Wedding showers, baby showers, graduation parties – let’s face it, about half the celebration is based on the food that is served. Trays and plates of tasty morsels include a variety of colors, textures, sizes, and tastes. Why not include some healthy, whole grain options to join in on the fun?
Whole grain foods contain the whole edible part of the plant – the bran, endosperm, and germ. Consuming whole grains offers many health benefits like reducing risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. Look for 100% whole grain on a package or “whole” as the first item in the ingredient list. Think of whole grain party foods as an extra “present” to give new moms, graduates, and engaged couples a healthy boost.
Try serving whole grain crackers topped with your favorite cheese and herb, whole grain pancakes or French toast with fruit, oatmeal cookies, ham and grainy mustard on mini whole grain rolls, finger sandwiches on whole grain bread cut into festive shapes, or popcorn (a whole grain) with a dash of chili powder, cumin, and garlic. Click kingarthurflour for even more whole grain party ideas.
Here’s a light spring side salad with a whole grain sure to please guests at your next shower.
Spring Grain Salad
1 Cup cooked brown or wild rice or whole grain barley, bulgur, couscous, or other grain
6 Cups spinach or kale, stems removed
1/4 Teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/4 Cup fresh mint leaves
1/3 Cup lemon juice
1/4 Cup olive oil
1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
1 Pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 Chopped cucumber (preferably seedless)
3/4 Cup mozzarella cheese, small dice (optional)
- In a food processor, combine the spinach and mint and process until finely chopped, scraping down sides of the bowl, if necessary.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the whole grain of choice, spinach mixture, tomatoes, cucumber, and cheese. Toss to combine.
To incorporate whole grains into your shower days and every day, go to MakeHalfYourGrainsWhole.
And the next time you get the whole gang together, go whole grain!