Wheat cultivation has spread around the world with varieties that are grown in nearly all climates, from Arctic to subtropical. There are two main types of wholewheat: hard wheat and soft wheat. However, there are thousands of varieties of wheat, of which about 300 are used commercially. Among the most common varieties is the hard red winter wheat, which originated in Canada and is now used worldwide. It is ideal for breadmaking, grows quickly and may be harvested three months after sowing. The next common variety is white wheat. It is ideal for pastry making and for breakfast cereals, as it is starchy and contains less gluten protein. Durum wheat produces the world’s best pasta; it is a very hard grain with an amber colour, and grows mainly in warm-dry climates. In England, the Mavis Dove wheat variety is most popular; it is a soft wheat, high in protein and classed as a winter wheat.
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The wholewheat grain can be prepared in an incredible variety of recipes, products and forms. To gain the ultimate benefit from the wheat grain, there is nothing better than wheatgrass juice (refer to section entitled as Wheatgrass juice & sprouts). The second-best form of the wheat grain is the sprouted wheat. Used fresh on salads or mixed in a marvellous mayonnaise, they are delightful and highly nutritious. They can also be added to breads and soups, but fresh is best.
Apart from these methods, wheat is also prepared into various forms such as cracked wheat, used in the famous and healthful tabouli recipe and numerous soups. It is made from wholewheat grain, cracked under pressure and it provides the full grain benefits. Kibbled wheat is similar: it is produced from the wholewheat grain, placed through a ‘kibbler’ machine that cracks the grain into tiny pieces. These are used in breadmaking and some breakfast cereals.
The most common use of wheat is as flour.
The best quality flour is made from organic wholegrain wheat that is stoneground into a flour that contains the full value of the wheat grain, including the germ and bran content. Stoneground mills do not produce excess heat and therefore the flour is of better quality. Common milling uses steel rollers that move quickly, causing the wholegrain flour to heat, and the wheat germ content may turn rancid if
not used promptly. Wholegrain flour does retain the entire wheat germ and bran layer, plus the starchy endosperm (the inner portion of the wheat grain). It needs to be used soon after milling.
Wholemeal bread varieties can vary considerably in their content, plus they may contain all the additives that are used in the production of white bread. Check the labels carefully until you find a loaf with life.
Commercial bread, even the top-quality stoneground, wholewheat bread, may contain a few additives to improve shelf life, but the fewer added, the better.
Due to the fact that the oil content in the wheat germ clogs up the steel mills, it is removed for better productivity. Wheat germ is then sold separately. It is the most nutritious part of the wheat grain, but must be kept fresh in a cool and airtight container and used within a few weeks. The wheat bran is also removed from the wholewheat grain in the production of white flour, as it makes bread bulky. White flour is the biggest business, used in bread that comes in hundreds of different shapes and sizes as well as in other recipes
NOTE: d.v. refers to the daily value for women 25-50 years, refer to RDI chart for adult male
GLYCEMIC C. P. L. CALORIES – total: 339kcal. per 100 grams
INDEX: 70 80 15 5 Calories from: Carb: 274 Protein: 49 Fat: 16