September is Whole Grains Month, the month when we all think a little bit more about choosing whole grains, and how we can add them to our plates.
As you probably know, it’s whole grain month all year long around here, so I thought I would do two things. One is, GIVE AWAY A BOOK.
Yes, read on through this post and there will be a place to enter to win a copy of The Whole Grain Promise.
Second, I wanted to take note of an internet phenomenon that has gotten a bit of buzz on instagram, pinterest and lots of other blogs. That is the concept of “sweet potato toast.”
If you haven’t heard of it yet, it is just what it sounds like. Sweet potatoes, sliced like bread, and then toasted. In the toaster. Of course, the folks who are most excited about this are the ones who want to avoid bread. Maybe they are avoiding gluten, or grains, or carbs, or just want to eat more vegetables. So they toast slices of sweet potato and put things that would go in a sandwich on top, like lovely fans of avocado and drizzles of hot sauce.
Well, I am not avoiding grains, in fact, I am celebrating them.
Here is a short summary of the main benefits of whole grains, from the Whole Grains Council:
THE MAIN BENEFITS OF WHOLE GRAIN
The beneﬁts of whole grains most documented by repeated studies include:
- stroke risk reduced 30-36%
- type 2 diabetes risk reduced 21-30%
- heart disease risk reduced 25-28%
- better weight maintenance
Other beneﬁts indicated by recent studies include:
- reduced risk of asthma
- healthier carotid arteries
- reduction of inﬂammatory disease risk
- lower risk of colorectal cancer
- healthier blood pressure levels
- less gum disease and tooth loss
So there is no way that I’m giving up whole grains. I can still get in on this sweet potato toast thing, and just use them my own way.
So here are my slices of sweet potato in the toaster. I sliced them about the thickness of the kind of thin white bread you might use for tea sandwiches, about 1/4 inch. I did one test au naturel, and one brushed with a little oil.
It took two or three “toasts” to get them cooked through, but it worked. The bottom ones are dry-toasted, the top two had oil. Both are easily pierced with a paring knife.
The most important thing in a sandwich is the bread, and this is Baker’s Field Flour and Bread‘s 100% Whole Wheat bread. Feast upon it with your eyes. All naturally leavened, made with freshly ground wheat. This bread is going to make a good sandwich.
So I slivered up some kale and shredded a carrot, and stirred in some mayo to make a little slaw for the sandwich. A pinch of salt, a sprinkle of hot sauce. I put the sweet potato slices on the toasted bread, then covered them with slaw and shaved shallots.
Slices of gorgeous yellow tomato made it all complete. A glorious vegetable sandwich, celebrating whole grains.
So if you want to try sweet potato toast, either as a bread substitute or as a sandwich filling, give it a go. It is simple and easy, if you have a sharp knife. It’s probably something that you’d do if you are working in a limited kitchen, like say, a dorm room with just a toaster, or the break room at work. you can only toast a few slices at a time, so it’s not really practical for more than two people.
But, hey, sweet potatoes are a delicious, real food, and if you are looking for a gluten free bread, you could do far worse.
If you are like me and you love whole grains, get in on the free book giveaway.
Enter by checking out my facebook and twitter accounts, and feel free to comment here.
Sweet Potato Toast on Toast with Kale Slaw
4 leaves kale
1 large carrot
a tablespoon or two of mayo of choice
salt and pepper
hot sauce, to taste
2 small sweet potatoes (pick out 4-5 inch long ones if you can find them)
1/2 small shallot, thinly shaved
1 big tomato
4 big slices whole wheat bread
Sliver the kale thinly, then put in a bowl. Shred the carrot into the bowl and stir in mayo to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with hot sauce, if desired.
Slice the sweet potato in 1/4 inch slices. If desired, brush with oil. Toast for 2 cycles in the toaster, then pierce with a paring knife. If the slices are tender, take out and let cool slightly. If not, toast again.
Toast the bread.
Arrange the sweet potato slices on the bread, cover with slaw and shallots, top with tomato, and place the remaining toasted bread on top. Serve warm.