Share the Whole Grain Wealth

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Pantries in the United States are blessed. We have so many types of whole grains and seeds to cook and bake. An excellent new resource includes the ingredient pages with images and descriptions of ancient and specialty wheats, corn, grains and seeds found at PanhandleMilling.com. Baking formulations are also being added by Chef Stephanie Petersen for a plethora of savory and sweet biscuits, tortillas and breads.

The health benefits of making at least half of the grain foods eaten every day “whole grain” are many.  The WholeGrainsCouncil.org offers teaching resources and infographics to illustrate what “whole grain” is and how to recognize whole grain foods using the foods label and with their Whole Grain Stamp.  The many benefits of eating cooked whole grains and baking with whole grain flours, rolled grains or meal are illustrated using their infographic.

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Another helpful guide to define what grains are “ancient,” and what are “pseudo” is Ancient Wheat and Pseudo Grain prepared by the Wheat Foods Council.

 Cooking and baking with whole grains, the flour and meal produced from them can be fun as well as challenging. In baking, if too much non-wheat grain is substituted, results may be disappointing.  Access Baking with Whole Wheat Flour 101,  and make a note:  Almost any recipe that is already great could be baked with a mixture of non-wheat whole grain flours or meal if it is no more the ¼ or 25% of the flour in the recipe.

  • Example: A pancake recipe calls for 2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour—you can use 1 ½ cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour plus ½ cup of a multi-grain mixture like cornmeal, flax meal, oatmeal, sorghum, spelt or other flours

The Home Baking Association members include many historic, regional mills. Stone-Buhr Flour buys regionally and mills soft Pacific Northwest Wheat, ideal for flat breads, crackers, Asian noodles and pastries. Bake your own whole grain cracker to celebrate whole grain month.

Bake your grand finale to September by choosing another historic flour to bake whole wheat biscuit whole grain, biscuit and breakfast celebrations.

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Biscuit Bonanza

“Biscuit Month” has come again and brings to mind a life-long challenge for me—to bake a really great biscuit.  Is it because I was born in northern Iowa that I am biscuit-challenged?  Lack of success is not for lack of trying.  For anyone else who’d love to improve their biscuit baking skills, I’m trying these remedial steps for improvements:

  1. Start with the right wheat flour from the six classes of Wheat and Flour 101 Flour used in biscuit baking should be “softer,” (lower in the flour proteins called gluten). Famously good biscuit bakers also bake with self-rising, all-purpose, and for whole grain biscuits, whole white wheat.
  2. Learn the difference in leavening commonly used in biscuit baking, baking powder and baking soda, and use the correct one. What’s the difference between Baking Soda and Baking Powder?
  3. Entrust your efforts to test kitchens that know biscuits, Crisco Baking Powder Biscuit.

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Include one of the longest sources of soft wheat flour milling for biscuits, Southern Biscuit flour.  If these brands are not available near you, find a self-rising flour for starters.

  1. Watch a pro–fifth generation milling CEO and biscuit baker–Robert Harper. Robert will share his best family biscuit favorites from Hopkinsville, Kentucky as he prepares Cinnamon Biscuits at www.sunflourflour.com
  2. Finally, the best way to groove what you know is to share it—teach it. A ready-to-go lesson, Explore Biscuit History and Traditions, available from those who’ve produced the baking powder to leaven biscuits for over 150 years. Buttery Breakfast Biscuit lesson.

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Keep in mind, the biscuit should be served with butter!  Explore a whole flight of deliciousness, sweet or savory here!

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Tweet Yourself to a Better Breakfast: Celebrate Better Breakfast Month

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If you’re on the run like most, consider tweeting the links below to yourself and friends. This wealth of great breakfast bootie is meant to be shared, partly because making your own breakfast will save you cash.

My top three picks this fall include:

1. DIY breakfasts have saved me at least $16,000 to-date. (Yes we do eat breakfast out too.) Biscuits, muffins and pancakes are just three options for home baking savings while serving breakfast at home.

