Although often demonized in today’s news and popular media, bread can in fact play a role in a healthy diet. Bread contains many essential nutrients including:
· Fiber, which aids with satiety and can help reduce bad cholesterol levels.
· B Vitamins, which play a role in maintaining the nervous system and sustaining energy levels.
· Magnesium, which plays a role in bone health and helps make new proteins in the body.
Whenever possible, choose whole grain bread products as they naturally
contain the most nutrients and are the least processed bread option.
The difference between whole grain, whole wheat and white breads:
Whole grains are made of 3 parts: the bran, the germ and the endosperm. The bran and the germ are where many of the essential nutrients are found including fiber and B vitamins.
· Whole grain products contain the entire grain meaning the bran, germ and endosperm. Choose most frequently.
· Whole wheat products are slightly processed to remove some of the germ and the bran.
· Refined or white products have been processed to entirely remove the bran and the germ. Eat in moderation.
Tips when eating bread:
· Whole grain breads are not necessarily the same as “whole wheat”, “multigrain”, “brown” or “enriched” breads. Read to label to know for sure what you are getting.
· Be mindful of your portion size, and don’t eat excessive quantities
· Choose breads that have at least 2g of fiber per slice.
· Compare labels to find breads with the lowest amounts of sugar, fat and sodium.
Healthier French Toast
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract, optional
½ tsp cinnamon, optional
4 slices of bread, any kind!
Fresh fruit, canned fruit, or syrup, for serving
1. Whisk eggs and milk in shallow bowl. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon, if desired.
2. Spray large skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat.
3. Dip one slice of bread at a time in the egg mixture and let it soak for 10 seconds on each side.
4. Remove bread from egg mixture, letting the excessive drip off.
5. Place on hot skillet and cook until the bottom is golden brown, 1-2 minutes per side.
6. Serve with fresh fruit, canned fruit or small amounts of honey or syrup.
6 slices of bread, any kind, day-old or stale ideally
½ cup raisins, optional
1 large apple, chopped
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Break bread into small pieces into an 8-inch square baking dish. Mix in raisins and apple. Drizzle with melted butter.
3. Combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up egg mixture.
4. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Place bread pudding baking dish into a large roasting pan. Carefully pour boiling water around pan.
5. Bake in preheated oven until a knife inserted into the middle of pudding comes out mostly clean, about 45 minutes.
~15 slices of bread
¼ cup margarine or butter, melted
2 teaspoons garlic powder or preferred seasoning, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Brush bread on both sides with melted butter. Cut bread slices up into small cubes. Sprinkle with garlic powder or desired seasoning. Arrange cubes on an ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 15 minutes or until browned. Let cool. Store croutons in a covered container or plastic bag. Serve in soups or salads.
1 loaf of crusty bread (like French bread)
1 cucumber, chopped in small chunks
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons capers (optional)
1 tablespoon chives, choppes (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. To make croutons, cut bread into bite-sized chunks. Toss with a bit of olive oil so each piece is coated. Bake at 400F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until bread is toasted. 2. Place cucumber, tomatoes, cheese and croutons into a large mixing bowl. 3. Combine dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake vigorously until combined. Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss to evenly coat. Place in refrigerator before serving to allow flavors to blend and bread to soak up the vinaigrette.