Friday, May 3, 2019

Wild Wonderful Whole Grains

For the third year in a row, I recognized Whole Grains Sampling Day (the last Wednesday of National Nutrition Month) by teaching a 2 hour class, complete with samples and lunch.  This year I repeated the class in April.

The March class was at West Virginia University in the Agricultural Sciences Kitchen, where Dietetic Interns helped prepare samples and lunch.  It was attended by 28 interested dietitians, life long learners, farmers and providers.  The farmers brought one pound bags of assorted flours for each of the attendees.  Recognized Dietitian Nutritionists obtained 1.5 hours of continuing education credits.

The April class was held at Valley WIC in Charleston, West Virginia for 28 staff members.  While not all whole grains can be purchased with WIC vouchers, the goal of the class was to encourage attendees to try a new whole grain at home.

What's new this year?  I visited and photographed a local farm, learning what five different whole grains looked like on the plant.  I toured their mill and saw the various stages of cleaning and processing.

Students learned how to use a countertop flour mill when I demonstrated how to make Ezekiel flour.  The university purchased a flour mill for use in their kitchen. 

I devised an availability chart, where students could learn where to purchase the various whole grains and flours in 12 sites (11 stores and 1 farm) up and down the I-79 corridor. 

Over the past year, I've tested many new recipes, gluten free and gluten containing.  In testing gluten free items, I avoided nutrient void starches and binders.  Last summer I taught a class for life long learners on preparing whole grain bread and egg dough with various seasonal fillings.  For the past two years I've practiced making whole grain pasta meals weekly and while still challenged, the task no longer "wears me out".

Since retirement in 2015, this has been one of my professional challenges where I've learned much and appreciate being able to share with the community and state wide.  I think my husbands' colleagues at the "shop" enjoy the extra samples as well!

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