to 70 percent during the sleeping hours when (normal) release is at peak levels – negating the ability to build/maintain muscle mass efficiently;
Dramatically increases the release of the stress hormone cortisol – negating the training effect;
Depresses the immune system – statistics show athletes who drink get sick more often;
Drinkers are twice as likely to become injured as non-drinkers;
Heavy drinking results in projected losses of up to 14 days of training effect;

Do you still want that drink? Sure. Just be smart about it:

Do drink lots of water between drinks and after – hangovers are mostly due to dehydration;
Don’t drink “doubles”;
Don’t overdo it;
Don’t drink before training or competing;

Beer: drinking too much alcohol affects your physical and mental performance | Photo: Kindel Media/Creative Commons

Processed Foods, Convenient Dinners, Sugars, Candies and Pastries

Again with the tasty, easy stuff – it’s just not good for you. It’s plain and simple.

There is nothing beneficial for you in these foods, and certainly not anything that will provide you with decent sports nutrition for training or competing.

Sure it’s quick, easy, and yummy, but you are doing yourself more harm than good – just for a quick fix.

Here are a few reasons why processed foods and sugars are not healthy:

Your body can’t metabolize the ingredients properly, which leads to weight gain, sluggish mental and physical reactions, and mood swings;
It may seem cheap at the time, but often it is more expensive;
There are very little, if any, nutrients in the ingredients;
You will feel tired and hungry soon after;
Often the packaging is excessive, non-degradable waste;

Caffeine

As mentioned above, the effects of caffeine are still debatable.

Small doses can be beneficial, but everybody has different reactions to it, and most people experience negative effects from consuming too much.

You are your body’s best judge – evaluate your comfort intake levels.

Caffeine takes time to work through your system.

Take it sparingly and in small doses, and give it about 30-60 minutes for effects before having more.

Supplements

It’s never good to take lots of power shake mixes and supplements.

If you can’t read the ingredients, stay away from them. Make sure your food and nutrition are as natural as possible.

Supplements make you feel great and will get you addicted.

They provide energy that lasts all day, keeping you sharp and alive and ready to take on the world.

But they’re not cheap and rarely state in plain English what the ingredients and their sources are.

Stay natural. Eat and drink what Nature gives you.

Words by Nicole Rigler | Skimboarder

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Guiding the way to thrive

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Jan Juc naturopath Rebecca Winkler has always found joy in the practice of cooking nourishing meals for others.

That pastime spilled over into developing recipes and it was during lockdown that her culinary passion led her to become a qualified plant-based chef and a raw dessert chef.

Now the mum-of-two has expertly thrown all of her skills into the mix to achieve a long-held goal of producing a book.

Released as an eBook, with a print version to hopefully follow, 14 Day Whole Food Feast is a comprehensive two-week meal plan designed to nourish the body and delight the tastebuds.

Within its pages are recipes for whole food snacks, lunch and dinner meals, lunchbox ideas, and time-saving tips.

14 Day Whole Food Feast by Rebecca Winkler is available now as an eBook.

“My motivation was both personal and professional,” Rebecca says.

“On a professional note, I found so many patients were having difficulty finding family-friendly, whole food recipes to help them navigate various dietary needs.

“The recipes are easy to follow, a shopping list is provided and time frames are taken into account so slower cooked meals or more time-consuming recipes are saved for weekends.”

Rebecca says the eBook can function purely as a recipe resource or be followed meticulously for a 14-day reset.

“Food prep guidance is given at the start of each week in order to get ahead and be organized as possible.

The eBook includes lunch, dinner and snack ideas, as well as shopping lists and naturopathic advice.

“Dinners are often incorporated into leftovers for lunch the next day and naturopathic guidance is provided around ways to maximize your time by incorporating regular exercise and practicing self-care.”

The idea for the book began to brew in 2019 during a solo trip Rebecca took with colleagues which gave her the space to establish a clear vision for the content she wanted to share.

“I began developing and refining recipe, enlisting a beautiful photographer and graphics team to allow my dream to be realised.

“The long-term plan is to release a number of other eBooks and, eventually, print a hard copy, real-life book to be loved and to splash your chocolate and bolognaise sauce on. The kind of recipe book that you find yourself grabbing time and time again.”

The eBook is filled with nutritious recipes and much more.

