Friday, March 25, 2011

Real Whole Grains



Many people are allergic to gluten these days and for some it is a serious life threatening condition. An article in an outstanding book called Farm Together Now, describes the cause as being mass-produced, refined wheat flour, depleted of all its nutritive value, making its way into our diet through a host of products.



I've noticed that my daughter always gets a cough after eating a lot of bread, cereal and pasta. So, In order to discover more creative ways to eat gluten-free, I decided to browse the aisles of my local Asian food market. In the process, several new food discoveries came to my attention. There were a bevy of different grains to choose from and in many different forms. I realized how easy it can be to eliminate gluten and still create varied and delicious meals. I will share with you some of my exciting finds. They are not all completely gluten free, but the wheat flour that some use is high-quality, whole grain. These Hakubaku Cha Soba Noodles are made with Green Tea and Buckwheat flour and are rich, tender and taste spectacular tossed with Toasted Sesame Oil, Braggs Liquid Aminos and lots of garlic.



I also found these Vietnamese Banh Pho Noodles and love to use them in a broth made with garlic, ginger, Nama Shoyu and hot pepper.




My daughter loves to use these Rice Paper Wraps to make spring rolls using cilantro, steamed shrimp and leftover rice noodles.



And here are some noodles not made with rice or wheat. They are Mung Bean Vermicelli and are really, super good. They are a lunch box favorite in our house.

I also found these gems and was reminded of a wonderful restaurant in Soho, NYC called Rice, which served up all types of lovely rice dishes. This is Black Rice and has the most pleasing texture and aroma.


Strangely, the picture on the cover is of white rice, but as you can see from a bowl of it, the rice is a deep, earthy black!


Try steaming it in Coconut Milk and add a little honey for an effortlessly delicious rice pudding.


Sweet Brown Rice and Millet are two other wonderful gluten free grains that I came across. The rice is nutty and aromatic and the Millet has a slight crunch like an al dente pasta.


Last but not least, the Organic Whole Barley is a true delight. Make a stew with it using mushrooms, carrots, celery, garlic, and ginger. It is such a wholesome comfort food, you can even make a breakfast cereal with it using agave, dates and chopped almonds.


Oh, and Japanese Sweet Potatoes! I spotted these and wondered how they differed from the ones I normally get. What a wonderful surprise. They are not a grain of course, but are so incredibly scrumptious that, lately, I can't get enough of them.

 
The flesh is white and oh so sweet, with a potato like texture.


I boiled them in a soup with curry, mint, basil, tamarind and coconut. So, so good...
 


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