White Whole Wheat
The title of this article is not a trick question. Contrary to what we health conscious folks think whenever we hear white and wheat in the same sentence, white whole wheat does exist. White whole wheat is a whole grain and is a cousin of the red whole wheat we are used to. White whole wheat is derived from hard white spring wheat, a variety not as readily available as red whole wheat, but nutritionally equal. So, if red and white whole wheat are both whole grains and carry the same vitamins, minerals and fiber, the question is, why switch? The answer is taste.
The Taste of White Whole Wheat
If you’ve ever tried whole wheat pancakes or whole wheat French bread, chances are you chose them over the refined version for health benefits as opposed to taste. The naturally occurring tannins in the bran of red whole wheat cause a bitter taste. But tannins are absent in white whole wheat, which makes it the better tasting option. With a mild, sweet taste and a golden hue, baked goods made from white whole wheat look and taste more like refined products but they are more nutritious. For that reason, food manufacturers, including bakeries and cereal makers, are using more white whole wheat.
Baking with White Whole Wheat Flour
King Arthur, a popular white whole wheat flour brand, suggests replacing all-purpose flour with white whole wheat flour in most recipes for cookies, muffins, pancakes, and quick breads. Others recommend replacing one-third to one-half of the all-purpose flour in a recipe with white whole wheat flour, and they advise to avoid interchanging these flours in cakes and pie crusts. But whether you go all out, or only substitute a little, by using white whole wheat flour, the infusion of B-vitamins, minerals and fiber is sure to benefit your body. Besides King Arthur brand white whole wheat flour, Eagle Mills brand 100% Ultragrain White Whole Wheat Flour is available at select grocery stores. White whole wheat flour can be found in several commercial products as well, such as Sara Lee Soft & Smooth breads, buns, English muffins and bagels, certain Healthy Choice Entrees, and Papa John's Whole Wheat Pizza, just to name a few.
How to Tell if It’s 100% Whole Wheat?
Before you spend a premium on white whole wheat flour, do your research. You want to be sure that you are getting what’s advertised. Some products boast “made with whole grains,” but the ingredient list tells another story. Be sure that whole wheat is listed first and each serving has at least two to three grams of fiber. Grain products should be simple and pure containing whole wheat flour, water, salt, and a leavening agent only. Avoid products with a hefty list of sweeteners and excessive amounts of additives, preservatives and refined flours.
What’s your whole grain IQ? Test it with this quiz from General Mills.
Have you used white whole wheat flour?