Lifestyle

Grains in alimentation

Chia

Chia (Salvia hispanica) has been very popular for some time and for good reason, since the seeds are full of nutrients and quite versatile. Chia contains omega-3 fatty acids (fats beneficial to health), carbohydrates, protein, lots of fibre, antioxidants that help prevent cell damage, in addition to many vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium. Chia seeds are a complete food that can be consumed and digested as is, meaning that there’s no need to grind them up in order to benefit from the omega-3 fats they contain. How are chia seeds eaten? They can be sprinkled on cereal, yogurt, vegetables or rice. They can also be added to beverages or baked goods (e.g. muffins, bread or cakes). They can be mixed with water or another liquid to make a gel. A tasty way to include them in your diet is to mix them with milk and fruit to get a nutritious pudding.

Quinoa

Quinoa is often eaten as a grain product, but is actually a seed from a herbaceous plant. Several types of quinoa are found on the market (black, red, ivory, etc.). Regardless of its colour, the food’s nutritional value is impressive: it’s rich in protein (about 15%) and fibre. Its amino acid composition can vary depending on where it’s cultivated, but it nevertheless contains all essential amino acids. How is quinoa eaten? Usually as seeds or flour. The seeds can be conveniently served as a side to a meal since they contain more protein than most grain products. For something sweeter, it can be added to a cake or oatmeal for breakfast. Before cooking, remember to rinse the quinoa in cold water to remove the saponin coating the seeds. Saponin is a naturally occurring chemical that gives the seeds a bitter flavour if they’re not washed prior to cooking.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed has long been recognized for its “good fats” (omega-3 fatty acids) and its high fibre content (about 1/3 soluble and 2/3 insoluble). Each tablespoon (15 mL) of ground flaxseed contains about 1.6 grams of omega-3 fats from vegan sources and 1.9 grams of total fibre. Flaxseed also contains lignans, a special compound that could have beneficial effects on health. Lignans present in flaxseed act as an antioxidant and have anti-estrogenic effects. How is flaxseed eaten? They can be sprinkled on cereal, yogurt, salads or fruit. By adding them to your baked goods, you can enjoy their pleasant nutty flavour while increasing the nutritional value of your recipes. Did you know that a mixture of ground flaxseed and water can replace eggs in some muffin and cookie recipes? It’s a great alternative for people allergic to eggs.

Buckwheat

Buckwheat is a "pseudo-grain" relative of rhubarb and sorrel. Its pyramid-shaped seeds contain high levels of zinc, copper and manganese. It’s worth noting that the bioavailability of the zinc, potassium and copper contained in buckwheat is also quite high: this tells us that a good part of these nutrients are well digested by the human body. Buckwheat also stands out due to the antioxidants and fibre it contains, but especially for being so rich in protein with a high biological value. How is buckwheat eaten? Firstly, the whole grains can be dry-roasted to produce kasha, which is boiled in water like rice. It can also be eaten in the form of flakes, flour or semolina. It’s delicious in crepes, pancakes or pasta. Dry-roasted seeds can be consumed as is and can be sprinkled on yogurt, cakes and muffins.

Grains and seeds

Have you heard about our new Oikos Super Grains yogurts? This new line contains grains and oilseeds that increase the nutritional value of the yogurt. Both originating from plants, grains are derived from grasses while seeds come from a plant’s fruit and are used for its reproduction. Thus, seeds can be sown while grains are primarily harvested for food.

Seeds are consumed whole or ground and usually ready to use as soon as they’re purchased. Grains, meanwhile, often need to be cooked before being eaten, although some grains can also be eaten raw. Preference is usually given to whole grains because they contain all the edible parts of the kernel, including the bran and germ. Try them all in the new Oikos line and see which one you prefer!

Frequently asked questions

  • Do I need to store my seeds in a particular way?

    Do I need to store my seeds in a particular way?

    To preserve ground or shelled seeds better, it’s recommended that they be stored in the refrigerator or freezer in airtight containers. This will prevent your food from deteriorating due to heat, light and moisture.

  • Is buckwheat gluten-free?

    Is buckwheat gluten-free?

    Yes, buckwheat is a grain that’s gluten-free, which means it can play a potentially important role in the diets of people with celiac disease. However, make sure that the buckwheat you select is pure and hasn’t been contaminated by ingredients that contain gluten.

  • Can wheat flour be replaced by buckwheat flour in all recipes?

    Can wheat flour be replaced by buckwheat flour in all recipes?

    Buckwheat flour can partially replace wheat flour in recipes. Since buckwheat flour is gluten-free, its texture may differ from wheat flour. Avoid replacing all of your wheat flour with buckwheat floor.

  • Should I eat my flaxseed ground or whole?

    Should I eat my flaxseed ground or whole?

    In order for your body to properly digest the omega-3 fats found in flaxseed, the seeds should be ground. They can be eaten whole, but it’s more worthwhile to consume them ground to receive the most nutrients.