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I imagine that for some of you, the whole-grain journey has always seemed long —perhaps interminable—because you’ve been meaning to get more wholesome food on your table but don’t know where to begin.
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Excerpted from Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way by Lorna Sass. Copyright © 2006 by Lorna Sass.
I’m a lucky person.
During the past year. I’ve stood among amber waves of Kamut grain stretching toward the intense sun of Big Sandy, Montana. And I’ve wandered through pink, golden, and lavender sprays of quinoa ripening in the highland Andes of Riobamba, Ecuador.
These two experiences changed my life. Before being in those grain fields, I plucked Kamut and quinoa from the shelf of a health food store without giving it a second thought. Now I understand how hard farmers work to grow them, and how long a journey these nutritious kernels make before arriving in our kitchens. I feel grateful having such easy access because whole grains are not only nutritious, but absolutely delicious.
I imagine that for some of you, the whole-grain journey has always seemed long—perhaps interminable—because you’ve been meaning to get more wholesome food on your table but don’t know where to begin. Likely you’ve read about the health-promoting aspects of whole grains, but aren’t sure how to select or cook them. Or perhaps you’ve had enough brown rice and want to explore more exotic options like black rice from China, green spelt from Lebanon, farro from Italy, or kalijira from the Himalayas.
The choices are thrilling, and I’m here to guide you on an exciting adventure. You may be motivated to begin the trip because you know that grains are good for you. But I am confident that quite soon you will look forward to eating whole grains every day, every way because they taste good.
Bulgur Pudding with Honey and Dates
I have adapted this earthy, comforting bulgur pudding from Gil Marks’s The World of Jewish Desserts. According to Marks, it is a Sephardic pudding (alternately called prehito, moustrahana, and belila) that is common among the Jews of Turkey, who serve it to celebrate the fall holiday of Sukkot.
This dessert cooks in a flash and can be served warm or chilled. Leftovers make a delicious breakfast.
Serves 6 to 8
1 cup fine bulgur
1 cup 2% milk
1/4 to 1/3 cup honey, to taste
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/3 cup dried currants or raisins
Ice cream or sweetened whipped cream, for garnish (optional)
Combine the bulgur and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until the water is absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the milk, 1/4 cup honey, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking, uncovered, at a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture develops the consistency of porridge, about 5 minutes. Stir in the walnuts, dates, and currants. Sweeten with additional honey, if desired. Serve warm in bowls. Top with a scoop of ice cream, if you wish.
For a more coarsely textured pudding, use medium bulgur instead of fine. Instructions and cooking time remain the same.
Excerpted from Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way by Lorna Sass. Copyright © 2006 by Lorna Sass. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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