Why Whole Grains? Ask Bulgur!

Bulgur wheat are whole wheat kernals that have been soaked, boiled, dried, cracked into smaller pieces.  Bulgur wheat differs from most cracked wheat due to the fact that it is pre-cooked.  Bulgur typically comes in three forms: course grind which is similar to the consistency of rice, medium grind which is typically use in cereals or fillings, and fine grind which is typically used for tabbouleh.  Bulgur is a nutrition powerhouse and is a nutrient that I recommend you make a regular part of your intake.  Keep reading to learn about the wholesome source of nutrition you can gain from bulgur!

  • Bulgur helps prevent constipation, cancer and reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease
  • Bulgur contains ferulic acid which is a compound that can prevent nitrates and nitrites from converting into nitrosamines which have been linked to cancer! It is the perfect food to pair with a high nitrate food such as hot dogs!
  • Bulgur contains lignans which helps prevent cholesterol from sticking to your artery walls which reduces your risk for heart disease
  • Bulgur wheat can help you reach the recommended goal of 25 – 30 grams of dietary fiber!  The insoluble fiber found in this whole grain, helps eliminate waste from the body making it helpful in preventing and treatment constipation, hemorrhoids, intestinal polyps, colon cancer, and diverticular disease.
  • Bulgur contains the highest mineral content of any food!  It is rich in iron, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, and magnesium.
  • Bulgur is lower on the glycemic index than other grains so it helps stabilize insulin levels
  • Bulgur is a great way to increase protein intake! 1 cup of bulgur wheat provides approximately 6 grams of protein! It is also a great way for vegetarians to get vitamins and minerals they usually miss by not eating meat!  Bulgur provides B vitamins, folate, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus which most people get when eating red meat!
  • Cooking bulgur wheat is easy and quick! To cook bulgur you can boil it in water for 8-10 minutes and it will be ready to serve. Be creative! Serve on salads, in soups, as a pilaf, or as filler in veggie burgers, pancake mix, waffle mix, muffins or other baked goods to add a nutty flavor.  Bulgur can be used as a main dish, side dish, mixed with vegetables, nuts or meat/fish!    Some grocers will stock the product in pre-packaged forms or in self-serve bins!

Greek Bulgur Salad with Chicken

Yield:  10 servings (serving size: about 1 2/3 cups)

Recipe By: Cooking Light
4 1/2 cups water
3 cups uncooked medium bulgur
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons), divided
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 1/2 cups chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
2 1/2 cups chopped peeled cucumber
2 cups halved grape tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup extravirgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
10 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

Combine water, bulgur, 1/2 cup juice, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Uncover and cool to room temperature.

Combine remaining 1/4 cup juice, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss to combine. Add cooled bulgur mixture; toss well to combine. Cover and chill.

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Filed under Nutrition Tips, Nutrition Trends, Suzanne's Thoughts

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