Grief is a sacred journey

Whole Grain Cooking

Whole Grain Breads

Wheat growing, yet to be harvested and milled into flour for baking whole-grain breadI bake bread in a bread machine. The machine cost around $150 and paid for itself in inexpensive 2 lb loaves in 6 months. Good quality breads with whole grains and no hydrogenated oils are expensive, and often a little stale because they don’t have a long shelf life. Of course, you can make bread the old-fashioned way – I did that for years but it takes lots of time and my loaves tended to be crumbly. The machine bread holds together better than the old-fashioned way because it’s kneaded for 20 minutes. The texture is excellent, the taste is superb, I can manipulate ingredients like oil, salt, and sweetener, and I always have a fresh loaf in 2 hours with 5 minutes of effort — all for less than half the price of comparable quality bread from a bakery or market.

Whole Wheat Bread (in a bread machine): This is a refinement of the Zojushri quick yeast whole wheat recipe with less salt and sweetener. Follow their basic instructions. The loaves from this machine are large–2 lbs–and the bread stays fresh about 3-4 days because it has no hydrogenated oils. I cool the loaf, cut it in half, and freeze half in a plastic bag. Store the other half in an airtight container at room temperature

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1-2 Tablespoons honey or molasses
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cups stone ground whole wheat flour (organic is inexpensive at most health food markets)
  • 4 Tablespoons wheat gluten (in bulk at health food markets)
  • 2 – 2 1/2 tsp. quick yeast or 1 package

Rye Bread (in the bread machine): Follow instructions for whole wheat.

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup whole rye flour
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 Tablespoons wheat gluten
  • 2 1/2 to 3 tsp. quick yeast

Whole Grain Breakfast Cereals

Seven grain cereal, nine grain cereal, steel cut oats, cracked wheat, or a mix of grains you choose: it’s a great way to start the day. Try adding flax or sesame seeds. These cereals are available in bulk at health food stores, and they’re often organic. I find the mixes with soy beans indigestible, but you may not have any trouble with them. I cook a double recipe of cereal in a big pot and store it in the refrigerator. Then I take a portion, add a little water, and heat in the microwave for a quick breakfast.

  • 1 cup of cracked or steel-cut cereal
  • 1 handful of raisins
  • 3-4 cups liquid–skim milk, soy milk, and water
  • 1 Tablespoon flax seeds (optional)

Bring liquid to a boil. Add grain slowly while stirring. Add raisins. Bring to a slow boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Turn off heat and let mix sit until it cools and grains have absorbed liquid. For breakfast, add a little water and heat on stove or in microwave. Eat plain or with a little maple syrup or brown sugar.

My Favorite Oatmeal

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 4 cups skim milk, soy milk, and/or water
  • 1 ripe banana, pureed or chopped
  • 1 handful raisins

Mix oats and raisins with cold liquid to prevent lumps. Add banana and raisins and stir frequently at a low simmer. Cook 5 minutes and serve, or turn off heat as soon as cereal boils and let the grains sit to absorb the water. Store unused cereal in the refrigerator in an airtight container.  For breakfast, add a little water to the amount you want and heat on stove or in microwave. Eat plain or with a little maple syrup or brown sugar.