You Know You Should
Nutritionists out there are always nagging us all to eat more whole grains because they're so good for you. But if you don't spend hours making things from scratch, you may have tried to buy packaged whole grain products at your local grocery store.
Seems easy enough, right? Because the grocery store shelves are bursting with products screaming "Now in Whole Wheat!" or "Made With 100% Whole Grain!"
So you grab a loaf of bread or a box of cereal or a frozen pizza and you take it home. Sometimes it tastes wonderful. Other times, it tastes...
Well, maybe a little too grainy.
But at least you tried. You either make yourself learn to like it, or you abandon the experiment and go back to the refined grain version.
Has this ever happened to you? You're at the grocery store and you discover that some refined flour product you used to buy is now available in 100% whole grain. Hooray! So you take it home and try it and it's not too bad!
But then one day you happen to look more closely at the package...
and discover something suspicious on the ingredients label.
Hmm. How come the first or second ingredient is "wheat flour?"
"Wheat flour" may sound "wheaty" and everything, but didn't you read somewhere that it's just a euphemism for good old refined white flour?
So how could those
Because... they just said it was "made with 100% whole grain."
There could be just a little bit of whole grain and a lot of other things in there too, like the refined white flour you're trying to avoid. Or...
... insect parts! And hey, by the same reasoning, shouldn't these "made with 100% whole wheat" products also have to say: "Made with 100% Insect Parts?" I'd be willing to bet that the insect parts you're eating in processed foods are generally 100% insect. But oddly enough, I've never seen that particular product label.
That Same Old Song
If you are long-time reader this rant may sound strangely familiar. Yep, I wrote the exact same thing (back when no one reading the blog yet) and I was recommending "white whole wheat," which sounds fake but is really actually a whole grain (winter wheat).
And yet again, the reason for all this whining about fake whole grain products is that it explains my excitement when I find one that appears to be (a) real and (b) very tasty.
So those of you who like Crispy Crunchy things, check out Ian's Whole Wheat Panko Crumbs!
Note: of course as soon as I discovered these, they became temporarily unavailable on Ian's site through Amazon. (They currently only seem to ship their non-whole wheat ones, so this picture is of the Canadian version). However, the Ian's people have assured me you can find their whole wheat panko crumbs at a Whole Foods near you.
All in Search of Crispy Chicken
The reason I found out about these in the first place was because the awesome Elastic Waist blogger Anne had a great post on her fond recollection of Shake 'n Bake chicken.
She was all excited because she found a healthier, tastier recipe for crunchy not-fried chicken at Family, Friends, and Food. But... their recipe called for panko bread crumbs, which I've never tried cooking with before. And I thought--do I really want to find yet one more yummy refined grain product to wish I could eat more of when there are already so many, like cupcakes?
But then I googled "whole wheat panko crumbs" to see if there was such a thing, and there was, at Ian's. So I begged a sample off them, made the Chicken Recipe and...
It was really good! Crunchy and only slightly more grainy than it probably would be using regular panko crumbs. (Note: I did tweak the recipe a bit to make it better match the spices I had available, so I can't vouch for the exact combination. And if you want to try it too, don't be scared of the exotic ingredient "EVOO." For those in the know, which I wasn't, it's just extra virgin olive oil).
Summary: Great bread crumbs, great chicken recipe. Want more!
Does anyone else struggle with the Whole Grain Thing?