The Health Benefits of Wheat
You may remember the old Total-TM commercials “How many bowls of your cereal would it take to equal one bowl of Total-TM?” Studies were made by Utah State University which indicated it takes nearly ten slices of white bread to equal the nutrition found in one slice of whole-wheat bread. So you can see the health benefits of eating wheat regularly (and not just in emergencies) add up!
Wheat is packed with vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, processing to refine and produce white flour removes most of these valuable nutrients! White bread flour is ground from the endosperm which is mostly starch. Wheat kernels have three main divisions, the bran, the starchy endosperm, and the inner embryo or wheat germ. Many essential nutrients are removed when the endosperm layer is separated from the other two. The bran layer makes up 14 % of the wheat kernel. This portion is removed when producing white flour. It is high in B vitamins. These vitamins serve your nervous system. The bran is also packed with other essential nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, iron, fluorine, iodine, etc. Vitamin C levels increase when the wheat is sprouted. Wheat bran also happens to be the best source of dietary fiber. High fiber diets aid digestion and helps ward off disease. In the germ, we find once again the top vitamin and protein content exhibited by the bran. It is also an invaluable source of Vitamin E which is essential to skin resilience and suppleness. So finding ways to put whole wheat back into your diet makes sense. It is the staff of life.
As you begin to use wheat regularly, you may be surprised by its versatility! Not only can you make bread, cereals, and thickening agents but delicious, nutritious desserts as well. And, because of wheat’s protein content and texture, corn can even be used as a meat substitute. As you start feeding your family meals containing wheat they’ll soon discover that grain’s a treat!
What do I do with all this Wheat?
You look at your food storage, and there are cans of wheat, bags of grain, and buckets of grain. Why is corn so important? This staple grain, which serves as a foundation food for almost 50% of the world’s population, boasts several vital nutrients. They include B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, and other minerals. Freshly ground flour is high in the antioxidant vitamin E, which nourishes the heart and immune system, among other vital functions.
Wheat is a very versatile food. It can be cracked, sprouted, ground into flour, and even grown as wheat grass, which is very therapeutic and helps the body neutralize toxins. When combined with beans or legumes, wheat dishes can supply the complete spectrum of necessary amino acids–replacing the need for animal proteins in the diet. Grain and legume-based meals provide the fiber needed for intestinal health, without the fats, growth hormones, antibiotics, and other undesirable elements found in today’s animal products. No wonder what has been dubbed “the staff of life.”
Anyone who invests in wheat as part of their storage program should also invest in a grinder, preferably both the quick electric versions and the cheaper hand mill, which can be used with just hand power. This way you can make bread, cookies, waffles, etc., (providing you also have a source of heat for baking). Grinders even crack wheat for good morning “mush.” Hard red winter wheat is higher in the protein gluten and is best for making pieces of bread and rolls. The softer white spring wheat is excellent for pastries, cakes, etc.
The following are just a few examples of fun and delicious ways to use your food storage wheat. Why wait for a rainy day? Buy some extra grain and experiment now!
RECIPES – Sprouts
Cover wheat kernels with water and soak for 8 hours, rinsing three times each day. Follow this program, and in 3 weeks you will have super nutritious sprouts. Add wheat sprouts to salads, stews, baked products and even pancakes, for a chewy and tasty change to your regular recipes.
Cracked Wheat Cereal
- 1 c. cracked wheat
- 4 c. boiling water
- 1 t. salt (optional)
Add wheat gradually to boiling water so that the water continues to boil. Cover pan and turn the flame down until grain barely simmers. Then gently simmer 25 to 30 minutes. Stirring is necessary.*
- 6 c. whole wheat flour
- One _ c. Brown sugar
- 1 t. salt
- 2 c. buttermilk
- 1 t. soda
Mix and press or roll onto two cookies sheets and bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour, or until dry. Grind with a meat grinder to the size of grape nuts and in the oven at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 8 minutes. After grinding, the crumbs may be sifted from the cereal. Use the bits in place of crackers to make a crust.*
Wheat Sprout Patties
- 2 C. wheat sprouts
- One egg, slightly beaten
- 2 T. minced onion
- 2 T. minced green pepper
- 2 T. chopped mushrooms
- Butter or oil
- Celery salt
Grind sprouts; add egg and vegetables. Mix well. In a skillet, heat butter, spoon sprout mixture in and press with the back of a spoon to form patties no more than 1/2 inch thick. Cook for 2 minutes on each side over medium heat until lightly browned. Sprinkle with celery salt. Serves 4.*
Whole Wheat Brownies
3/4 C + melted shortening or vegetable oil
2 C Sugar
1 C applesauce
Two tsp vanilla
Combine dry ingredients and add to the wet mixture above.
2 C + whole wheat flour
One tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 C cocoa
Grease 13″ x 9″ pan and pour in batter. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes.
You can also add chocolate chunks, fruit, or nuts for variety!