Whole Grain Sampling Day Giveaway

Did you know that April 3 is Whole Grain Sampling Day? What is that, you ask? It's an opportunity for consumers everywhere to try more whole grains, as supermarkets, manufacturers, restaurants, and other foodservice outlets all pitch in to lower the barriers to sampling whole grains.

Whole Grain Sampling Day was created by Oldways and the Whole Grains Council to show consumers how delicious whole grains can be, to encourage chefs to make whole grains an everyday offering, and to give manufacturers a chance to tout their whole grain goods.

This year, I've volunteered to be a whole grain ambassador to help spread the word about Whole Grain Sampling Day (and whole grains, in general). I was sent a box full of whole-grain goodies to sample so that I'd be able to tell you all about them. Even though I know that whole grains are good for me, I don't eat enough of them. This box opened my eyes to all sorts of new items that offer whole grains; many of them were even gluten-free and the ingredient labels I scanned all had words I could pronounce and was familiar with. And I learned a helpful hint: It's easy to tell what products have whole grains just by looking for the whole grain stamp.

Whole grain sampling kit

So what was in the box?
  • Whole Grain Sampling Day T-Shirt
  • Among Friends Baking Mixes - Spelt Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Mix
  • Barbara's Bakery - Shredded Oats Cereal
  • Bob's Red Mill - Gluten Free Muesli
  • Carl Brandt - Mestemacher Rye Bread
  • Dr. Kracker - Engine 2 Crispbreads
  • Fabe's - Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • Freekehlicious - Whole Grain Freekeh
  • Frontier Soups - Montana High Plains Wheat Berry Chili
  • Goose Valley Natural Products - Brown & Wild Rice Fusion
  • HomeFree Treats - Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Jovial Foods - Einkorn and Brown Rice Pastas
  • Nabisco - Classic Wheat Thins and New Black Pepper Brown Rice Triscuits
  • Pamela's Products - Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookie Mix
  • Real McCoy's Snax - Gluten-Freen Sea Salt and Sweet & Spicy Brown Rice Chips
  • Tasty Bite - Garlic Brown Rice
  • Upfront Foods - Straight Up Granola
  • Way Better Snacks - Simply Sweet Potato Sprouted Tortilla Chips
I haven't tried everything yet -- I still need to cook up some of the pastas and rice and bake with the baking mixes -- but so far I love the Way Better Snacks Simply Sweet Potato Sprouted Tortilla Chips. The chips incorporate sprouted ingredients like flaxseed, chia seeds, quinoa, black beans, broccoli seeds, and daikon radish seeds. These germinated and sprouted ingredients are easier for the body to digest and offer nutritional benefits as well.

I also enjoyed the Real McCoy's Snax chips. The Sweet & Spicy ones are addictive. The Montana High Plains Wheat Berry Chili was delicious prepared with fresh ground turkey and diced tomatoes... and it even got Jeff to eat wheat berries! The HomeFree Treats Double Chocolate Chip Cookies are crunchy and almost meringue-like with rich chocolate chips studded throughout. The Fabe's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie surprised me with how chewy, flavorful, and moist it was.

Stealing the show was the Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Muesli. I've been taking it to work for breakfast mixed with yogurt, and it's been habit-forming. I don't know how I've gone so long without trying it. The muesli offers a tasty gluten-free mix of rolled oats, brown rice crisps, raisins, dried apples and cranberries, sunflower seeds, almonds, roasted soy beans, pumpkin seeds, and coconut flakes. Softened with a little Stonyfield French Vanilla yogurt, it's satisfying and flavorful.

The Whole Grain Council says, "Our goal, at the end of the day, is to have people everywhere saying, 'That was great! Where have you been all my life?'" and that's exactly what I did. I'd love to give one of you the opportunity to say the same, so I am giving away a Whole Grains Sampling Kit. To enter, let me know what whole grains you currently eat or which of the things in the kit you'd most like to try. You have until 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, to enter. (One comment per person, and please make sure to leave me some way to contact you or I will have to choose another winner.)

Also, the Whole Grains Council Team will be leading a virtual "whole grain toast" at noon on April 3, 2013,  and they're inviting consumers, manufacturers, and restaurants to join the fun. They’re urging everyone to create their own version of a toast to whole grains, whether that's clinking pieces of toast together or filling Champagne flutes with whole-grain popcorn, for example. Get creative and post your toast as a picture or video on Facebook, Twitter (#SampleWholeGrains), and/or YouTube.

I received a complimentary Whole Grains Sampling kit from Oldways, and they are also providing a kit for this giveaway, but I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

Congratulations to Colleen, who won the giveaway. Thank you all for entering, and I hope you'll join in the whole grain toast at noon on April 3!