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  • Writer's pictureBex


This year’s BNF Healthy Eating Week will run from 28 September to 4 October 2020. The aim of the Week is to bring the UK together for a dedicated Week, focusing on key health messages and promoting healthy habits. This year’s health challenges are:

Eat more whole grains (Monday); 

Vary your veg (Tuesday); 

Drink plenty (Wednesday); 

Move more (Thursday); 

Be mind kind (Friday); 

Get active together (Saturday)*; 

Eat together (Sunday)*.

This post is all about whole grains, why eat them and some tips on how to eat more.

Why more whole grains…

Whole grains are packed with nutrients including protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals (iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium). A diet rich in whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer

Wholegrains include: wholemeal or wholegrain breads, wholewheat pasta, brown rice, wholegrain breakfast cereals, porridge oats, grains (e.g. bulgur wheat, barley, spelt, freekeh or quinoa).

Eat more whole grains by making simple switches:

Substitute a whole-grain product for a refined-grain product. For example, eat 100% whole-wheat bread or bagels instead of white bread or bagels, or brown rice instead of white rice, or a mix of brown and white rice.

Whole grains can be healthy snacks - Popcorn, a whole grain, can be a healthy snack. Make it with little or no added salt or butter. Also, try 100% whole-wheat or rye crackers.

Save some time by cooking extra bulgur or barley when you have time. Freeze half to heat and serve later as a quick side dish.

Mix it up with whole grains - Use whole grains in mixed dishes, such as barley in vegetable soups or stews and bulgur wheat in casseroles or stir-fries. Try a quinoa salad or pilaf.

Try whole-wheat versions - For a change, try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta. Try brown rice stuffing in baked green peppers or tomatoes, and whole-wheat macaroni in macaroni and cheese.

Bake up some whole-grain goodness - Experiment by substituting buckwheat, millet, or oat flour for up to half of the flour in pancake, waffle, muffin, or other flour-based recipes. They may need a bit more leavening in order to rise

Rice and Pasta make quick, simple and healthy mid week meals. Using our dressings and marinades means you can ring the changes and make different, tasty dishes every night of the week that are simple, quick and packed full of goodness.

Some simple tips:

  • Fry onion, peppers and mushrooms in Sweet Chilli Dressing and stir through Pasta adding more dressing to taste.

  • Fry a little onion and garlic in our Lemon Dressing, throw in some peas and cook through, stir through Pasta. Stir in some strong cheese and a generous grind of black pepper.

  • Roast Peppers, onions, mushrooms and courgettes in our Moroccan Marinade. Stir through rice, with extra marinade to taste.

  • Coat chicken pieces, onions and mushrooms with our Cajun sauce, roast and stir through rice.

  • All our dressings can be used for a rice or pasta salad, making it healthier and lighter than using a mayonnaise dressing.

  • Stir our Vegan Pesto through brown pasta or rice for a quick healthy meal. Add peas, asparagus, beans or broccoli to the pasta while you cook it to get in those veggies!

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