Consumers have had a love/hate relationship with carbs over the years. Some diets have gone so far as to recommend people remove all or most carbs from meals, but they are beginning to make a comeback in restaurants in 2014. A growing understanding of the value whole grains offer is driving this trend.
Compared to the less nutritional white or refined grains, whole grains are being included on menus, keeping in line with locally sourced, less processed food trends. Although each grain has different values, “whole grains are generally good-to-excellent sources of many B vitamins and several minerals” according to nutrition columnist Carrie Dennett.
Quinoa is one of the most popular whole grains in recent years as evidenced, unscientifically, by the growing number of people who can pronounce it correctly. However, there are other grains or preparation methods that have been overlooked.
Millet often gets neglected, but is a versatile food, which is gluten-free, non-acid forming and non-allergenic, according to Casey Seidenburg of the Daily Tribune. It also contains the following nutritional benefits:
- Protein for tissue-building
- Iron for blood-building
- B-vitamins provide energy
- Magnesium to contributes to heart health
- Phosphorus strengthens bones and teeth
- Insoluble fiber aids digestion
The adaptable Millet and other whole grains can be incorporated into menus, replacing other refined grains or starches. Some pizza restaurants are testing changes to their traditional crusts to a healthier whole grain option. Breakfast places can look to offer something other than oatmeal as the only option. Carrie Dennett suggests you could substitute oatmeal “with quinoa, wild rice, wheat berries, bulgur or barley,” while utilizing the same ingredients used to add flavor, such as fruit, honey, cinnamon and others.
Marzetti Foodservice’s Whole Grain Solutions can help enhance your menu with items your guests are searching for. Try subbing whole grains into your traditional recipes to garner the extra benefits without losing the flavor:
Consumers are continually trying to get healthier without overhauling their lifestyle and diets. Whole grains are a fantastic way to integrate nutritional benefits into meals they already enjoy.