So, what are some of Rebecca’s personal favorites featured in her carefully curated eBook?

“Ooh, that’s like trying to choose a favorite child,” she laughs.

“I know it might seem boring, but the slow-cooked bolognaise with hand-made gluten-free fettucine is an absolute favourite.
“We make it weekly in my house and every time my kids exclaim ‘this is the best bolognaise ever’.”

The slow cooked beef pie, kafir lime chicken balls and whole food cranberry bliss balls are also hard to pass up, she says.

Rebecca avoids listing ideal ingredients for people to incorporate into their diet, instead saying the most beneficial ingredients are those that make you feel at your best.

“Not everyone tolerates grains, some don’t tolerate fruit, others have difficulty digesting meat and protein.

“My advice is to listen and take note of how your body feels when you eat.

“Are you bloated, do you have pain in your gut, loose stools, headaches or fatigue?

Rebecca is a qualified naturopath, as well as being a plant-based chef and raw dessert chef.

“I am more inclined to advise people to source good quality ingredients, grow what they can, and cook from scratch as much as time and money allows.

“Eat three meals a day and snack only if you are hungry, growing, pregnant or exercising.

“Try to consume 30-35ml of water per kg of body weight. Add plenty of vegetables, fresh herbs, variety and colour.

“Our gut flora thrives on variety, so mix up your veggies, fruits, grain, legumes and proteins. Eat the rainbow.”

To get the most out of the eBook, the author suggests reading it from cover-to-cover and choosing a 14-day period where you are at home and have minimal social engagements.

Rebecca is passionate about naturopathy which she describes as a holistic, comprehensive view of the body in its entirety and “a wonderful adjunct to Western Medicine for patients as it ensures medical due diligence is exercised, adequate diagnostic testing where appropriate and an individualized approach to restoring health”.

Rebecca’s advice is to “eat the rainbow” when it comes to healthy food choices.

She says many of her clients are seeking ways to regain optimal health following extended periods of lockdown during the pandemic.

“There is no doubt that most of us found ourselves allowing more in alcohol and comfort foods over lockdown, which is nothing to feel ashamed about.

“In such a difficult, confining and overwhelming time, we sought comfort where ever it may lie for us.

“This is not a failure, it was merely a way for so many to cope. I never judge anyone’s choices, I merely try to support, understand and listen.

“Often we already know what we need to do to rebuild or move forward, simply sharing and being heard without shame or judgment is therapeutic.

“I cannot describe to you the genuine joy that seeing people thrive provides.”

14 Day Whole Food Feast retails for $19.95 and on the Rebecca Winkler website. Discover more and contact Rebecca via her Facebook page, Instagram @rebeccawinklernaturopath or email [email protected]

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Get to know farro and other superfood whole grains

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By Casey Barber, CNN

Quinoa has reached a level of superfood status not seen since the great kale takeover of the aughts. Equally embraced and mocked in pop culture, it’s become the symbol of the grain bowl generation. It’s not the only whole grain that’s worth bringing to the table, however.

The world of whole grains is wide, and if quinoa and brown rice have been the only grains on your plate, it’s time to expand your palate. Here’s an introduction to whole grains, along with tips for cooking and enjoying them.

What’s a whole grain?

The term “whole grains” encompasses all grains and seeds that are, well, whole. They retain all their edible parts: the fiber-rich outer bran layer; the carbohydrate-rich endosperm center, which makes up the bulk of the grain itself; and the inner core, or germ, which is packed with vitamins, protein and healthy fats.

On the other hand, refined grains such as white rice and all-purpose flour have been milled to remove the bran and germ, stripping away much of the fiber, protein and vitamins, and leaving only the starchy endosperm.

“A lot of people don’t realize that whole grains contain several grams of protein in addition to vitamins and antioxidants,” said Nikita Kapur, a registered dietitian nutritionist in New York City. With every serving of whole grains, “you get a ton of minerals, B vitamins and fiber, which is especially important for good health.”

So-called “ancient grains” fall under the umbrella of whole grains, though the phrase is more of a marketing term than a marker of a more nutritious option. Ancient grains refer to whole grains like millet, amaranth, kamut and, yes, quinoa that have been the staple foods of cultures for several hundred years. They are not hybridized or selectively bred varieties of grains, like most modern wheat, rice and corn.

