What’s in a Grain?

September is National Whole Grain Month! I’m sure you’ve heard the term “Whole Grains” tossed around these past few years, and may have thought to yourself “what exactly is a whole grain?”

A grain, in its whole form, has three parts to it. It contains:

  1. Bran
  2. Endosperm
  3. Germ

Whole grains are packed with nutrients including protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Diet containing proper amounts of whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of type two diabetes, heart disease, and even some forms of cancer!

When a grain is processed (such as white flours) it loses almost all of their fiber, along with many healthy proteins, vitamins and minerals.

whole grain

*TIP*- Although the front of a package may advertise Whole Grains in their product, it is important to flip the package over and read the ingredients list to ensure that whole grain is listed as the FIRST ingredient before any other type of flour. This will ensure that the product is indeed a whole grain product.

Here’s a healthy and delicious way to incorporate your daily whole grains. This is recipe for a whole grain bulgur salad has a Middle Eastern flare with the incorporation of dates and cumin, while adding hints of orange and almond. Give it a try this week!

Date and Almond Bulgur Salad with Sofrita


  • 1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoonMcCormick® Cumin, Ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup pitted dates, quartered, divided
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • Bring 6 cups water to boil in medium saucepan. Meanwhile, heat large skillet on medium heat. Add dry bulgur; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add toasted bulgur to boiling water. Cook on medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Place bulgur in large bowl. Mix orange peel, juice, cumin and sea salt in small bowl. Pour over bulgur; toss to coat well. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, bell peppers, onion and garlic; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until tender-crisp. Add vegetables, and 1/2 each of the dates, almonds and cilantro to the bulgur; toss to coat well.
  • Serve warm or refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with remaining dates, almonds and cilantro.

Click here to watch as Alyson Approved showcases this yummy recipe on Fox 25!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *