From The Nutritionist

Nutritionist Alexandria Hast
Guest Author
Alexandria Hast, Ph.D., R.D.
Rao Vadlamani
Guest Author
Rao Vadlamani, Ph.D.

Oh, The Greatness of Whole Grains

September is Whole Grains Month and it's the perfect time for you to try a new grain or to meet your goal to eat more whole grains. Whole grains are an essential part of a healthy diet and are packed with valuable vitamins and minerals. In fact, consuming whole grains may help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes and is associated with a lower body weight. Even with all these health benefits, according to the Dietary Guidelines, 95% of Americans are still not consuming enough whole grains.

This month, we sat down with two of Campbell's grain scientists, Rao Vadlamani and Kouassi Kouakou, to learn more about whole grains and here's what they had to say:

What are Whole Grains?
Before you start making any dietary changes, it is important to understand what whole grains are. Many people think that the terms "whole grain" and "fiber" are interchangeable, but in fact, they are two very different things. Whole grains are an ingredient and fiber is a component found in whole grains.

A whole grain (or kernel) is made up of the germ, the endosperm and the bran. The germ is the small core of the kernel and contains B-vitamins, Vitamin E, and the healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids; the endosperm (the middle portion) is starchy and a source of proteins, B-vitamins and minerals; and finally, the bran (the outer-layer) is made up of fiber, B-vitamins and minerals and protects the kernel. Often, the bran and germ are removed through a milling process to provide a finer texture to the final product and to improve shelf life. The result is a refined grain that, consequently, has most of the fiber and many of the vitamins and minerals removed. Generally, iron and certain B-vitamins are added back to the grain after processing. This final product is an enriched grain, which is the most common form of grain consumed in the United States.. Wheat flour and white rice are common examples of enriched grains.

Interesting Whole Grain Facts
Did you know there are well over 15 varieties of whole grains? Some whole grains are even gluten free! Some of the more common gluten-containing whole grains include wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten free grains include many of the ancient grains like sorghum, millet, buckwheat, quinoa, teff, amaranth and chia. Although there is no official definition of ancient grains, they are most commonly regarded as grains or seeds that remain true to their original genetic form, untouched by plant science. They are higher in nutrients than other grains (wheat, corn and rice), have more unique flavors and textures and are gluten free.

Part of what is so interesting about whole grains is that they are all unique with varying proportions of fiber and nutrients, and different flavors and textures. Let's look at a few examples:

Amaranth – is one of the few grains that is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids, including lysine, the amino acid missing in most other grains. One-half cup of cooked amaranth, provides 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 14% the daily value for iron.

Quinoa – is also a complete protein, but only has 60% of the iron that is found in amaranth. One-half cup of cooked quinoa provides 4 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 8% the daily value for iron.

Buckwheat – is actually a botanical cousin of rhubarb but is included in the family of grains for its nutrient content, nutty flavor and appearance. It's also the only grain with high levels of the antioxidant rutin. One-half cup of cooked buckwheat contains 11% of the daily value for magnesium and 80 calories, which is less than the 110 calories typically found in a ½ cup serving of other cooked grains.

Millet – is largely produced in India where it is used as the staple grain in their flat bread called roti. China and Africa follow India as top producers of the grain. In Africa, millet is consumed as porridge as well as for brewing millet beer. In the United States, millet is most often imported for use in birdseed and animal feed but is gaining recognition for use as a nutritious grain ingredient.

Are You Getting Enough?
Most Americans should be consuming about 3 ounce-equivalents of whole grains per day, or 48 grams of whole grain. The easiest way to meet the whole grain recommendation is to eat foods that are 100% whole grain. You can also meet the recommendation by consuming foods that contain at least 51% whole-grain ingredients or are labeled Whole Grain Rich. The front of food packages will often tell you how much whole grain is in the product. Whole grain products are also identified by the whole grain stamp. To help keep track of your whole grain intake, remember that a one- ounce equivalent of whole grain equals 16 grams. Read more about whole grains in the Dietary Guidelines by clicking here.

How Campbell Can Help
Start your whole grain journey today! Whether it's trying a new whole grain or eating more of the grains you enjoy, Campbell has a variety of whole grain options to help you meet your goals.

Find a new favorite sandwich bread by trying one of our Pepperidge Farm® 100% Whole Wheat or Whole Grain breads – many of which provide a 1-oz equivalent or 16 grams of whole grain per slice. You can also trade in your usual sandwich and try one of these whole grain inspired recipes!

Make snack time count and try our Baked Naturals® Simply Cheddar Multigrain cracker chips which provide a 1-oz equivalent of whole grain and 130 calories per serving. Click here for a full list of Campbell products that provide whole grains.

Have a Happy Whole Grains Month!
Alexandria, Rao, and Kouassi


Alexandria Hast, Ph.D., RD
Alexandria received her Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the Pennsylvania State University. Her research investigated the effects of protein, energy density, and portion size on satiety and energy intake, and her work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals. She also obtained her Bachelor's degree from Penn State and completed a combined internship and Master's degree program at University Hospitals and Case University in Cleveland, Ohio. Alex has several years of experience as a clinical dietitian and is a member of the American Society for Nutrition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Pennsylvania Dietetic Association.

Rao Vadlamani, Ph.D.
Rao is a Sr. Scientist in Campbell's Ingredient Research and Application (CIRA) and leads the Global Grains Program. He has over 15 years of experience in food product development in the areas of nutritional beverages, baked snacks, and functional foods. Rao earned his B. S degree in Dairy Technology from Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University (APAU), M.S. degree in Food Science from Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), and Ph.D. in Grain Science from Kansas State University.

Kouassi L. Kouakou, Ph.D.
Kouassi received his B.Sc. degree in Biochemistry at the University of Abidjan, his M.Sc. in Food Science and Ph.D. in Cereal Chemistry both from Kansas State University. He has been an active member of the American Association of Cereal Chemists since 1989. Prior to Campbell Soup, he had 8 years experience in the flour milling and pasta manufacturing industries. At Campbell Soup, Kouassi is the lead ingredient specialist for pasta and eggs with national and global responsibilities while providing a supporting role in the grain and flour programs. Kouassi is a Sr. Technologist in the Campbell Ingredient Research and Application group.

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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.