Whole Grain Goodness for a Healthy Heart!

Discover the many heart-healthy benefits of Whole Grains!

February is American Heart Month, a time designated to highlight ways we can all take better care of our hearts and improve our overall health. As we are all aware, one of the best (and tastiest!) ways to a healthy heart is eating a well-balanced diet full of whole foods: fresh vegetables, legumes, lean meats, and, one of our favorites, hearty whole grains!

Among many other benefits, a healthy, balanced diet rich in whole grains has been shown to:

Lower cholesterol levels
Decrease the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes
Help with maintaining a healthy weight, lowering risk for obesity

But have you ever stopped to consider why whole grains are so important (and so different from the refined grains found in many processed foods)? Most of the nutrients found in grains are contained in the bran and the germ – two parts which are typically removed during the processing of refined grains, flours, and other items. But because whole grains are unprocessed (or minimally processed), these important components are retained, making them vital sources of essential nutrients, like dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals!


So now we’re all on board with whole grains, but how do we incorporate them into our diets? One of the nicest things about grains is that there are so many to choose from: buckwheat, quinoa, barley, and spelt, just to name a few! And because each has its own unique flavor, texture, and nutritional profile, you’ll probably want to incorporate a variety of different whole grain options throughout the day. To get you started, here are some of our favorite tips:

• Learn to love oatmeal. Each serving contains 4g dietary fiber, 6g protein, and 15% of the recommended daily value of iron! Or mix things up by trying some of the many different whole grain cereals available.
• Say no to white bread! Whenever possible, opt for breads with whole grains listed as the first ingredient.
• When baking, use whole wheat or spelt flour in place of refined white flours. In most recipes you can substitute 50%-100% of the flour called for. Feeling even more adventurous? Try experimenting with alternative grain flours!
• Add grains to soups and salads for added flavor and texture.
• Making stir-fry or roasted vegetables? Easily swap out the white rice with brown. Or, take the rice out altogether and substitute with bulgur, kasha, or quinoa.
• Use quinoa flakes, rice flakes, or barley flakes in place of breadcrumbs in casseroles, toppings, and breadings.


To help you on your path to a heart-healthy diet, we’ve taken 25% off a large selection of our organic and all natural whole grains! Stop by ShilohFarms.com through February and save!

This February, enjoy 25% off Shiloh Farms Whole Grains!

Sprouting 101: Beth’s Step-by-Step Guide for Sprouting Beans

Sprouting Beans 101: Beth's Tips from Shiloh Farms

Shiloh Farms customer service representative Beth loves talking with our customers and, over the years, she has answered a lot of your questions about our products and brands (that’s why we call her our resident Shiloh Farms expert!) But, it is a 2-way street and she has learned a lot from you, too. A recent interaction with two of our loyal customers inspired Beth to try sprouting beans for the first time. Here’s her account and tips for trying this out at home:

“These are the sprouting directions I received from longtime Shiloh Farms customers, Bill and Gini Woodworth of Michigan.

Every few months, Bill calls in to place an order, which always includes a few pouches of the Shiloh Farms Organic Mung Beans. Now, before I started working at Shiloh Farms, I hadn’t really heard about Mung Beans (apart from Chinese dessert menus) and didn’t know much about them. While I’ve since done a little research, I am still interested in how our customers use them and, on his last order, I asked Bill about what he does with his mung beans. He and his wife, Gini, gave me very detailed instructions for sprouting them. They said it was easy, and really, it didn’t sound hard – but who has time to do this?

I was intrigued. I took home a sample packet of mung beans, borrowed one of my mom’s old mason jars she had used for canning, and put cheesecloth on my shopping list. It took me a couple of weeks to get my act together and make the special trip to the local dry good store for cheesecloth, but I finally had everything I need to start sprouting the mung beans. I started the sprouting process and it really was as easy as Bill and Gini had promised – in no time at all, I had a jar full of sprouts! I was very impressed with myself, but now what? What do I do with these fantastic little sprouts?

I added them to my salad of fresh greens and they were yummy! I think they would be a tasty addition to a sandwich as well, and I would like to try making them into a veggie burger or some kind of stir fry. Gini also told me that if I couldn’t eat them all right away, they freeze really well.


Bill and Gini’s Sprouting Instructions:

Need:

1 pouch of Shiloh Farms Organic Mung Beans
1 large mason jar (I used a quart jar, but probably should have used a larger size.)
1 canning ring
cheesecloth – choose a medium to loose weave (I chose the tightest weave and then had trouble pouring off the rinse water.)

Directions:

  • Sort and rinse the mung beans. Bill recommended starting with ¼ cup of mung beans.
  • Soak the beans overnight. Place the beans in the mason jar with just enough water to cover them. Cover the opening of the jar with cheesecloth, and screw the jar ring on to secure.
  • In the morning, pour the water out the jar. Do not remove the cheesecloth – pour the water off through it. Extra Tip: Don’t get rid of the soaking water! Since it contains all the nutrients from the mung beans, Gini will use the soaking water to water her house plants!
  • Rinse the beans. Through the cheesecloth, add fresh water to the beans. Give them a gentle swirl and then pour the water off again.
  • Store in a dark cupboard to start sprouting! Gini advised laying the jar on its side to give the beans a little more room to sprout, which is a great idea! My jar filled up with little sprouts quickly; this is a good way to let the sprouts have room to grow!
  • The next day, repeat steps 4-5.
  • By Day 3, you should have little sprouts growing! Keep repeating steps 4-5 until the sprouts reach the desired length. Bill doesn’t let his sprouts grow longer than an inch.

Storage: Make sure the sprouts are completely dry before storing in an airtight container. They should keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. Gini also added that if she doesn’t think she will eat all the sprouts in one week, she will store them in the freezer until she is ready to use them.


Thanks to Bill and Gini for their inspiration! I am now happily adding bean sprouts to my salads and am excited to find other recipes to try – especially a really good veggie burger. Any other tips or ideas for how to use bean sprouts?”

Have a tip or technique you would like to share with us? Contact Beth at (800) 362-6832 or info@shilohfarms.com!

Eat Better with Apple Butter

Fall is perhaps the only season that always comes with its own distinct palate of familiar flavors. A chill in the air means it’s time for pumpkin, cinnamon, maple, ginger and, of course, apples.  Shiloh Farms Apple Butter is a great way to get your apple fix, but what else can you do with apple butter besides spread it over some toasty multigrain bread? (Not that that’s a bad option either, especially when paired with peanut butter or cream cheese!) We’ve compiled some apple butter recipes and ideas to help you ring in apple season.

1.     Pancakes and Waffles. Use apple butter instead of syrup or as a crepe filling. You can even put apple butter in your pancakes!
2.     Hot Cereal or Yogurt. Mix apple butter in to a hot cereal like oatmeal or plain yogurt to give it a fall kick.
3.     Sandwiches. Try out apple butter as a sandwich spread! It pairs especially well with turkey or ham and sharp cheeses such as cheddar. A little Dijon mustard adds a spicy kick to your apple butter spread.
4.     Baking Substitute. Apple butter can often replace some of the sugar and oil in baked goods such as cakes and muffins.
5.     Pork. Use apple butter as a pork glaze. The meat will be moist and flavorful.

How do you use apple butter? Let us know!