And though quinoa has gotten all the press as a whole grain superfood, there’s good reason to try others. Trying a variety of whole grains isn’t just a way to mix up your same-old side dish routine. It’s also a chance to get a wider portfolio of minerals and more into your diet.

“Suffice to say, we need to have a more diverse plant-based diet” to get the full complement of recommended nutrients in our meals, Kapur said, “and we can’t get it from the same 10 or 20 foods.

“One grain might have more manganese, another more zinc or magnesium, and another more protein,” she added. “Try one as a pasta, one as a porridge — you do you, as long as there’s a variety.”

Familiar foods like oats, corn, brown and other colors of rice, as well as wild rice (which is an aquatic grass), are all considered whole grains, but there are many others you’ll want to add to your regular repertoire.

Some whole grains to get to know

amaranth is a tiny gluten-free grain that can be simmered until soft for a creamy polenta-like dish, but it also makes a deliciously crunchy addition to homemade energy bars or yogurt bowls when it’s been toasted. To toast amaranth seeds, cook over medium heat in a dry pan, shaking frequently until they begin to pop like minuscule popcorn kernels.

Buckwheat is gluten-free and botanically related to rhubarb, but these polygonal seeds (also called groats) don’t taste anything like fruit. You might already be familiar with buckwheat flour, used in pancakes and soba noodles, or Eastern European kasha, which is simply toasted buckwheat.

Faro is the overarching Italian name for three forms of ancient wheat: farro piccolo, or einkorn; farro medio, or emmer; and farro grande, or spelled. The farro you typically find at the store is the emmer variety, and it’s a rustic, pumped-up wheat berry that’s ideal as a grain bowl base. Or make an Italian-inspired creamy Parmesan farro risotto.

Freekeh is a wheat variety that’s harvested when unripe, then roasted for a surprisingly smoky, nutty flavor and chewy texture. Freekeh’s taste is distinctive enough that it steals the spotlight in your meals, so use it in ways that highlight its flavor. It’s fantastic in a vegetarian burrito bowl paired with spicy salsa, or in a warming chicken stew.

kamut is actually the trademarked brand name for an ancient type of wheat called Khorasan, which features large grains, a mild taste and tender texture. It’s a good, neutral substitute for brown rice in a pilaf or as a side dish. Or try this high-protein grain in a salad with bold flavors like arugula, blood orange and walnut.

millet is a gluten-free seed with a cooked texture similar to couscous. Teff is a small variety of millet that’s most frequently used as the flour base for Ethiopian injera flatbread. Try raw millet mixed into batters and doughs for a bit of crunch, like in this millet skillet cornbread recipe, or use either teff or millet cooked in a breakfast porridge.

How to cook any whole grain

While cooking times vary for each grain, there’s one way to cook any whole grain, whether it’s a tiny seed or a large, chewy kernel: Boil the grains like pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of kosher salt. Add the grains and cook, tasting as you go, until tender. Small grains like amaranth and quinoa can cook fully in five to 15 minutes, while larger grains like farro and wild rice can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour — so keep an eye on your pot and check it frequently.

Drain well in a mesh strainer (to catch all those small grains) and either use immediately or allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate for later meals. Cooked whole grains can also be portioned, frozen and stored in airtight bags for up to six months.

If you want to cook your whole grains in an Instant Pot or other multicooker, this chart offers grain-to-water ratios for many of the grains mentioned here.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Casey Barber is a food writer, illustrator and photographer; the author of “Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food” and “Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats”; and editor of the website Good. foods Stories.

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Travel: A quaint county seat with Mayberry charm | Lifestyles – Travel

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I finally ventured out for my first road trip of 2022 earlier this month. It’s been way too long since I took a little trip and it was long overdue. My last little getaway was in Chicago the week of Christmas. The day I returned I wasn’t feeling very well and an at-home test confirmed that I had COVID — again.

The first time was in November 2020 and it was a severe case that landed me in the hospital with pneumonia and difficulty breathing and then many months of recovery. Luckily this time around it just lasted a couple of weeks. At the same time I was pushing through COVID we were in the process of moving. And my Dad, who had tested positive for COVID not long before me, passed away. So, it’s been a heck of a start to 2022. A getaway was much needed.

