If you haven’t yet stumbled upon the goodness that is the super grain phenomena, fear not. It’s not as hipster/foodie as it sounds and, it could be as simple as switching your white rice for brown.
There’s been a very defined consumer shift in the past 18 months or so, with both singles and families driving a movement towards less processed, packaged foods and welcoming a return to whole, simple foods which pack a massive nutritional punch with minimal additives.
Enter the super grains!
Also known as ‘Ancient Grains’ or ‘Heritage Grains’, super grains hark back to civilisations of old, where nobody had the time nor the technology to hull their grains. Thus, they were simply eaten in their whole (unprocessed) form – which is what makes these little pantry super-heroes so nutritious.
Iconic kiwi brand Tasti have just launched their new range of SuperGrains Bars which I’m loving because of the low sugar content (the three varieties are all under 6g per serve!). As I’m quite a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants Mum who’s always in need of quick, convenient and nutritious options as the kids and I are racing out the door lol, I was keen to find out what was so special about the ‘special’ ingredients used in these new bars – quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, brown rice, oat and millet.
Ready to Level-up on your foodie knowledge? Read on!
Super Grains Simplified
(Keen-wah) Guess what? Quinoa is not even a grain!! It’s a seed, a pseudocereal as it’s not a member of the true grass family but is grown and harvested the same way as grains.
Quinoa originated in Peru, is a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids, is high in dietary fibre and is a low GI option. Quinoa is yum! We switch it out for rice or add it to salads.
Like it’s mate quinoa, Amaranth is actually a seed. It’s also a complete protein, is a great source of vitamins and minerals – calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and 1 cup contains around 80% of your daily recommended iron intake! Again, to use at home, substitute your rice for more nutrient dense amaranth.
You guessed it – another super seed! Like quinoa and amaranth, buckwheat is a great source of protein but also boasts higher levels of B vitamins, copper and magnesium. Buckwheat flour is one of the key ingredients in Japanese Soba noodles and the groats can be used to create textural, delicious salads.
Exactly the same as white rice, but subject to less processing. Brown rice only has the outer hull removed whereas white rice has the outer hull, the bran layer and the germ cereal removed. The ‘wholeness’ of brown rice results in a grain that offers proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium without the artificial enrichment that white rice is subject to.
Oat is a grain that has been grown for its seed for generations. Though it has been touted for it ‘healthfulness’ for years now, it has experienced a renaissance as Bircher Muesli and Oatmeal have become popular (again!) as part of increasing consumer value being placed upon whole foods.
Oats are lauded for their cholesterol lowering effects and are an excellent source of protein, dietary fibre, B vitamins and numerous other vitamins and minerals including manganese.
A popular replacement for gluten-containing cereals, millet is a seeded grass, thought to have originated in Africa and is present throughout history in many ancient civilisations, particularly in Africa and Asia. Relied upon as a dietary staple in many parts of the world Millet is high in starch, B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, healthy fats, protein and dietary fibre.
Phew! Got that?
Finding a snack option that I can add to my grocery list guilt-free, is a rare coup these days – the fact that the Tasti SuperGrains range are chewy, moreish, and delicious and are loved by both adults and kids in our household is even more awesome. The winning combo of between 34-38% whole grains in each bar, low sugar and three kick-ass flavour combos (Pepita, Chia and Manuka Honey, Almond, Cranberry and Linseed, Cocoa, Toasted Coconut and Quinoa) makes this new range from Tasti a lunchbox/purse essential.
Available in-store at leading supermarkets now.
One reader will win a box of each flavour from the new SuperGrains range from Tasti. Enter by telling me which flavour (Pepita, Chia and Manuka Honey, Almond, Cranberry and Linseed, Cocoa, Toasted Coconut and Quinoa) sounds like a bit of you in the comments below.
Competition closes 9/10/16. NZ residents only.