Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Battle of the Bulge: White Flour is Eeeeeevil

For one charming stage in my teenagehood, my digestive system was in painful knots every motzei Shabbos due to the white challah. Even now, after dutifully washing by a cousin's wedding and then again the next night by a sheva brachos, my stomach made its annoyance quite clear. I just can't consume the bleached stuff. 

If white flour is a main player in one's diet, I would respectfully suggest changing that. One of the benefits of whole wheat is, not only better nutrients, but higher fiber. Fiber = full. Full = less eating.  
One cereal that changed my life is Trader Joe's High Fiber Cereal.

In just 2/3 cup, there is 9 grams of fiber for just 80 calories. And the twigs don't taste too bad either. I add a little of Barbara's Shredded Oats or Shredded Spoonfuls (also available at Trader Joe's), which are also high fiber, for some flavor. 

The kinfauna LOVE the Barbara's Shredded Oats. The most unwilling eater will happily consume it. They call it "Lea's Favorite Cereal," and I never have to bribe them to have breakfast. Or dinner.

Costco carries wonderful whole wheat pitas and tortillas by Damascus Bakeries, 110 calories each and 7g of fiber. There is also this amazing multi-grain bread that is a whopping 150 calories a slice, so I am not going to recommend that (a sandwich, before the toppings, was already 300 calories).  

With whole wheat pasta one has to be a tad crafty. Look at the ingredients: "Enriched" is the word to avoid (it means that nutrients were stripped from the flour then added back. Ew). Make sure the pasta is made with whole wheat flour only; very often, even though the label says "whole-wheat," it could be a mere blend. The ingredients should say "100% whole wheat."

Kosher brands carry plenty of whole wheat options; I particularly like whole wheat macaroni. Whole wheat egg noodles for lukshen kugel is also a nice way to mix it up.
Alternate flours: I got into these because of my nephew with celiac disease; there are so many flours out there that are gluten-free and provide great amounts of fiber, like buckwheat (6g per 1/3 cup), white bean (8g per 1/4 cup! Say what? But it does have an aftertaste I can't stand), and corn (4g per1/4 cup).

I really like to use cornmeal (5g per 1/4 cup) and oat bran (6g per 1/3 cup) instead of standard bread crumbs. Like for shnitzel.

When making homemade challah, there are so many options in-store available for whole wheat flours; however, Ma gets hers from Canada, which experience has shown that the best whole wheat flour comes from there. If you have a friend living up north, have them get you a bag of Five Roses Whole Wheat Flour.


shhh said...

Thought you might find this interesting. We had a Shabbos guest from Toronto and she explained perhaps why "the best whole wheat flour comes from there".

"The most egregious example of how consumers are being misled is the use of the term “whole wheat.” In Canada, whole wheat is not much better than regular white flour. Under federal rules, up to 5 per cent of the wheat kernel – which translates to about 70 per cent of the germ, where the majority of nutrients, vitamins and healthy fats are found – can be removed and the resulting flour can still be called whole wheat. That means food manufacturers can label bread 100-per-cent whole wheat even if they have removed most of the nutrient-packed germ. (Because polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in the germ, removing it can help increase shelf life, which is why many manufacturers remove part of the kernel.)"-from

also see the second last paragraph here

Princess Lea said...

Aw, maaaaaan. There's that fantasy shot to hell. Now I have to break the news to Ma.

Thanks for the info!

shhh said...

yep, kinda a letdown, especially when you're aiming for the health benefits! sorry to be the bearer of bad news!

Princess Lea said...

Sigh. Time to crack out the gritty stuff, I guess.