Whole grains are essential ingredients for those working in hospital food service. These grains are associated with lowering cardiovascular disease risks, according to researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
It’s likely that your institution’s kitchen already uses plenty of whole grains in various dishes. A recent article published in Food Management magazine revealed that these ingredients are being widely used in cold grain salads and other fare more commonly associated with whole grains. However, it featured the Metz Culinary Management, which had developed some great original recipes that incorporated the grains in unexpected ways – in breakfast parfaits, soups, burgers and more.
Explore the possibilities
Draw inspiration from Metz Culinary Management’s whole grains initiative and consider increasing the inventory of whole grains in your institution’s kitchen. Encourage chefs to use their culinary creativity to craft original recipes using plenty of whole grains. Nutrition software will allow them to track the health benefits of their dishes. Invite all the kitchen staff members to taste the items and take a vote on which ones to offer in the patient menus and the cafeteria. Remember to not only advertise these offerings, but also highlight their many benefits.
One of the great factors of whole grains is its blandness. The challenge lies in their texture, but the CEC and director of culinary development at Metz, Ryan McNulty, pointed out that working with these ingredients will allow cooks to familiarize themselves with the benefits and difficulties of whole grains.
“Once chefs get the hang of cooking whole grains, knowing what the texture of the finished product should be, they can use them as a blank canvass for their own ideas,” said McNulty.
As such, now can be a great opportunity to explore these incredibly healthy ingredients. Stress that chefs should work with the whole grains, rather than around them. This will encourage cooks to develop tasty recipes that staff diners and patients will love.
Don’t limit the kitchen staff to certain meals – push them to explore breakfast options and other dishes, such as burgers. The unusual presence of whole grains in these offerings will likely draw interest.
Working with whole grains can be a welcome culinary challenge for chefs, who know that healthy ingredients are essential in a hospital kitchen. The chance to craft and feature original recipes will be a great reward for kitchen staff members.