Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ideal Bite Tip of the Day

Want a clearer picture of the rice- and wheat-alternative trend?

The Bite
Come out of the dark(room), and let this tip bring good-for-you-and-the-planet rice and wheat replacements amaranth, chia, quinoa, and spelt (once-crunchy-now-cool) into plain focus.

The Benefits
  • The eco-contrast. Examples: Spelt is naturally more resistant to disease and pests than wheat, so it grows with 1/3-less nitrogen fertilizer. Amaranth is often raised without irrigation (unlike water-hogs such as corn and rice).
  • Exposure to more nutrients. Fer instance, a serving of chia has about 16% of your average daily protein intake.
  • Projecting fewer allergic reactions. People allergic to gluten in wheat can opt for amaranth, chia, and quinoa. (Note: Spelt does contain gluten.)
  • Looking good for your glamour shots. Amaranth flour contains fewer carbs than its wheat equivalent.

Personally Speaking
Raised on Cream of Wheat, Toshio now prefers quinoa with raisins and walnuts sprinkled on top for breakfast.

Wanna Try?
  • Amaranth - has 30% more protein than other cereals. Try: Health Valley Cereal ($9/22 ounces).
  • Chia - grain with the highest proportion of heart-healthy omega-3s. Try: Ruth's Chia Goodness ($8/12 ounces).
  • Quinoa - bulgur-wheat alternative that like amaranth, has lots of protein and essential acids (keep your green cred by pronouncing it right: It's "keen-wah"). Try: Ancient Harvest Polenta ($26/216 ounces).
  • Spelt - also packs lotsa protein, making it a filling snack. Try: Vita-Spelt Sesame Sticks ($6/9.5 ounces).
  • Whole Foods - handy cooking instructions chart for all types of grains.

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