By Judy Barbe, Registered Dietitian, LiveBest.info

With Greek-style yogurt, this recipe holds well for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. So make the recipe once and eat twice.  This protein-packed parfait fuels your morning deliciously.

If you’re trying to reduce added sugars, substitute half plain yogurt with sweetened yogurt. In this recipe I used honey and plain. The honey flavor was perfect with fresh strawberries. Now I’m thinking of orange yogurt or lemon . . . Yum! Or substitute raspberries or blueberries, almonds or pecans for the walnuts – endless easy combinations.

What is bulgur?

Bulgur is a whole-wheat grain that has been cracked and partially pre-cooked. As a whole grain, it is a naturally high-fiber, low-fat, low-calorie vegetarian and vegan food ingredient. Because it is a wheat, bulgur wheat is not suitable for those on a gluten-free diet.

Cooking Bulgur Wheat

Though bulgur wheat is most commonly found in tabbouleh salad, you can use it just like rice or couscous, or any other whole grain, such as barley or quinoa.  Bulgur is a staple food in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Northern Indian cuisines.

Instead of rice, try pairing your favorite vegetable stir-fry or vegetable curry with cooked whole grain bulgur wheat. Or, try one of the easy bulgur wheat recipes below.

Types of Bulgur Wheat

Different types of bulgur wheat require different cooking times, so its best to check the package instructions for cooking instructions. One advantage of using bulgur wheat is that it has already been partially cooked, so it can be quick and easy to prepare at home, and it’s much quicker to cook than other whole grains. Most types of bulgur wheat will be done cooking in less than just fifteen minutes.

There are two main kinds of bulgur wheat: Instant bulgur wheat, also called fine-grain bulgur is common in health food store bulk bins and is usually used in tabbouleh recipes. This type of bulgur cooks in less than 5 minutes. Medium grain and coarse grain are also available.

Shopping for Bulgur Wheat

Nearly all grocery stores stock bulgur wheat. Look in the natural foods or bulk foods section, or in the baking aisle with other whole grains. If that doesn’t work, check the cereal aisle near the oatmeal and breakfast grain cereals. Occasionally, bulgur wheat is in the international foods section, near the hummus and falafel mixes, since bulgur wheat is common in a variety of regional Middle Eastern foods.  If you can’t find bulgur wheat in the bulk section, cereal section, international foods (since it’s often sold next to the Middle Eastern foods) or baking section, ask the staff for assistance.

Nutritional Value of Bulgur Wheat

Wondering just how healthy bulgur is? According to the USDA Food Composition Database , one cup of cooked bulgur wheat provides 151 calories, 0.4 grams of fat, 8.2 grams of dietary fiber (that’s about one-third of the recommended daily value), and a 5.6 grams of protein.

Judy Barbe, featured presenter at Eating Well, Being Well March 11

Judy Barbe is a registered dietitian, speaker and author of Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest: Simple Solutions for Fresh Food & Well-Being. Visit her website www.LiveBest.info for every day food solutions. What are you waiting for?

Judy will be presenting at the Year of Wellness Eating Well Being Well event on Saturday, March 11th at the TBCC Partners for Rural Innovation Center.  Following Judy’s presentation there will be a Q&A with local medical and nutrition experts, a cooking demonstration, snacks and samples, and a raffle for prizes.  Space is limited and registration is required:  Please register at http://bit.ly/TillamookYearofWellness or call 503-842-3433.  This event is being sponsored by Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, Oregon Food Bank, and Oregon State University Extension.

Strawberry Bulgur Yogurt Parfait

Recipe Source:  Judy Barbe, www.LiveBest.info

2 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup soaked bulgur, drained

1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt

1/2 cup honey Greek-style yogurt

10 strawberries, sliced

¼ cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Directions:

Prepare bulgur. In a quart-sized bowl, stir ½ cup bulgur and 1 cup water together. Allow to sit 1 hour as bulgur absorbs water. This can be done a day or 2 ahead of time. Refrigerate after water is absorbed.

Toast walnuts: Heat oven to 350°F. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly browned and nutty smelling. Remove and allow pan to cool on a wire rack.

In a bowl, layer bulgur, yogurt, strawberries and walnuts.

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