4th of July Foods

Go big with your first holiday celebration since the pandemic with these delicious treats. Whether you’re a hosting a large gathering or a few friends these recipes won’t disappoint!

Fresh Fruit Tart with Pate Sucree, Chocolate & Pastry Cream Filling

We've all bit into a fresh fruit tart that looks beautiful but tastes bland. A good fruit tart will not only look great on a dessert table, but it will taste even better.
Our recipe calls for a few tweaks to the typical fruit tart ingredients, and it also brings a few new ingredients into play that add more flavor and texture to the dish. 
Servings 6


Pate Sucree (Shortbread Crust)

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 eggs yolk combined with 1 tbsp cold water
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup toasted almond or pecans optional
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pastry Filling and Fruit

  • 2 8 oz. packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream, very cold
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips plus 1-2 tbsp corn oil
  • Confectioner's sugar to taste
  • Sliced seasonal fresh fruit as garnish
  • Strained currant or apricot jam to glaze fruit


Make the Pate Sucree

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Combine flour, salt and sugar in a food processor until well blended, if adding nuts do so now and process until finely chopped.
  • Add the pieces of cold butter and mix in food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  • Add egg yolk combined with cold water and vanilla to the mixture and process until the dough forms a ball inside the food processor bowl.
  • Remove dough and sandwich between parchment papers. Roll the dough into 10-inch circle and refrigerate until chilled.
  • Remove parchment and place dough in removable bottom tart pan. Be sure to push the dough up on the sides of the pan to form a thick crust barrier.
  • Using a fork, pierce dough with tines to prevent dough from bubbling up (called “docking”).
  • Spray parchment paper lightly with vegetable spray and place sprayed side against dough (this will prevent dough from sticking to parchment once parchment is removed).
  • Fill parchment lined pastry with pie weights or dried beans to weigh down dough for baking. (This technique is called “blind baking,” it’s purpose is to prevent the buttery dough from loosing its shape while baking in a very hot oven)
  • Place lined tart shell in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, carefully remove bean-lined parchment from tart; place the tart shell back in the oven until the crust is lightly golden, about 5-8 more minutes.
  • As soon as the tart shell is removed, sprinkle 1/2 cup of chocolate chips on the crust and allow time for them to melt. Then, use a pastry brush to spread melted chocolate and coat the shell. Allow the shell to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate to firm up chocolate until ready to fill with cream filling. (Coating pastry with chocolate not only adds one of my favorite flavors to this dessert but it also creates a barrier between the flaky crust and the rich pastry keeping this tart delicious for several days – if it lasts that long!)

Make the Cream Filling

  • In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat cream cheese until soft and creamy. Add the vanilla and confectioner's sugar to taste. Be sure not to make it too sweet, as you'll be adding other sweet ingredients such as the fruit!
  • In a separate large bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form and it thoroughly whipped.
  • Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and adjust sweetness with the confection's sugar.

Assembling Tart

  • Fill the tart shell with the cream cheese mixture, using an offset spatula to spread evenly.
  • Garnish with the sliced seasonal fruit.
  • Heat & brush the strained currant or apricot jam to glaze the fruit.
  • Finally, melt a 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips. You may add 1 to 2 teaspoons of corn oil to the melted chocolate if it is too thick. Use a fork to drizzle white chocolate over top of the fruit.

Peach and Blueberry Pie

Peaches and blueberries are two of the season’s best fruits. There flavors work great together in this pie recipe, and the homemade caramel adds a unique sweetness.
Servings 8


Pie Crust

  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 sticks + 6 tbsp salted butter, sliced into small chunks
  • 1 cup frozen Crisco, sliced into small chunks
  • 1 cup of ice-cold water


  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon scant ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds firm but ripe peaches, peeled, halved, and sliced thin
  • 2 pints fresh blueberries
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten to blend with 2 teaspoons water (glaze)
  • 1 tbsp sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (cinnamon sugar)


Pie Crust

  • Process flour and salt to blend. The add butter and the Crisco and process until the dough has pea-sized pieces. There should be no big chunks of butter or Crisco in the mix.
  • Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Create a small well in the middle of the dough and pour 3/4 cup ice water into the well. Mix the dough with a fork until the pea-sized pieces become larger. The dough should be moist, but not too wet. You can add the remaining 1/4 cup of water if need be. Use your hands to form the dough into two large balls. Roll each dough ball out between two sheets of parchment paper. Refrigerate dough until ready to use.


  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Place foil-lined baking sheet in bottom of oven to catch any spills. Roll out 1 pie crust disk on lightly floured surface to 13 1/2-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Fold edges under and crimp decoratively, forming high rim (about 1/2 inch above sides of dish). Chill crust 30 minutes. Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans. Bake crust for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and take aluminum and beans from the crust. Put the pie crust back in the oven for another 15 minutes until it is pale and golden. Cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out second pie crust disk on floured surface to 13 1/2-inch round. Cut into 3/4-inch-wide strips. Place strips on prepared baking sheet. Chill while preparing filling.


