is the most important of the grain foods. It is probably a native of
Southwestern Asia, though like most grains cultivated from the earliest
periods, its history is extremely obscure.
Wheat is of two principal kinds, characterized as soft and
hard wheat, though there are hundreds of named varieties of the grain.
The distinction between many of these is due to variation in the
relative proportions of starch and nitrogenous matter.
more than eight per cent of nitrogenous elements, while others contain
eighteen or twenty per cent, with a corresponding decrease in
carbonaceous elements. This difference depends upon the soil,
cultivation, season, climate, and other conditions under which the
grain is produced.
The structure of the wheat grain consists of an external
tegument of a hard, woody nature, so coherent that it appears in the
form of scales or bran when the wheat is ground, and an inner portion,
more soft and friable, consisting of several cellular layers.
nearest the outer husk contains vegetable fibrin and fatty matter. The
second layer is largely composed of gluten cells; while the center
comprising the bulk of the
grain, is chiefly made up of starch granules with a small proportion of
View of Wheat Kernel.
The structure of a wheat kernel is illustrated. There are
situated in different parts of the grain, and not uniformly distributed
throughout its structure. The outer husk of the berry is composed
wholly of innutritious and indigestible matter, but the thin layers
which lie next this outer covering contain the larger proportion of the
nitrogenous elements to be found in the entire kernel. The central
portion consists almost wholly of farinaceous matter.
Phosphates and other mineral matter are present to some extent
throughout the entire grain, but preponderates in the external part.
Here is also found a peculiar, soluble, active principle called
diastase, which possesses the power of converting starch into sugar.
The dark color and marked flavor of Graham bread is undoubtedly due to
the influence of this element.
Cracked wheat is the grain cleaned and then cut
into two or more pieces; in rolled wheat the grains are mashed between
rollers, by which process they are thoroughly softened in every part,
and are then easily cooked. Pearl wheat is the whole grain cleaned and
dressed. The whole grain is also cooked sometimes in its natural state.
and cooking.—Few articles of food show greater difference
between good and poor cooking than the various grains. Dry, harsh, or
underdone, they are as unwholesome
as unpalatable. Like most of the grains, wheat, with the exception of
new wheat boiled whole, should be put into boiling water and allowed to
cook continuously but slowly until done. Any of the unground
preparations require prolonged cooking. The average length of time and
the approximate amount of water needed in cooking one cupful
of the various wheat preparations in a double boiler is Found in Cooking Grains.
Wheat.—Heat a quart of water to boiling in the inner dish of
a double boiler, and stir into it one cup or one-half pint of pearl
wheat. Let it boil rapidly until thickened and the wheat has ceased
settling, then place in the outer boiler, in which the water should be
boiling, and cook continuously from three to four hours.
Wheat.—Cracked wheat may be cooked in the same manner as
pearl wheat, by using four and one-half parts of water to one of grain.
The length of time required to cook it thoroughly is about the same as
for pearl wheat.
Wheat.—This preparation of wheat requires only three parts
water to one of wheat. It should be cooked in the same way as pearled
wheat, but requires only three hours' cooking.
Boiled Wheat (sometimes called
frumenty).—Select newly-cut wheat, well rubbed or threshed out. Look it
over carefully, wash, and put to cook in five times its measure of cold
water. Let it come to a boil, and cook gently until the grains burst
open, and it can be readily mashed between the thumb and finger. This
will require from four to ten hours, depending upon the age and variety
of the wheat used. When done, it should be even full of a rich, thick
liquor. If necessary, add more boiling water, but stir as little as
possible. It may be served with cream, the same as other wheat
preparations. It is also excellent served with lemon and other fruit
with Raisins.—Raisins or Zante currants may be added to any
of the foregoing recipes, if desired. The raisins or currants should be
well steamed previously, however, and stirred in lightly and evenly
just before dishing. If cooked with the grain, they become soft,
broken, and insipid. Figs, well steamed and chopped, may be added in
the same way.
with Fresh Fruit.—Fresh whortleberries, blueberries, and
blackberries stirred into any of the well-cooked wheat preparations
just before serving, make a very desirable addition. A most delicious
dish may be prepared by stirring into well-cooked cracked wheat a few
spoonfuls of rather thick cream and some fresh wild blackberries. Serve
wheat.—Cracked wheat, rolled wheat, or pearl wheat, cooked
according to the foregoing recipes, and turned into molds until cold,
makes a very palatable dessert, and may be served with sugar and cream
or with fruit juice. Bits of jelly placed on top of the molds in the
form of stars or crosses, add to the appearance. Molded grains are also
very nice served with fresh berries, either mashed or whole, arranged
around the mold.