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2. Leftover slices of pizza or quiche make great grab-and- go breakfast. Beginner breakfast pizzas can be made in 20 minutes. Keep on adding your savings. Indie servings like these at your favorite coffee stop cost about $5.

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3. The masters of overnight breakfasts have grasped the issues. Getting up to Peaches and Cream slow-cooked steel-cut oats or Chai Buckwheat Groats lets you sleep a little longer if you prep the night before.

Finally, you will never go wrong with a freezer that contains a good Pumpkin muffin. Add some great Energy Bars or Whole Grain Jam Bars, both packed with essential nutrients, flavor, and you too can save a grand or ten over time.

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Septermber Baking Events Calendar

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Have you discovered, only much too late, interesting national observances that might be beneficial to your classroom lesson plans and community programs? For example, did you know September 17th is Apple Dumpling Day? You don’t have to be in the dark any longer. The Home Baking Association regularly compiles these interesting events and celebrations for your convenience. Download our Quarter 3 PDF here!

1: Lazy Mom’s Day

2: Macadamia Nut Day

4: Labor Day

5: Cheese Pizza Day

6: Coffee Ice Cream Day

Read-A-Book Day

7: Beer (Bread) Lover’s Day

9: Teddy Bear Day

10: Grandparent’s Day

11: Hot Cross Bun Day

13: Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day

14: Cream-filled Donut Day

16: Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day

Boys & Girls Club Day for Kids

17: Apple Dumpling Day

19: Butterscotch Pudding Day

20-22: Rosh Hashanah

21: World Gratitude Day

Pecan Cookie Day

22: Ice Cream Cone Day

23: Great American Pot Pie Day

26: Pancake Day

      Johnny Appleseed Day

Dumpling Day

29: Coffee Day

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A Month for Sandwiches, Family Fun and Peaches!

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August puts the “wrap” on summer and the soft-opening of fall. Is that why someone deemed it National Sandwich Month?  People are still planning summer Family Fun at the same time they’re back-to-school shopping!  In honor of both summer and fall, the sandwiches could be the ice cream variety or the lunch-box specials kids can look forward to in school.

montaguFor one of the most popular meal delivery systems in America, let’s take a minute for sandwich history. “The bread-enclosed convenience food known as the “sandwich” is attributed to John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792), a British statesman and notorious profligate and gambler, who is said to be the inventor of this type of food so that he would not have to leave his gaming table to take supper.”

Source, World Wide Web, 7/1/17 Foodtimeline.org

The best sandwiches begin with great bread. There are sandwich breads for everyone’s taste, including Gluten-Free Paleo! There’s the basics– Whole Wheat and White Buns and gourmet Asiago Herb Hoagies or choose from the winning bakers at nationalfestivalofbreads.com.

Get Peachy

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lazy_daisyPeaches are the perfect fruit to celebrate for a month.  It seems like there’s a new peach variety coming into our local market every couple weeks. Peaches are the longest running fruit of summer, taking us from June to Labor Day! Check out these remarkable peach recipes from HBA’s members:

 

 

 

By the 2nd week of August, peaches give the nod to Apple Week. Try recipes to enjoy for breakfast like the Apple Cinnamon Rolls or wrap a slice of Spiced Apple Bundt Cake to make the trek back-to-school a little sweeter for your kids.

Bake for Service Learning: Host a Home Room Parent Party,

complete with Baking Crafts and Activities to build relationships AND benefit the classroom.

  1. Bake Vanilla or Chocolate cupcakes and frost with plain icing.
  2. Create designer Rainbow Sugars for signature cupcake décor.
  3. Get stepping. Showcase and sell the cupcakes via a Cake Walk.
  4. Ask the teacher what she’s needing for the classroom and contribute cake walk funds.

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Celebrate National Breakfast Month

September is National Breakfast Month

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If back to school means back to busy mornings at your house, don’t let the hectic rush force you to sacrifice breakfast. September is National Breakfast Month – a good time to commit to incorporating a smart morning meal into your family’s daily routine.

