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Everyone seems to agree that having whole grain foods and fresh produce as part of your daily diet is good for your health. What you may not realize, is that because there is so much awareness of natural foods today, whole grain recipes have gotten better and tastier than ever. At Zojirushi we're always working to create nutritious as well as delicious recipes in our test kitchens. Try these out--whole grain goodness for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Prepared with whole grain ingredients, these dishes will surprise you with their abundant flavors and textures. And our Zojirushi products will help make them super-easy to make!
Hearty slow cooked oatmeal without a stove? Yes you can, with our highly insulated food jar. Follow this recipe and take it with you!
See recipe for
Steel Cut Oatmeal To-Go in your Food Jar
When pancakes are healthy, you know you're cooking right. These whole wheat flapjacks are superb morning starters that you can make right at the breakfast table.

See recipe for
Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes

How can something that smells so good be so good for you? It can when it's fresh baked with a breadmaker and made with whole grains.
See recipe for
Rosemary Cranberry Whole Wheat Bread
If you've never maximized your rice cooker, now is the time to try new recipes. Get healthy and get adventurous with this amazing way to enjoy wild rice.

See recipe for
Wild Rice and Chicken Liver Crostini

A "whole" grain means that all the parts of the grain have remained intact. It means that the bran and germ have not been removed through milling, leaving only the endosperm as with most refined grains. A "whole" grain is healthy because the bran and germ are where many of the nutrients are found.
  Some whole grains are easily
identified by their names:
Other whole grains need to be recognized: Some examples of refined grains:
  Whole-wheat flour Bulgur (cracked wheat) Flour or enriched flour
  Whole-grain corn Crushed wheat Cornflakes
  Whole white wheat Brown rice White rice
  Whole-durum flour Rolled oats Macaroni
  Whole-grain barley Graham flour Grits
Most health experts agree that eating whole grains should be a necessary part of our diets, at least making half of our grains intake "whole". They often contain valuable antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help our bodies fend off diseases and reduce the risks of certain illnesses. There are extensive medical studies that can be researched to support these claims.

The good news is that the types of foods that contain whole grains taste pretty good these days. You may already be eating them without even knowing it. Did you know that popcorn is whole grain? And if you love oatmeal, you're probably focusing on that great breakfast, not the fact that it's whole grain.

With another season of school starting up, it's important for Moms to get kids off on the right foot--and food. School lunches are now required by law to have whole grains be at least 50% of the grains they serve. And as part of a health initiative led by the U.S. government and the USDA to control childhood obesity, schools will be gradually introducing less salt in food, lower fat milk and more natural produce.

But with all the national attention to healthier eating, we can't forget to instill better eating habits at home, too. There are lots of ways to introduce more whole grains to your kids (sometimes even without them even knowing it).

Easy Whole Grain Substitutes
Whole corn meal can be used in corn bread and corn muffins when you bake.
Bread stuffing with your turkey? Add cooked bulgur, wild rice or barley to the recipe.
Go half-and-half with whole wheat flour and white flour in a batch of cookies or stack of pancakes. For an excellent whole grain pancake recipe, visit Zojirushi.com!
Add uncooked oats to ground beef when you make hamburger patties or meatloaf.
Simply top or stir in some rolled oats into yogurt and add crunch to your dessert.
Introduce New Foods
Risottos and pilafs can be made with brown rice, barley or bulgur.
Switch to whole grain or blended grain pasta.
Try whole grain pita bread sandwiches in their lunches.
(Source: USDA & The Whole Grains Council)
All of these innovative products from Zojirushi were used in preparing our special whole grain recipes this month. With the right kitchen tools to help you, cooking for your family can be an easy and fun experience--and lead to a healthier lifestyle!
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Next month is Vegetarian Awareness Month. Look forward to some vegetarian recipes that will surprise you with their full-flavored taste. Eat light but be satisfied!