Grains! Grains! Grains

Why we need them as well as some tasty ways to make them

What are grains?

Grains are the seeds of a plant. We can harvest these seeds from plants such as wheat, corn, rice, soybeans, oats, barley, and many more! Once we harvest the grains, they are ground into flour so we can make our favorite foods such as breads, cereals, and pasta.
How Much Do We Need?
According to the current food guide, My Plate, we need approximately 6-8 servings of grain products per day. This amount depends on a variety of factors such as: your gender, your age, and your activity level. My plate also recommends that half of your grains be whole grains. What does this mean?
How Much is One Serving?
An example of a serving could be:
  • 1 slice of Bread
  • 1 cup of cereal
  • 1/2 cup of cooked rice

A Tasty Granola Treat

Below is a recipe for an easy to make granola bar. Can you identify the whole grain items?

2 cups puffed brown rice cereal (unsweetened)
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried fruit, chopped
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown rice syrup or 1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chip (optional)

1 Combine cereal, oats, nuts, seeds, coconut and fruit in a large mixing bowl.
2 Heat the peanut butter, syrup, and vanilla in a small sauce pan until warm. Do not boil.
3 Pour the peanut butter mixture over the cereal mixture. Mix well while syrup is still warm. I use my hands as they are the best tool for this mixing job!
4 Pour mixture into a 9x13 pan.
5 Pack the mixture down firmly with moist fingers or the bottom of another 9x13 pan sprayed with cooking spray.
6 The chocolate lover should sprinkle on the mini chocolate chips at this point and press them in firmly.
7 Cover with plastic wrap.
8 Cool completely.
9 Cut into 24 bars.
10 Wrap individually and store in fridge.