Make sure that breakfast is as healthy as it is tasty by including grains and protein as part of the meal. Grains are an important part of daily dietary needs; strive for two or three servings each morning to get a good start on the six servings you need each day. Protein means staying power: these foods will keep you and your kids feeling energized all morning long. Here are some tips to help ensure that your family gets a nutritious start to even the busiest of days:

  • Making a simple, healthy breakfast can be one of a young child’s first “I can do that!” moments in the kitchen. Set out two or three boxes of favorite cereals and teach your preschooler to pour it into a bowl. Use a small scoop or measuring cup to demonstrate portion size. Incorporate her participation into the morning routine, and before you know it, she really will be handling it by herself.
  • Teach kids the difference in the nutrition profile of cereal by using the “topping” method. Three-quarters of the bowl could be a whole grain, low-sugar cereal.
    Colored cereals or those with higher sugar content can be sprinkled lightly on top.
  • Use weekends wisely. If you’re whipping up pancakes or waffles one lazy Saturday morning, make an extra batch to be enjoyed during the week. Wrap in plastic, store in the refrigerator or freezer, and warm in the microwave or toaster when ready to eat.
  • For a fast, tasty start to the morning, nothing beats the simplicity of toast. Top with peanut, almond or cashew butter, or melted goat or feta cheese, for protein staying-power. A sprinkle of fresh herbs like chopped basil or sage, or a spice like ground ginger or cinnamon, adds important anti-oxidants.
  • Also easy: Toast an English muffin or bagel, and add a sliced hard-boiled egg, slice of ham, Swiss cheese or anything else you have on hand that appeals to your taste buds for a quick breakfast sandwich.
  • Absolutely no prep time? Open a box of whole wheat crackers, grab a banana or apple, and head out the door!
  • Kids will enjoy creating their own combinations of breakfast trail mix. Fill small plastic baggies with a mix of healthful, whole grain cereals, sunflower seeds, chopped almonds or walnuts and dried fruit. Keep a stash on hand to grab when eating in the car.
  • And finally: Get in the habit of taking 10 minutes before turning off the kitchen lights each night to set up for the next morning. Make sure that backpacks, homework and balls for after-school soccer practice are in place. Recharge your cell phone. Clear the kitchen counter. Little tasks like these take up valuable time on busy mornings; addressing them the night before will leave more time to focus on breakfast the next day

 

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Educator Award Winner Announced

Delaine Stendahl, a Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher from Whitehall, Wisconsin has won the 2016 Home Baking Association Educator Award contest with her entry The Power of Eggs.

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Each year the HBA has recognized outstanding educators with innovative programs for teaching kids of all ages to bake in communities and classrooms throughout the nation.  Family and consumer science educators and youth leaders for 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, Camp Fire USA and other after-school or community programs are encouraged to share their successful baking programs.

Charlene Patton, Executive Director Home Baking Association, says the association believes baking plays an important role in the development of healthy children that are socially and academically well-rounded.  Baking provides an opportunity to share family time and a joy of baking for others while learning life skills.

Math, science experiences, comparison shopping, examining the reaction of baking ingredients are all aspects of the baking process.

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Whole Grain Sampling Day

wgsd_fbbanner_0What if there were one day when, everywhere you went, there were opportunities to try delicious whole grain foods?

You’d stop into the cafeteria at your workplace, and you’d be offered a taste of quinoa salad. Your teenager would duck into a quick-serve restaurant, and they’d ask, “Would you like that on a whole grain wrap, instead of the usual bun?” In the park downtown, a food company would be passing out granola bars to joggers. At dinner, as you serve whole grain pasta to your family, your fourth-grader would report about the whole grain pizza in her school lunch.

That’s what happens every year on the last Wednesday in March, when the Whole Grains Council holds its annual Whole Grain Sampling Day.  Our goal is to have people everywhere saying, “That was great! Where have you been all my life?”

According to a 2014 survey by the International Food Information Council, 72% of consumers are seeking more whole grains. Whole Grains also feature strongly in the National Restaurant Association’s 2016 Culinary Forecast. This year, give customers what they’re looking for by celebrating Whole Grain Sampling Day!

More information here

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