8 ZeroPoint whole grains to enjoy on the Purple food plan
One of the amazing benefits of being on Purple is its extensive list of ZeroPoint foods, which most notably includes a variety of whole grains. Grains have a lot to offer: Besides being fantastic sources of fibre, they also include many of the same antioxidants widely found in fruits and vegetables. Here are some of tastiest grains on the Purple plan to help you expand your cooking game.
1. Brown rice
A healthier alternative to white rice, brown rice as the nutrient-rich outer bran and germ layers are left intact, brown rice is a whole grain with a nice nutty taste. It’s rich in fibre, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium and zinc.
Keep in mind that microwavable pouches of brown rice may have added oil and other ingredients with SmartPoints values, so you'll need to track it. For example, a portion of Uncle Ben's microwavable wholegrain rice is 6 SmartPoints on Green, Blue and Purple.
High in protein and a good source of dietary fibre, oats are one of the most budget-friendly wholefoods around. They are the ultimate warming and comforting breakfast, porridge topped with fruit, seeds and nuts is a super healthy way to start your day.
But oats aren't just a breakfast superstar - they're also incredibly versatile and make a great addition to cookies, burgers, pancakes and meatloaf.
While it’s used like a grain, quinoa is technically a seed. (Fun fact: it’s a relative of spinach!)
Quinoa is prepared like rice but takes less time to make, and becomes translucent, light, and fluffy when cooked. It also has 8 grams of quality protein per 185 grams.
Quinoa is a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids required to build and repair protein tissues in the body. Animal-based foods like eggs, dairy, fish and meat are 'complete' proteins, while most plant foods are 'incomplete', so if you're following a plant-based diet, quinoa could be a great addition to your weekly meal plan.
4. Wholemeal & spelt pasta
Incredibly versatile and easy to cook with, this go-to cupboard staple is great for weeknight dinners. Enjoy it in comfort food classics like mac & cheese, spa bol and spaghetti & meatballs, as well as in soups and one-pot pastas.
Keep in mind that wholewheat pasta is only a ZeroPoint food when it's eaten plain. If it's prepared with ingredients that have SmartPoints, like oils or sauces, you'll need to track those.
Buckwheat is one of the healthiest, nuttiest, most versatile wholegrains - and it has a high protein content. It's used in breakfast foods, flour and noodles.
Fun fact: buckwheat isn't actually a grain but a seed, which makes it an excellent choice for people following a gluten-free diet.
6. Wholemeal coucous
Wholewheat couscous is a great source of fibre, and an excellent ingredient to add to salads, or serve as a side dish with meat & veggies. You can also combine it with other grains such as quinoa, brown rice or farro.
Plus, it's quick and easy to prepare. Simply add hot water until the couscous is covered, cover with a tea towel (or something similar), wait two minutes, fluff with a fork, cover for a further minute, and fluff with a fork again.
Bulgur or burghul is a form of cracked wheat, bulgur has been steamed, dried, and crushed into several sizes. Smaller bulgur is typically used in tabbouleh. It has a mild taste and chewy texture, so it’s perfect in salads or paired with meat.