Bulgur: Add fiber to family favorites

October 27, 2014

Bulgur may not be a Kansas family staple, but with a higher fiber content than oatmeal as well as plenty of iron, magnesium and B vitamins, maybe it should be. 

Bulgur is wheat kernels that have been soaked, boiled and dried. A small portion of the bran is removed (5 percent) and the kernel is cracked into pieces. 

The Chinese ate this food as early as 2,800 BC. The Romans called it “cerealis” after the goddess of the harvest – Ceres. Today, it is a mainstay in the Middle Eastern diet, where it is called arisah. 

Thousands of years of taste testing means bulgur can be incorporated in any recipe genre. Add bulgur to meatloaf, soups, stews, casseroles – even meat sauces for Mexican or Italian dishes. Also try bulgur in waffles, pancakes, muffins or other baked goods to add a nutty flavor. Or serve it as a main or side dish mixed with vegetables, nuts or small pieces of meat. 

Follow these tips to make bulgur your family’s new favorite ingredient:

  • Find bulgur near the pasta, rice or hot cereal products in the supermarket. 
  • Bulgur doubles in volume after cooking, so use a large enough pan. 
  • Soak bulgur in hot liquid (twice the amount as bulgur), stir and let stand (covered) for 30 minutes or overnight. 
  • Do not wash or rinse bulgur before cooking. 
  • Avoid lifting the lid while cooking; bulgur does not need stirring.
  • Mix one part prepared bulgur to two parts meat. 
  • Refrigerate or freeze prepared bulgur for later use. 

Try these tasty recipes that use bulgur.

Adapted from the Wheat Foods Council’s Grains of Truth – Bulgur

By Julia Debes