7 Habits of Weight Loss

WHEAT.

Description.—Wheat 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.

Some contain not 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.

The layer 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 gluten.

Sectional View of Wheat Kernel. Sectional 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.

Preparation 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.

RECIPES.

Pearl 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.

Cracked 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.

Rolled 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 sauces.

Wheat 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.

Wheat 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 hot.

Molded 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.

The outer 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.

The coarser 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 kernel, which contain the greater part of the nitrogenous element, are darker in color than the central, starchy portion.

It will be apparent, then, 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

Another 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.


RECIPES.

Farina.—Heat 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.

Farina 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.

Farina 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.

Molded 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 cocoanut.

Graham 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.

Graham 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.

Graham 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.

Graham 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.

Graham 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.

Plum 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.

Graham 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.

Granola 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 cream.

Granola 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.

Granola 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.

Bran 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 juice.

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