FINER MILL PRODUCTS OF WHEAT.
The grain of wheat is inclosed in a woody envelope. The
cellular layers just beneath contain the largest proportion of
nitrogenous matter, in the form of gluten, and are hard of
pulverization, while the starchy heart of the grain is easily crumbled
into fine dust.
Thus it will be readily understood
that when the grain
is subjected to an equal pulverizing force, the several portions will
be likely to be crushed into particles of different sizes.
husk being toughest, will be the least affected, the nitrogenous or
glutenous portion will be much finer, while the brittle starch will be
reduced to powder.
This first simple product of
grinding is termed
wheat meal, unbolted, or Graham flour, and of course contains all the
elements of the grain.
In ordinary milling, however,
this is subjected
to various siftings, boltings, or dressings, to separate the finer from
the coarser particles, and then subdivided into various grades of
flour, which vary much in composition and properties.
product contains the largest proportion of nutrients, while in the
finer portions there is an exclusion of a large part of the nitrogenous
element of the grain.
The outer portions of the wheat
contain the greater part of the nitrogenous element, are darker in
color than the central, starchy portion.
It will be
that the finer and whiter the flour, the less nutriment it is likely to
contain, and that in the use of superfine white flour the eye is
gratified at the expense of the body.
A preparation called farina, is made from the central portion
of wheat, freed from bran, and crushed into granules
preparation, called Graham grits, is prepared by granulating
the outer layers of the kernel together
with the germ of the wheat. This preparation, includes the
most nutritious properties of the grain, and its granular
form renders it excellent for mushes as well as for other purposes.
Farina is scarcely more nutritious than white flour, and should not be
used as a staple food.
Graham grits contains the best
elements of the
wheat grain in good proportion, and is one of the best preparations of
wheat. Other preparations of wheat somewhat similar in character are
farinose, germlet, etc.
a pint of milk and one of water, or if preferred, a quart of milk, in
the inner cup of a double boiler; and when boiling, stir in five
tablespoonfuls of farina, moistened evenly with a little milk. Let it
boil rapidly until well set, which will be in about five or eight
minutes; then place in the outer boiler, and cook one hour. Serve cold
or hot with a dressing of cream or fruit juices. Farina may be cooked
in water alone, but on account of its lack of nutritive elements, it is
more valuable if prepared with milk.
with Fig Sauce.—Cook the farina as in the foregoing recipe,
and serve hot with a fig sauce prepared as follows:—
Carefully look over, washed, and chop or cut quite finally,
enough good figs to make a cupful. Stew in a pint of water, to which
has been added a tablespoonful of sugar, until they are one homogeneous
mass. If the figs are not of the best quality and do not readily
soften, it is well, after stewing for a time, to rub them through a
colander or vegetable press to break up the tough portions and make a
smooth sauce. Put a spoonful of the hot fig sauce on each individual
dish of farina, and serve with cream or without dressing.
with Fresh Fruit.—Cook the farina as previously directed.
Have some sliced yellow peaches, mellow sweet apples, or bananas in a
dish, turn the farina over them, stir up lightly with a fork, and serve
hot with cream.
Farina.—Farina to be used cold may be cooked in the same
manner as before described, with two or three tablespoonfuls of sugar
added at the same time with the farina, and when done, molded in cups
previously wet with a little cold water. Serve with a dressing of fruit
juice, whipped cream flavored with lemon, or mock cream flavored with
Grits.—To four parts of water boiling in the inner dish of a
double boiler add slowly, so as not to stop the boiling of the water,
one part of Graham grits. Stir until thickened, then place in the outer
boiler, and steam from three
to five hours. Serve hot with cream, or mold in cups previously dipped
in cold water, and serve with a dressing of fruit juice. The fig sauce
prepared as previously directed, is also excellent with Graham grits.