It was a brief 24 hours in the Indianapolis area, but as always I packed a bit in and had a lot of good food. On our way down we stopped off in Rensselaer for lunch at Fenwick Farms Brewing Co. and took a little walk to check out the murals that are part of the Ren Art Walk. That evening I attended a media opening of the newly reopened Dinosphere exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

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It’s a place I adore and still enjoy visiting even though my kids are teenagers and young adults now. I love being greeted by the huge Bumblebee character on the way in from what is probably my favorite action move, “The Transformers.” The largest children’s museum in the world has so much to see and I’ve loved having the chance to explore it both with and without my kids.

After the event it was a quick overnight at Staybridge Suites in Plainfield, and in the morning we headed to Danville. Danville is the county seat of Hendricks County. I adore county seats with downtown squares and this is one of my favorites. On an earlier visit there we were in town for the Mayberry in the Midwest festival, which had lots of activities related to the classic TV show “The Andy Griffith Show” that was set in the fictional town of Mayberry.

Danville definitely has that charming, inviting, friendly small town vibe that feels like it could be a sitcom setting. We ate at the Mayberry Cafe where old episodes play on television screens and the menu is full of down-home, made-with-love comfort foods, with a specialty being “Aunt Bee’s Famous Fried Chicken.” I tried it and it was very tasty. The whole place made me smile like Opie after a fishing outing with his dad.

This time our dining destination was The Bread Basket. I had tried their desserts at a few events, but it was my first time dining in. It’s located in a house that was built for the president of Central Normal College in 1914 and is cute and cozy. It’s a breakfast and lunch spot, so plan to go early and be prepared for a wait during peak times (but it’s well worth it).

My Dilly Turkey Sandwich on fresh wheat nut bread with an Orchard Salad was delicious. I loved that they had a combo option where you could pick a half sandwich and half salad or cup of soup. But the desserts are the real star here. I stared at that dessert case for several minutes — and I wasn’t the only one.

I was seated next to it, and watched intently each time they removed a pie or cake from the case to cut a slice. I tried the Hummingbird Cake, which was a perfect treat without being too rich, and then noticed another that was so unique I had to get a slice to take home — the Blackberry Wine Chocolate Cake. If you go there and are overwhelmed with choices, go with this. You won’t regret it.

After lunch, we made our way over to the Hendricks County Historical Museum & Old County Jail, which is just off the square. For someone like me who loves history, this was a wonderful stop to incorporate into our day. It was built in 1866 and used as a jail all the way up until 1974. You can go into the old jail cells (two on the female side and four on the male side) and tour the sheriff’s home.

An exhibit has information and artifacts from when Central Normal College existed (later Canterbury College). There’s also a temporary chronological exhibit about music and musicians, featuring many Hoosier hitmakers.

After the visit, I took a breezy little walk around the square, where I was reminded that there is a nostalgic old movie theater. The historic Danville Royal Theater dates back to the early 1900s and shows current movies for just $5 a ticket.

It was then getting close to dinner time, so we decided to eat before we headed back home. A place in the nearby town of North Salem had been recommend to me and I am so glad we took time to visit. I chatted for a few minutes with Damiano Perillo, owner of Perillo’s Pizzeria. He’s a native of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The food is authentic and almost all of it is made fresh daily, including their garlic rolls, marinara and alfredo sauces. The New York-style pizzas are perfection.

They even have a nearby garden where they grow many of the fresh vegetables and herbs used in their dishes. They have gluten free pastas, too, and the lady at the next table had some and was raving about it. We also tried the homemade Sicilian cannoli and the limoncello flute, and trust me when I say to definitely not skip dessert.

There was one last food stop. Although we had just eaten, I realized we’d be driving right by Rusted Silo Southern BBQ & Brewhouse in Lizton and just couldn’t pass it up. I made my husband pull in and pick up some food to go. We got the brisket and their house made pimento cheese, chorizo ​​and kielbasa and took it home. I was introduced to it last fall and there is a reason they have been voted Best BBQ in the Indy area four years in a row. I loved hearing about how this eatery located next to a railroad literally stops trains in their tracks to get food from this award-winning BBQ joint.

All three of these places — The Bread Basket, Perillo’s Pizzeria and Rusted Silo are ones that you should absolutely include in your itinerary if you happen to be in the Indianapolis area.

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