I like bread that has a nice chewy crust, some good flavor, and great aroma. There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread . . . unless it's the smell of freshly baked cookies.
Warm bread off the cooling rack and broken with your fingers is a quiet and fulfilling joy. Bread still so warm it tingles your fingertips can be enjoyed without butter of any kind. Who wants to wait for it to cool or even to slice it? I used to love it when Peg made homemade bread. Unfortunately, it hasn't happened for a while.
When I review a fine dining establishment, the first "tell" for me is the bread they serve to munch on while waiting for the meal to begin. Floppy, bland, mealy bread I can do without. Dressing it up with real butter isn't even a nice try.
If the restaurant can't be bothered to give you decent bread, then there isn't much hope the meal will be any better than the bread.
We have a standing dinner date with friends every Friday evening after work. We take turns hosting. Each couple volunteers to bring either, a side dish, appetizers, salad, dessert, or bread. I like to make sure the bread is good. Then I'm happy with everything else. At other homes some people eat bread without butter, some eat it with butter, and sometimes we have olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip the bread in. At our house we set out butter for those who want it, but we have moved on to a mixture of either butter and olive oil or butter and canola oil. The mixture retains the taste of butter, but makes it better for you body.
I'm always on the look out for whole grain breads. Whole grains are a superfood. Those breads seem to offer more for my body. In the introduction of Whole Grains in their Micronutrient Information Center, the Linus Pauling Institute says, "Whole grains are rich in potentially beneficial compounds, including vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, such as lignans, phytosterols, and fiber. . . Compared to diets high in refined grains, diets rich in whole grains are associated with reduced risks of several chronic diseases. . . Whole grains represent a unique package of energy, micronutrients, and phytochemicals that work synergistically to promote health and prevent disease."
(You can watch the video near the bottom of the page to explain even more about what whole grain breads can do for you)
I grew up on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on white bread. For variety my school lunch bag would sometimes have white bread with mayo and a slice of baloney . . . with maybe even a pickle. Peg's favorite school lunch was Velveeta on white bread. We've progressed so far from those days. Today our favorite breads are mostly whole grain and/or multi-grained breads like those baked by Roman Meal. I like whole grain bread as the base for a good veggie sandwich.
We were thrilled to watch a class of KidSpirit: Chefs in Motion, an activity provided at Oregon State University where the youngsters were given physical exercises and taught about proper nutrition. The class we saw had the kids making their own whole wheat hamburger buns and then preparing ground beef with spices and shredded carrots, onions, zucchini, and other condiments to make them ready for grilling. In addition the children were given instruction in setting the table, serving the food, and clearing and cleaning up. The kids had a great time and shared all of their information with their parents. What a great program.
Bread can either be used to accompany a meal, or as the central focus of the meal itself from breakfast to dinner and dessert. I love French toast, turkey stuffing/dressing, and bread pudding. I still like sandwiches, too . . . but the bread better be good . . . and nutritious.
c. 2013 - Live2AgeWell.com
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The following video explains how bread can help with managing our weight and cravings, better moods & looking and feeling our best.