Hi, my name is Brooke and I am in love with whole grains and I eat wheat. Wha’? Really? I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I have some of the pickiest eaters on the planet (admittedly I was one myself) and I will say it again, I EAT wheat based products even though it's not trendy. Oh, and it’s ok that I eat wheat.
But some cry out, “wheat is inflammatory, I can’t eat that!” “What about wheat allergies?” “We can’t eat wheat, it’s not what our caveman ancestors ate.”
Confusing swirling messages of inaccuracy that make us want to pull our hair out and scream.
We probably all know someone who had celiac and MUST not eat wheat based products. We all know someone who says they have wheat allergies, it’s real some people do. Back in the day, I had a boss who had a wheat allergy. When he ate wheat over the weekend we knew it because his skin would get all dandruff flaky like on his eyebrows. Totally fun to call his bluff with the eyebrow thing.
Wheat is inflammatory especially when you have celiac and you’re your gut rages an inflammatory response to gluten (a tiny protein in wheat) when it shows up. Yikes!
Wheat is also inflammatory when one has an allergy or intolerance. It’s not as severe as an individual with celiac but people still get upset stomachs, abdominal pain and just feel crummy.
Ok, now for the rest of us. We have been told by popular press that wheat is a terrible, horrible, no good very bad thing. Hold on now, I’m going to try to debunk something that has literally no marketing dollars behind it, no shareholders to please and I don’t get paid to endorse.
Wheat is ok. In fact it’s better than ok. BUT only if you are using WHOLE wheat and not it’s highly processed cousin white flour.
You want inflammatory? Eat a Twinkie, enjoy a box of Cheez-It’s, plow through a package of Oreo’s (isn’t it great that they don’t have trans-fats!!!!) Highly processed crap is inflammatory. It’s also loaded with sugar, preservatives (but they preserve the food for longer shelf life not your body from disease), artificial colors and artificial flavors.
Eating WHOLE grains do a few amazing things:
- Decrease risk of stroke
- Decrease risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Decrease risk of heart disease
- Better weight maintenance
- Decrease constipation
The WHOLE grain has antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. Its backwoods cousin, white flour, is required by law to have vitamins and minerals added back in to help people not get ridiculous diseases from vitamin deficiencies.
A few weeks ago, I posted about a 100% WHOLE grain Secret Breakfast Cookie that is so amazing, my kids eat it for breakfast. Today, I am posting a 100% WHOLE grain FLUFFY pancake recipe your pickies will swoon over.
Why? Because we need real foods made with whole ingredients that are delicious. We need real food that isn’t fussy and so time consuming our hangry evil personalities take over and ruin a perfectly good evening. We need it because it’s awesome for our bodies and our taste buds.
Our caveman ancestors may not have eaten wheat. For the record, ANY diet will be successful for as long as you are on it. Diets of any sort eliminate food groups you usually eat, magically restricting your caloric intake which results in weight loss. On the whole, I dig Paleo because it relies heavily on veggies, restricts foods that are easy to consume too much of (dairy, grains, legumes and refined sugar).
The trick with choosing a "diet" is finding something you can stick with for a lifetime. It is very difficult to live with heavy restrictions for a lifetime. Once anyone goes off a particular diet, the weight is gained back and then some.
Find an eating lifestyle that will improve the way you eat for the rest of your life. For me, it includes whole grains because they are so good for our bodies.
Give these bad boys a whirl, they are delicious, 100% whole grain and don’t make you feel like you are chewing on an old shoe. Often we have them for dinner with a side of scrambled eggs and our nightly fruit and veggie smoothie. Besides, who doesn’t love fluffy pancakes? For dinner!!!!
Fluffy Whole Grain Pancakes
- ¾ cup white whole wheat flour (we use Prairie Gold in the brownish-yellow bag – bottom shelf at Target or Walmart or King Arthur White Whole Wheat)
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt (when I double the batch I only use ¾ tsp)
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 2 eggs
- splash of vanilla
Place all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, blend to even incorporate. Beat the eggs then add all of the wet ingredients. As you know with whole grain, it needs to rest to allow the grain to absorb. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes to work its magic. You may want to thin it with buttermilk or milk before you put on the griddle.
We usually double the batch and have 8-10 pancakes leftover. Freeze or refrigerate the leftovers.
Want some crazy cool add-ins? Before you flip to the second side, sprinkle with hemp seed, chia or quinoa and it adds a toasty crunch. Hydrated quinoa is yummy too, but you don’t get the texture bonus. You will notice from the photo (which I know is messy, don't tell Pintrest) the kids love chocolate chips added to theirs.
Stay tuned, I pinkie promise the next recipe I post will not be wheat based for those who are avoiding it. I’ve got a few up my sleeve that are super awesome!
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Happy Whole Food Eating!