Tuesday, March 9, 2010

OJO's Organic Favorites: Flour, Pasta, Rice and Sandwich Bread

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America Can't Live 
Without our Carbs

Imagine an America without its carbs. Where would we be? Thinner; that's for certain. But also a bit less productive, as we need carbs for energy. Don't get me wrong; this blog is not about losing weight. What it is about is eating healthy, and higher fiber is your ticket when it comes to these carbs.

As you can see, my family's favorite pastas are all white. That's bad when it comes to nutrition and fiber. I do have a cure for the fiber dilemma. I sneak Benefiber into the sauce, adding fiber there, where no one even suspects it lurks. Hehe!

When making breads and baking with white flour, I use the same technique. I have yet to find it affects the flavor, texture or color of a recipe, so I continue to enhance the fiber value of many of my recipes.

Here are the names of the favorites I am listing in this edition of my OJO's Favorite Organic Picks:

  1. Rice Select Organic Texmati Rice (Long Grain American Basmati)--This rice has a wonderful fluffy finish that is reminiscent of rice made in a rice maker. Never sticky!
  2. DaVinci Organic Pastas--Penne, Bow Ties, etc.--I love this brand for 2 reasons (a) It is usually cheaper, and (b) I can find it in many traditional groceries.
  3. Montibello Organic Capellini and Fettucini--We're fans of Capellini and Fettucini, as opposed to Spaghetti. Montibello consistently has our favorites in stock at nearby healthier food stores, so they get our business.
  4. Speaking of pastas, I should mention a couple of others. When I find the need to focus on gluten-free, we have enjoyed Quinoa brand pastas, which turn a beautiful sunflower yellow when cooked.  We have also found DeBoles Artichoke flour pastas to be fairly tasty. I do suggest you check for your preferred 'al dente' earlier than their directions advise.
  5. King Arthur 100% Organic Flours: All Purpose, Bread, and Whole Wheat are all excellent and widely available. My one disappointment is that they are hard to find in 5 lb. bags :-(
  6. Like most American families, sandwiches are a frequent lunch item, especially on weekends. The best organic Whole Wheat bread I have found that is sold fresh is Nature's Own Organic, All Natural Honey Wheat.

Despite the fact that carbs are too heavy in our American diet, they are important to our healthy nutrition. If calories and nutrition both rank high on your list of concerns, I recommend you cut your servings in half and be sure to use healthy toppings that are rich in vitamins. Tonight's dinner at my home is a simple pasta and sauce--rich in garlic and onions and topped with organic grated Parmesan. Add a green salad and you're in business.
(c) photo copyright Carrie Boyko 2010

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