It’s no secret that I love whole grains. They are healthy & delicious, with a wonderful chewy texture and a nuttier, fuller flavor than refined grains. They have tons of nutrients and fiber. And in moderation, they help to round out most meals.
So when I was selected to be a Whole Grain Ambassador for Whole Grains Sampling Day this Wednesday (April 3), I couldn’t have been more excited! I thought it would be a great opportunity to share some fun facts and recipes using whole grains, as well as a brand new (and really awesome) giveaway including over 15 whole grain products.
But what exactly is a whole grain?
When grains grow in the fields, they have three edible parts: the outer bran layers which are rich in fiber and B vitamins; the germ – full of antioxidants, and the starchy endosperm. If the bran and germ (the healthiest parts) are removed, the grain is said to be “refined.” Refined grains are missing about 2/3 of many essential nutrients. Those refined grains are then “enriched” – but this only returns about 5 of the missing nutrients. (So when you see “enriched wheat flour” on a food label, that’s refined wheat – not a whole grain).
A whole grain is when all three of these parts: bran, germ and endosperm are present in their original proportion in the grain (which still applies if the whole grain has been ground into flour or rolled into flakes).
Here are some more fun facts about Whole Grains:
Source: www.wholegrainscouncil.org
 Most whole grains are also glutenfree including: corn, rice, oats (when processed in a glutenfree facility — look for certified glutenfree oats), wild rice, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, sorghum, teff
 Corn has almost twice the antioxidant activity of apples, while wheat and oats almost equal broccoli and spinach in healthprotective antioxidant activity
 Refining wheat removes half or more of the wide range of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients – including 78% of it’s fiber
 Eating an average of 2.5 servings of whole grain foods each day can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease by almost one quarter
 Japanese soba noodles, Russian kasha, and crepes from Brittany in France all have one thing in common: they are all made with buckwheat
 Brown rice is not the only whole grain rice. Whole grain rice can also be black, purple, red, or any of a variety of exotic hues
 Whole white flour is made from an albino strain of wheat, and has the nutrition of traditional whole wheat flout – but with a lighter color and milder flavor
 Switching from refined grains to whole grains helps acne to “improve dramatically” according to Australian research
 Three servings a day of whole grains cuts blood pressure, reducing stroke risk by 15 – 20%, according to a 2010 study from Scotland
 Sprouting grains increases many grains’ key ingredients, including B vitamins, Vitamin C, folate, and fiber
I was like a kid in a candy store when I received my whole grain box.
How awesome does that look? One lucky reader will win the exact same box, courtesy of Whole Grain Sampling Day! This box includes over 15 whole grain products and a free tshirt – including:
 Evan’s Heavenly Spelt Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Mix from Among Friends Hand Crafted Baking Mixes

Gluten Free Muesli from Bob’s Red Mill

Mestemacher Rye Bread with Muesli from Carl Brandt

Organic Triple Seed Crispbread from Engine 2 Plant Strong
 Whole Grain Freekeh (Fire roasted Young Green Wheat) from Freekehlicious
 Wheat Berry Chili Mix from Frontier Soups

Goose Valley Natural Products  Brown & Wild Rice Fusion

Mini Double Chocolate Chip Cookies from Home Free Treats

Nabisco Original Wheat Thins and Sea Salt/Black Pepper Brown Rice Triscuits

Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookie Mix from Pamela’s Products
 Sweat and Spicy & Sea Salt flavored rice chips from Real McCoy’s (these are gluten free as well)
 Tasty Bite Garlic Brown Rice
 Upfront Nutty Granola With Pecans and Almonds
 Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips from Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks
Now the important part –
To Enter: You can enter in one of five ways (each option below counts as a separate entry):
 Subscribe to The Picky Eater via RSS or via email
 Follow me on Twitter (@pickyeaterblog)
 Like The Picky Eater on Facebook
 Follow me on Pinterest
 Sign up for my free, monthly newsletter (it has healthy recipes and tips – no annoying ads plus you’ll get a free healthy meal plan when you sign up!)
Then post a comment here for each option above that you chose.
This giveaway will be open until Sunday, April 14th at 11:59pm PST. I’ll be selecting the winner at random (via random.org) and will contact them via email. I’ll be announcing the winner in the comments of this post on Monday, April 15th.
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Hi everyone! I just wanted to let all of you know that Jess C has won this giveaway!! Congrats Jess! The folks at the Whole Grain Council will be contacting you soon to coordinate shipping your box of whole grain goodies. Thanks to everyone who entered – stay tuned for another giveaway coming soon!
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