Mush No. 1.—Good flour is the first requisite for making good
Graham mush. Poor Graham flour cannot be made into first-class mush.
Flour made from the best white winter wheat is perhaps the best. It may
be used either sifted or unsifted, as preferred. The proportion of
flour and liquid to be used will necessarily vary somewhat with the
quality of the flour, but in general, three parts water to one of flour
will be needed. Too much flour not only makes the mush too thick, but
gives it an underdone taste. Stir the dried flour rapidly into boiling
water, (which should not cease to boil during the process), until a
thick porridge is obtained. It is well to have it a little thinner at
first than is desirable for serving, as it will thicken by cooking.
Cook slowly at least one hour. A longer time makes it more digestible.
Left-over Graham mush is nice spread on rather shallow tins,
and simply heated quickly in a hot oven.
Mush No. 2.—Moisten one pint of good Graham flour with a pint
of warm water, or enough to make a batter thin enough to pour. (The
quantity of water needed will vary a little with the fineness and
quality of the flour.) Pour this batter into a quart of water boiling
in the inner cup of a double boiler. Remember to add the batter
sufficiently slow, so as not to stop the boiling of the water. When
thickened, put into the outer boiler, and cook for one hour.
Mush No. 3.—Prepare in the same way as above, using milk or
part milk in the place of water. Left-over Graham mush at breakfast,
which has been prepared with water, is very nice if, while it is still
warm, a small quantity of hot milk is well stirred into it, and it is
then set by to be reheated in a double boiler for dinner.
mush with Dates.—Prepare a mush as for Graham mush No. 2.
When done, place in the dish in which the mush is to be served, some
nice, fresh dates from which the stones have been removed. Pour the
mush over them, and stir up lightly, taking care not to break the
fruit, and serve. Raisins previously steamed, or figs steamed and cut
into pieces, may be used instead of dates. Serve hot with cream, or
mold, and serve cold.
Porridge.—Prepare a Graham mush as previously directed, and
when done, add to it a cup of well-steamed raisins and sufficient rich
milk to thin it to the consistency of porridge.
Apple Mush.—Prepare a smooth apple sauce of rather tart
apples. Sweeten it slightly, and thin with boiling water. Have this mixture boiling, and add to it Graham
flour, either sprinkled in dry or moistened with water, sufficient to
make a well-thickened mush. Cook, and serve hot with cream.
Mush.—Granola, a cooked preparation of wheat and oats,
manufactured by the Sanatarium Food Co., makes a most appetizing and
quickly prepared breakfast dish. Into a quart of boiling water sprinkle
a pint of granola. Cook for two or three minutes, and serve hot with
Fruit Mush.—Prepare the mush as directed, and stir into it,
when done, a large cupful of nicely-steamed, seedless raisins. Serve
hot with cream. Milk may be used instead of water, if preferred.
Peach Mush.—Instead of the raisins as directed in the
foregoing recipe, add to the mush, when done, a pint of sliced yellow
peaches. Finely-cut, mellow sweet apples, sliced bananas, and
blueberries may be used in a similar way.
Jelly.—Select some clean wheat bran, sprinkle it slowly into
boiling water as for Graham mush, stirring briskly meanwhile with a
wooden spoon, until the whole is about the consistency of thick gruel.
Cook slowly in a double boiler for two hours. Strain through a fine
wire sieve placed over the top of a basin. When strained, reheat to
boiling. Then stir into it a spoonful or so of sifted Graham flour,
rubbed smooth in a little cold water. Boil up once; turn into molds
previously wet in cold water, and when cool, serve with cream or fruit
Head for the Top of Wheat
Return for more Proper
to the 7 Habits of Weight Loss
information found in and throughout The 7 Habits of Weight loss
(www.7habitsofweightloss.com) is not intended as a substitute for the
advice or treatment that may have been prescribed by your physician.Information
found here should NOT be construed as definitive or binding medical
advice and is NOT intended to diagnose, prescribe, nor endorse any
brand of products or services. Always seek the advice of your physician
or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new weight loss or exercise regimen or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.