Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Whole Grain Wednesdays-Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines that came out in January recommend that Americans aim to replace the refined grain foods in their diets with whole grain foods.  You might remember that the slogan for the grains group of MyPyramid (which came out in 2005)  is to "make half of your grains whole".  The problem is that most Americans are still not doing this.  On average, Americans eat less than 1 serving of whole grains per day.

What's so great about whole grains?  I have addressed this in previous columns.  Whole grains are another nutrient-rich food!  There is also evidence that whole grain intake may reduce the risk of heart disease, and is also associated with lower body weight.  People who eat more whole grains not only tend to have less body fat but also have less of the dangerous type of abdominal fat too.  Some evidence has even shown that eating whole grains is associated with a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes. 

Sometimes it can be hard to make the switch to whole grain foods if you are used to eating the more refined grain foods.  In an effort to make it easier for you to serve more whole grain foods, I will be providing you with a new recipe each Wednesday for our "Whole Grain Wednesdays" columns.  My goal is to make these recipes quick and easy because I know that many of you are sometimes pressed for time.

I chose this first recipe because it is quick, easy, and also quite tasty.  My children love these biscuits and they love helping to cut them out.  The recipe calls for whole wheat pastry flour which you might not be familiar with.  I love baking with whole wheat pastry flour because it gives the final product a much lighter and fluffier texture than regular whole wheat flour, and so it is perfect for breads, muffins, pancakes, etc.

I use the Bob's Red Mill variety which I buy at Sunflower Market.  I am sure there are other brands available though.

The other great thing about this recipe is that some of the butter has been replaced with canola oil, but the biscuits still come out tender and flaky. This simple substitution lowers the saturated ("bad")  fat content in the biscuits.  The canola oil has more of the "healthy" fats that we need in our diet.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup enriched all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons canola oil
1 cup lowfat buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Lightly grease a sheet pan and set it aside.

Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.  Cut in the butter and the canola oil with your fingers or two knives until the mixture looks like coarse meal.  Pour in the buttermilk and stir it with a fork until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened.  Lightly flour a counter, and scrape the dough out onto the counter.  Pat the dough into a circle (you may need to knead in a little flour if the dough is too sticky).  The dough should be in a circle about 3/4-inch thick.  Cut the dough into rounds using a small glass or cookie cutter.  Reassemble the scraps and cut them out as well (you will have about 12-16 biscuits).  Place the biscuits on the baking sheet and bake until they are light brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Crediting information:
Makes 30 servings.  Each serving is creditable for 1 bread/bread alternate at any meal or snack for 1-5 year old children. 

1 comment:

  1. I love the benefits of whole grain food. I've actually included it in my diet. Thanks for that info by the way.