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Wheat is one of the most common cereals used throughout the world. It is also one of the most valuable cereals and a good source of energy. Wheat, in its natural unrefined state, features a host of important nutrients. Therefore, to receive benefit from the wholesomeness of wheat it is important to choose wheat products made from whole wheat flour rather than those that are refined and stripped of their natural goodness.
Clean the wheat and remove all debris. Wash the wheat twice or thrice in water, and then soak it in warm water. Soaking in warm water reduces the cooking time - thereby saving on time as well as energy. Further, you can use it as per recipe requirements.
How to Select
• Wheat is easily available in grocery stores, pre-packaged as well as in bulk containers.
• If purchasing in a packaged container, check to see if there is a "use-by" date on the package.
• Just as with any other food that you may purchase in the bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the wheat are covered and that the store has a good product turnover so as to ensure its maximal freshness.
• Whether purchasing wheat in bulk or in a packaged container, make sure that there is no evidence of moisture.
• There are three ways to eat your wheat: whole, cracked or ground into flour, and sprouted.
• The simplest way is to cook the wheat as you might cook rice. Simply add soaked wheat with water into a slow-cooker or a pressure cooker, and cook till done. Cooked wheat is chewier than rice but can be had with milk or yoghurt and your choice of grated veggies, chopped fruits, dry fruits or nuts.
• Try toasting the wheat in a dry frying pan, or in the oven, before cooking it. This will enhance the aroma.
• Wheat, broken coarsely, can be used to make upma or even a healthy pulao.
• Wheat flour is used for a variety of dishes like Roti, Bread, Paratha, Sheera, Pasta and Noodles.
• Wheat sprouts can be used par-boiled or boiled in recipes like Wheat Sprout Pancakes, Wheat Sprout Salad, Creamed Sprouts, Hot Cooked Sprout Cereal etc.
• Wheat flakes look similar to rolled oats and can be prepared as a hot breakfast cereal.
• Whole wheat pasta has become very popular and is available in many different types (e.g., spaghetti, spirals, penne, etc.) to suit your recipe needs.
• Whole wheat flour can also be used to make healthy pizza bases.
How to Store
• Wheat should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place.
• Before storing, sort the wheat to remove stones and other debris that might cause the wheat to spoil over time.
• Many prefer to oil it and store it, to preserve for longer. But, if oiled, you have to rinse thoroughly before cooking.
• Most benefits of wheat are reaped only by consuming it whole or as unrefined whole wheat flour.
• Wheat is a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body's use of glucose and insulin secretion. This helps diabetics to keep their blood glucose in check.
• Consuming wheat regularly can help avoid gall stones.
• It promotes gastrointestinal health, and acts as a laxative.
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