For quite a few years, I have been attracted to high protein diets, and have been happy with the results. But lately, it’s hard to avoid all the positive press about plant-based and Mediterranean diets. As I learn that lower quantities of protein and higher fiber is being found to reduce cancer risks and the pace of aging (Pubmed), I have had to take a new look at what I am eating. I have always included small amounts of carbs into my diet (it’s really hard for me not to eat tortillas and crackers) but now I want to make sure those carbs really count and this is important for my kids’ diets too. I truly believe that building strong bodies today will help them tremendously in the future. In comes easy to use bulgur! It is recognized by the Whole Grains Council as 100% whole grain. I have found several ways to add small amounts of bulgur into salads, burgers, instant oatmeal, spaghetti sauce and muffins just to name a few.
Start by cooking 1-2 cups of #1 fine bulgur and keeping it handy in the fridge. Cooked bulgur can easily be kept refrigerated for up to 1 week. Cooked bulgur wheat can also be frozen for later use.
Soaking Directions: One part #1 Fine grind bulgur to two parts boiling water. Add boiling water to bulgur; stir, cover and let sit for 7 minutes; drain excess water.
Quick Cooking Directions: One part #1 Fine grind bulgur to three parts water. Bring water to a boil; add bulgur, boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cover; let stand for 4 minutes; drain excess water.
Microwave Directions: One part #1 Fine grind bulgur to 1- ¾ parts hot water. Stir and cover; microwave on high for 2 minutes, 15 seconds. Stir, cover and let stand for 7 minutes; fluff with a fork.
Now, when you are ready to make your burgers, add 1/2 cup cooked bulger to 3/4 lbs of ground beef into a large bowl. (Even a little less to start if you prefer). For an easy and quick burger add in a 1/4 cup of your favorite steak sauce, or try a bit of olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, & salt. Use your hands to combine the spices with the bulgur and beef. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, cooking the burgers approx 4 minutes on each side.
Instant oatmeal is an easy way to introduce bulgur. Start with your favorite flavor, (my kids love apples and cinnamon) and add a heaping tablespoon of cooked bulgur in with the required amount of water. Microwave or let sit, according to the package directions. Quickly stir and now you have a fiber-rich breakfast to start the day right!
Spaghetti sauce is another easy option, whether you prefer meat sauce, plain, or veggie, bulgur is a great addition along with shredded carrots and other fiber filled foods.
Bulgur makes a great addition to chilli and soup as well. Perfect for these cold winter days!
Check out additional recipes here