Whole Grains Lesson

Whole Grains Lesson

Today’s lesson using the A Taste of African Heritage curriculum with the youth at The Boston Project Ministries was on whole grains! We learned about the three parts of a whole grain—the bran which is the outer part with a lot of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals; the endosperm which is the starchy inside part that after refining is what is left consisting of protein and vegetables; and the germ which is the grain’s seed and high in essential fats, antioxidants, and B vitamins. We discussed and looked at several types of grains including millet, sorghum, teff, fonio, brown and wild rice, quinoa, and couscous made from millet or wheat.

We learned how the full fiber in the grains help to prevent diseases and that “A scientist named Dr. Dennis Burkett found that people in Africa who eat more whole grains and fiber are less likely to get certain diseases that Americans typically get, like heart disease and diabetes.” We talked about people we know who had some of these diseases. We discussed how the rice grown in the US was brought through the middle passage when Africans were brought to the US and enslaved and how a lot of African peoples who knew how to grow rice were brought specifically to the Carolinas. We did not get to watch the video linked here but discussed briefly how a lot of the foods that are popular in the South originally came from Africa (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxDMOR142Z0&spfreload=5 it is a video of a Senegalese chef cooking fonio and discussing this).

Finally we did a Millet Porridge

Sweetened with bananas, dates, and raisins. We had two versions—the porridge and then the pudding which we blended in the Vitamix. Millet is an ancient grain that comes from both the continents of Africa and Asia. Millet is so old that some have been found in tombs in Egypt. It has a nutty aroma when toasting and a fluffy but chewy texture.

We finished off the day with a fun dance challenge.

Next week lesson is on Beans and Rice! We are going to learn about various types of beans and pulses and also make a dish with brown or red rice.

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