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September is Whole Grains Month, and we’re throwing a big delicious party in their honor!  
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September is Whole Grains Month, and we’re throwing a big delicious party in their honor!  Honestly, we are HUGE fans of these hard working little ingredients.  Forget Bieber Fever, we’re burning for bulgur, fired up about farro, melting for millet, and screaming for spelt.  Go ahead and laugh; we’re kind of nerdy that way.  This is Food Friendzy, after all.  We are so crazy about whole grains that we even made them one of the four major groups of ingredients our team of registered dietitians looks for in Healthy Dining menu choices. 

Here are 3 reasons everyone should be celebrating whole grains this (and every) month:

  • Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition – B vitamins, magnesium, iron, fiber and more can all be found in whole grains, which make them a great option for getting our essential nutrients.  And add to that: they take longer for the body to digest, and they help to keep blood sugar steady, which may be a plus for weight loss, avoiding cravings and maintaining energy.  Start your day with an old favorite like Oats, along with healthy and satisfying nuts, sweet fruit and a touch of cinnamon and milk.  Throughout the day, go for an unexpected grain like Millet or Quinoa in salads and sides and whole grain pastas and breads for lunch, dinner and snacks.
  • They go with EVERYTHING – Fruit, veggies, meats, seafood, herbs and spices – breakfast to dinner and beyond (snack, anyone?), appetizer to dessert – you name it, and there’s a tasty way to enjoy whole grains with it.  It may take some time to find your favorite pairings, but don’t be afraid to mix and match grains with a variety of other ingredients for delicious goodness all day long.  Get started with recipes like these from the Whole Grains Council: Simple Spelt Pancakes, Bulgur Burgers, Roast Chicken with Fruit-Studded Wheat Berries, Thai Barley Stir-Fry, and Molasses Sorghum Cookies.
  • Whole grains are easy on the budget – You get so much more bang for your buck with these nutrition powerhouses.  They can be used in place of higher cost ingredients like meats, and because they pack so much nutrition and fiber, you may be less inclined to overeat at or in between meals.  Think how much you could save by avoiding that office vending machine!  Find more tips for cooking with these budget-friendly ingredients here.

How can you spend more one-on-one time with these nutrition superstars this month?  Get started with more recipes from the Whole Grains Council or take advantage of the culinary creativity of a participating Healthy Dining restaurant near you.  Here are some tasty choices to tempt you:

Charred Tomato Pasta at bd's Mongolian Grill
(370 calories, 7 g fat, 520 mg sodium)
Located in CO, FL, IL, IN, KS, KY, MD, MI, MN, MO, OH, VA, WI

California Veggie Sandwich at Boudin Café
(560 calories, 23 g fat)
Located in CA

Turkey Sandwich with Fruit at Discovery Cove
(495 calories, 5 g fat)
Located in Orlando, FL

Chicken Fajita Pita at Jack in the Box
(320 calories, 11 g fat)
Located nationwide

Tabbouleh at Pasha's
(180 calories, 17 g fat)
Located in FL

Light Steak Fajita Pita at Pita Pit
(420 calories, 14 g fat)
Located nationwide

Founder's Pie on Multi-Grain Crust (2 Slices of a Large Pizza) at Pizza Fusion
(480 calories, 21 g fat)
Located in CO, FL, NJ, NC, OH

Nine Grain Turkey Spinach Sandwich at SeaWorld San Antonio
(650 calories, 15 g fat)
Located in San Antonio, TX

Quinoa Salad at Zoes Kitchen
(530 calories, 20 g fat)
Located in AL, AZ, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, NC, NJ, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA

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