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    Archive for the ‘white whole wheat flour’ Category

    You Ask, I Answer: Weeding Out Wheat Ingredients

    ucm161772Can you explain the different types of whole wheat?

    I know you are supposed to look for the word “whole” as the first ingredient in a bread, but what if you have choices like stone ground whole wheat or whole white wheat?

    Which is better?

    — Jill Twist
    (Location Unknown)

    You are absolutely right that the main thing to look for when purchasing breads is “whole wheat” (or a whole non-wheat flour) as the first ingredient.

    As you point out, though, other factors come into play that can confuse you and millions of other consumers.  Let’s run through some common wheat-based ingredients and what they mean from a nutrition standpoint.  Although your question specifically refers to whole wheat varieties, I am going to throw in a little bit of information about “healthy-sounding” non-whole wheat ingredients.

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    Healthify Your Baked Goods!

    toolsI find that certain weekend mornings are practically tailor-made for a muffin-and-coffee breakfast.

    Sipping freshly brewed coffee and biting into homemade baked good on a cloudy autumn morning, watching the colorful foliage slowly float down from tree branches, is simultaneously comforting and delectable.

    While many commercial baked goods are nutrition horror cliches (copious amounts of white flour, sugar, and unhealthy fats), homemade varieties can get a nutritional boost in a variety of ways.

    These tips can be used when making muffins, brownies, and cookies:

    1) Go whole or go home

    Gone are the days when “whole grain baked goods” meant a dense, rubbery concoction akin to an E-Z Bake Oven creation.

    The key to making light and fluffy 100% whole grain baked goods is to utilize either whole wheat pastry flour or whole wheat white flour.

    You can fully replace a recipe’s white flour with either of these varieties.

    Not only will the end result be higher in fiber, it will also contain more selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

    2) Go alternative

    Alternative flours can be quite pricey, but they’re a lot more affordable if you make them yourself!

    Instead of purchasing oat flour (which, depending where you live, can be hard to track down), make your own by processing quick oats in a food processor.

    FYI: One and a half cups of quick cooking oats yields one cup of oat flour.

    Oat flour is high in soluble fiber (the kind that helps lower cholesterol and provides a feeling of fullness more quickly) and rich in phytonutrients.

    One other FYI: oat flour can only replace, at most, half of the wheat flour in a given recipe.

    Another favorite alternative flour of mine is almond meal.

    You can also make this at home by pulverizing raw almonds in a food processor or coffee grinder until they achieve a powdery consistency.

    Like oat flour, almond meal can replace up to half of the wheat flour in a given recipe.

    Like whole almonds, almond meal is a good source of fiber, protein, vitamin E, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

    You can even replace half a cup of flour in a recipe with half a cup of pure wheat germ for added fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

    3) Get saucy

    Unsweetened applesauce is a healthy baker’s ally.

    You can replace anywhere from one half to three quarters of the fat called for in a recipe with unsweetened applesauce and no one will be the wiser.

    The applesauce won’t disrupt flavors, but will add plenty of moisture to your baked goods.

    4) Sprinkle away

    Whenever I make pancake or muffin batter, I like to add two or three tablespoons of oat bran and ground flaxseeds.

    Not only do they impart a hearty and nutty flavor, they also add extra nutrition in a pinch.

    5) Sugar?  Think Beyond The White Stuff

    When it comes to sweetening, think natural first.

    Raisins, blueberries, bananas, and fresh pineapple add sweetness — and great flavor — to recipes while also delivering nutrition.

    In my experience, you can halve the added sugar (whether in the form of white sugar, brown sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup, etc.) in conventional recipes and still have a tasty baked good.

    When reducing sugar, make up for it by adding nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla, almond, and/or coconut extract to the batter.

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    You Ask, I Answer: White Whole Wheat Flour

    I just bought some white whole wheat flour.

    I was puzzled! Will this provide me the same nutritional benefits as whole wheat flour?

    I read that white whole wheat flour was made from albino wheat, so it requires less bleaching than red wheat flours.

    Nonetheless, is it still bleached?

    — Christine (last name unknown)
    Via the blog

    White whole wheat flour offers the same nutritional benefits as whole wheat flour.

    However, many bakers prefer this albino strand of wheat since it boosts fiber and phytonutrient levels while providing a milder flavor and texture (not to mention a lighter color!) than standard whole wheat flour.

    White whole wheat flour does not undergo bleaching.

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    You Ask, I Answer: White Whole Wheat Breads

    I personally am kind of sketched out by [“white with the same goodness of whole wheat” products] because if they’re not actually whole wheat they’ve got to be missing something somewhere, right?

    — Vincci (via the blog)

    I assume you are referring to whole wheat breads that are white in color.

    If so, I’m happy to report that they are just as healthy and nutritious as regular whole wheat breads.

    The only difference between them is that while standard whole-wheat bread is composed of red wheat, white whole wheat breads are made using albino wheat.

    Remember — determining a bread’s whole grain content by its color is often inaccurate.

    Many brown breads are made of refined white flour and have molasses thrown in for color. And, in the case of white whole wheat products, their color does not represent a fiberless bread.

    You’ll always be sure of what you are getting by reading the label.

    If “whole wheat flour” is not the first ingredient, you are not getting a whole grain bread.

    In fact, if the second ingredient is “unbleached wheat flour,” you are not getting as many whole grains as you could. The ideal whole wheat bread should have one kind of flour — whole wheat.

    If your question is in reference to breads “made with whole grains” (or those labeled “multigrain”), then you have every reason to be suspicious, since they are not whole grain breads.

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