Moving into the last of our whole grain special blog posts, this is a unique grain to the American market. Amaranth is technically a very tiny seed, but has similar nutrition to whole grains, including fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein. A gluten-free food, amaranth gives another quick-cooking option to those avoiding gluten.

Recipes may use amaranth cooked or popped (yes, similar to popcorn), and range from savory to sweet.

Barley is a whole-grain that has a chewy mouth-feel. High in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein, this grain adds heft and creaminess to recipes. Beef and barley soup might be a recipe you are familiar with, but we are using barley as a side dish in this blog special.

What is a food you never grew up eating, but now enjoy a lot as an adult? There are several for me, but just to name a few:  pears, asparagus, cauliflower, and kiwi. I have had strawberry-kiwi flavored drinks, but never a fresh kiwi until several years ago. I am so glad I tried kiwis, with their sweet, but a little sour, taste and little crunchy black seeds.

Nutrition

Welcome to the New Year!

Whole grains have been trendy for a number of years now. Along with barley, brown rice, oats, etc., there are recipes all around with different "new" whole grains too - like teff, amaranth, farro, etc. Quinoa (keen-wah) is a fairly new whole grain, but commonly available in stores, simple to cook with, and useable in a variety of recipes.

I remember applesauce and cinnamon as an end to many childhood meals and in my lunchbox for school. As an adult, I find it a quick-to-eat fruit and tend to cook more with applesauce. (Enjoy the brownie recipe with applesauce at the end of this post.)

Nutrition

A half cup of unsweetened applesauce contains around 50 calories, 15g carbohydrates, and 1g fiber, and contains vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium. Applesauce contain very little fat, sodium, and protein.

Bagels are one of my favorite bread-style foods. I enjoy their chewiness, which is different from the easy bite of a slice of sandwich bread. With many flavors and just as many topping and filling options, bagels are a versatile food for meals and snacks across the day. All those options also make bagels worth a nutrition discussion.

Nutrition

Whether ketchup or catsup, this is one popular condiment, with classic uses on French fries and hamburgers, and in sloppy joe recipes. What do you like ketchup with?

A basic ketchup recipe includes tomatoes, vinegar, spices, sugar, and salt. Other vegetables like onion and sweet or hot peppers may be added in some variations. Take notice of sugar and salt in this list of ingredients, as those are important to our discussion in this blog post.

Having had my share of bad peaches, I really enjoy savoring the sweet flavor of a wonderfully ripe peach. My luck these last few years has been great peaches from roadside stands and farmers markets. And if you do not enjoy the fuzzy skin, there are other ways you can enjoy a peach.

Nutrition

One medium peach contains around 60 calories, 15g carbohydrates, and 2g fiber, and contains vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Peaches contain very little fat, sodium, and protein.

I noticed a while back that my bottle of chili powder had an ingredient list. I never thought about chili powder being a blend of spices, but there it was for me to read. Many commercial blends of chili powder contain ground dry chiles, salt, garlic, and other spices like paprika, cumin, cayenne, oregano, etc.

Nutrition

Spices contain insignificant amounts of fat, carbohydrates, or protein for the small amounts we use in recipes, so they are not an appreciable source of calories.

Welcome to the next post in our whole grain series, this time highlighting bulgur wheat. Bulgur is a pre-cooked cracked wheat that is high in fiber, vitamin, minerals, and protein. Along with all these nutritional features, bulgur cooks quickly.

Often used in side salads, bulgur can also be used in cooked dishes like soups, chili, burgers, and even desserts. Also try bulgur in place of similar ingredients like rice or pasta for something different.

Our blog specials are back with a series on whole grains! But before grains, I want to talk about salsa verde – or green salsa.

Salsa verde is made from tomatillos and contains similar ingredients to tomato salsas. Tomatillos are small, green fruits with a tart taste. You will find them covered in a papery husk that peels away easily. They are different from green tomatoes, which are unripe tomatoes that have not changed color yet.

While you can buy salsa verde in bottles, I was surprised how easy it was to make. And tasty too!