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Go whole grain for a healthy heart



Level up the nutritional value of your meals

Go whole grain for a healthy heart


Eating healthy is a priority for many Americans but knowing where to start and with what foods may be a little trickier. One way to level up the nutritional value of your meals is to better understand whole grains and why they are important for a heart-healthy diet.

As a key feature of heart-healthy diets, whole grains like sorghum, oatmeal and brown rice are rich sources of dietary fiber, may improve blood cholesterol levels and provide nutrients that help the body form new cells, regulate the thyroid and maintain a healthy immune system.

However, according to a survey by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Heart Association, U.S. adults are least knowledgeable about refined vs. whole grains compared to other foods like fruits, vegetables and proteins. Also, when asked to identify whole grains and refined grains, most adults incorrectly believe multi-grain bread is a whole grain and only 17% believe sorghum is an example of a whole grain when it is, in fact, a nutritious whole-grain option.

If you’re looking to try more whole grains, sorghum is a primary ingredient in these heart-healthy recipes for Pancakes with Blueberry Vanilla Sauce, Raspberry Streusel Muffins and Garden Vegetable Stir-Fried Sorghum. These flavorful dishes can be part of an overall healthy diet as recommended by the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative, supported by the Sorghum Checkoff.

Find more heart-healthy meal ideas at Heart.org/healthyforgood.

Raspberry Streusel Muffins

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association and Sorghum Checkoff
Servings: 12 (1 muffin per serving)

Muffins:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups whole grain sorghum flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup canola or corn oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed if frozen

Streusel:

  • 2 tablespoons whole grain sorghum flour
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons uncooked quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons light tub margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. To make muffins: Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly spray 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. In large bowl, stir sorghum flour, cinnamon and baking soda.

  3. In medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, brown sugar, egg whites, oil, lemon zest and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture until batter is just moistened and no flour is visible without overmixing. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Top each muffin with raspberries.

  4. To make streusel: In small bowl, stir sorghum flour, brown sugar, oats, pecans, margarine and cinnamon to reach texture of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over muffins, gently pushing into batter. Bake 16 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. The USDA recommends cooking egg dishes to 160 F.

  5. Transfer pan to cooling rack. Let stand 5 minutes. Carefully transfer muffins to rack. Let cool completely, about 20 minutes.

Garden Vegetable Stir-Fried Sorghum

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association and Sorghum Checkoff
Servings: 4 (1 1/2 cups per serving)

  • 1 cup uncooked whole-grain sorghum
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon gingerroot, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli florets, chopped, thawed if frozen
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed and halved
  • 1/2 cup carrot strips, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup green onions, diagonally sliced
  1. Prepare sorghum using package directions, omitting salt. Once cooked, spread sorghum in even layer on rimmed baking sheet or 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. Let stand 5-10 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate, uncovered, 20 minutes, or until cool.

  2. In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat oil, swirling to coat bottom. Cook garlic and gingerroot 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook broccoli, snow peas, carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms and edamame 10-12 minutes, or until vegetables are tender-crisp, stirring frequently.

  3. In small bowl, using fork, beat eggs and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.

  4. Reduce heat to medium. Stir water chestnuts and sorghum into vegetable mixture. Push mixture to sides of skillet. Pour egg mixture into center of skillet. Using heatproof rubber scraper, stir 1-2 minutes, or until partially set.

  5. Stir vegetable mixture into partially cooked egg mixture. Cook 1 minute, or until eggs are cooked through and sorghum is heated through, stirring constantly. The USDA recommends cooking egg dishes to 160 F.

  6. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining soy sauce. Sprinkle with green onions.

Pancakes with Blueberry Vanilla Sauce

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association and Sorghum Checkoff
Servings: 4 (2 pancakes, 1/4 cup sauce and 2 tablespoons yogurt per serving)

Sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pancakes:

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole grain sorghum flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon canola or corn oil

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  1. To make sauce: Put cornstarch in medium saucepan. Add water, stirring to dissolve. Stir in blueberries and sugar. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Boil 1-2 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cover to keep warm. Set aside.

  2. To make pancakes: In medium bowl, stir oats, sorghum flour, brown sugar, baking powder and cinnamon.

  3. In small bowl, whisk milk, applesauce, egg and oil. Stir into flour mixture until batter is just moistened and no flour is visible without overmixing.

  4. Heat nonstick griddle over medium heat. Test temperature by sprinkling drops of water on griddle. Griddle is ready when water evaporates quickly.

  5. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake on griddle. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until tiny bubbles appear on surface and bottoms are golden brown. Flip pancakes. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown on bottoms. The USDA recommends cooking egg dishes to 160 F.

  6. Transfer pancakes to plates. Spoon sauce over pancakes. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons yogurt.

(Family Features) 

SOURCE: American Heart Association


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