Friday, February 6, 2009

My Grain Guru

Meet Kara Bagley, my Grain Guru.

She's a pretty fabulous lady. And guess what--She is reforming this girl who is always nervous to cook, for fear of it A). Not being healthy enough or B). Not tasting good. One simple lesson with Kara, and my kitchen phobia got tossed out the window. I'm gettin' educated, folks! I have a long way to go, but she has gotten me on the path and I'm so excited to nourish my family with great tasting food: ) Check out her food blog at Good Lookin' Cook.
Take it away, Kara...
Kara's colorful pantry
I am a corn-fed Midwestern girl who grew up in Eastern Iowa, a big farming community. I mention the corn because that was the only whole grain I was offered in my youth. Our meals were centered around meat and white bread. When I moved out to Arizona in my early adult years, I lived on Pasta Roni until I discovered the wonderful world of grains from Chef Brad. Starting little by little I was able to rework my favorite recipes to include whole grains and nutrition without sacrificing flavor. Now I have totally renovated my pantry and cook with whole grains everyday.

A whole grain is made up of three layers; bran (mostly fiber, some nutrients), germ (good fats, lots of nutrients and some fiber) and endosperm (mostly carbohydrates some protein). These three parts work together for optimal health benefits. Germ is the part left out most often. Notice the "healthy" boxes of cold cereal have a good amount of fiber, but when you read the ingredient label you will find it is not 100 percent whole grain and mostly just bran. White flour is ground from wheat stripped of its bran and germ which leaves us with minimal nutrition.

Getting started with whole grains can be overwhelming because there is so much unknown, but anyone can have success by taking it one grain at a time. I have great passion in teaching others how to use these whole grains in tasty ways. I love the inspiration I get from others in the kitchen. We all want to be healthier and feel better. We are told to eat more whole grains but many of us are lost by that instruction alone. Being a variety girl, I've gone past the corn, wheat and rice where there is a whole spectrum of goodness to be found.

Check my blog for my weekly "One Grain at a Time" posts where I will dish the most valuable information, grain by grain.


Emily Ruth said...

Thanks again, for being so cool to me. For everyone else, Kara was so chill and nonjudgemental about my lack of skills. She didn't blink an eye when I asked how to properly cut an onion--and proceeded to slice my finger. The woman has mad cooking skills and serious patience. A great combination for a teacher: )

Kara said...

You are too kind. Seriously, such a pleasure to have my kitchen graced with your good natured will to learn. And a toughie too, I whine like a baby when I cut myself (yes, it happens to the best of us) and you "can't even feel it."