  • Combine 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl. Add peaches, blueberries  and lemon juice and toss gently to coat. Let stand 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, stir remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 11 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter and cream (mixture will bubble vigorously); stir caramel until smooth. Strain juices from peaches into caramel; cool to lukewarm. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix the caramel and flour, and then add this to the peaches and blueberries; toss gently.
  • Take a handful of flour sugar and coat the bottom of the pie pan. This will soak of some the juices from the fruit to keep the bottom of the crust from becoming soggy. Then, transfer fruit filling to crust, mounding in center.
  • Arrange 6 dough strips in 1 direction across top of pie, spacing apart. Working with 1 strip at a time, arrange 6 more strips in opposite direction atop first, lifting strips and weaving over and under, forming lattice. Gently press ends of strips to edge of baked bottom crust to adhere. Trim overhang. Brush lattice strips (but not crust edge) with egg yolk glaze. Sprinkle strips with cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake pie 35 minutes. Tent pie loosely with foil to prevent overbrowning. Continue to bake pie until filling bubbles thickly and lattice is golden brown, about 25 minutes longer. Cool pie on rack.

If you are entertaining a larger group, try this open fire paella!

Fire-Pit Paella

When it comes to outdoor summer cooking, burgers, ribs and bbq come to mind. But our personal favorite meal to cook outdoors is paella. Though paella can be cooked any time of year on a stove, the smokiness that comes from cooking over a wood-burning fire will enhance the flavor of the overall dish.  So light the fire pit, grab the paella pan, and invite your friends for a great outdoor meal that everyone will remember.
Servings 8


  • 2 1/2 cups rice (bomba or callaspara rice preferred)
  • 2 lobsters, halved (ask your fishmonger to do this)
  • 1-2 lbs. medium wild shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb. fresh calamari, cleaned and cut into rings
  • 1-2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 lb. Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
  • 7 cups hot seafood stock (homemade seafood stock is preferred)
  • 1/2 cups licorice-flavored liqueur (Pernod is preferred)
  • 3 bell peppers cut into strips
  • 2 cups thawed petite peas
  • 2 cups chopped leaks
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp saffron threads
  • 2 lemons cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • kosher salt to taste


Making the Paella

  • After paella pan has become hot over the fire, drizzle the olive oil and begin sautéing your sofrito. The sofrito is the base of aromatic ingredients that is sautéed in olive oil. For our paella, the sofrito is composed of chopped leeks, garlic, and chorizo. Add these ingredients to the olive oil, one by one, layering the flavors.
  • Once your sofrito is sautéed and fragrant, add the chicken and chorizo to the pan and sauté for three to four minutes. Next add your smoked paprika and toss ingredients once more. Then, add your rice and toss until ingredients are combined.
  • Once the rice has been combined, add hot seafood stock, one cup at a time, and stir as you go. After the stock is added, mix the saffron threads into your paella.
  • Now that the stock and saffron is mixed in, restrain the urge to stir your paella until the liquid has boiled down and the rice has cooked. Not stirring your paella will allow a toasted, flavorful crust known as the soccarat to form on the bottom of the pan.
  • After the liquid has boiled down, add your Pernod and stir the Paella to incorporate the liqueur. Next, add your bell peppers, shrimp, lobster and petite peas. We recommend covering the pan with tin foil and allowing the heat to cook your final seafood ingredients.
  • Once the shrimp is cooked and the lobster has turned red, sprinkle the paella with fresh parsley. Serve paella with lemon wedges, and be sure to scrape some of the soccarat on the bottom of the pan onto each plate. Enjoy!


The Fire:
We recommend building the fire pit with a mix of hard wood and wood-charcoal briquettes. This will give a nice smokiness and consistent heat for the large paella pan. Build the fire and allow it to burn down to hot coals. While the fire burns, prep your ingredients.

Check out this open fire paella video!

Tropical Paradise Smoothie Bowl


Tropical Paradise Smoothie Bowl


  • 1 cup coconut yogurt or coconut kefir
  • 1 mango, fresh chopped and frozen
  • 1 cup frozen chopped pineapple
  • 1 peeled banana, frozen and roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp shredded fresh mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice, or to taste
  • To Serve:
  • Passion fruit pulp
  • Balled gold and green kiwi
  • Pink dragon fruit
  • Roughly chopped macadamia nuts
  • Mint Leaves
  • Shredded lime zest
  • 1/4 Cup Granola Factory Honey Pecan Granola


  1. Whiz the yogurt or kefir with mango, pineapple, banana, mint leaves and chia seeds (if using) in a high-speed blender or small food processor until smooth. Scrape down the inside of the blender or processor bowl if required. If the mixture isn't moving well in the blender, add a tablespoon or two of water or coconut milk, being careful not to add too much liquid.
  2. Taste the smoothie and add a squeeze of lime juice to balance the flavor to your liking.
  3. Spoon the smoothie mixture immediately into two chilled bowls and top with passion fruit, kiwi fruit, dragon fruit, macadamia nut, mint leaves, lime zest and granola.



Our Ingredients: Butter

sommer-maidButter is an all-natural dairy byproduct from cows. It is one of the oldest and most natural foods that has been a part of our diets for thousands of years. Butter is the cream of fresh whole milk and must be at least 80% milk fat, while the remaining 20% consists of water and milk solids. Butter is rich in vitamins A, D, E, B12, and K2.

country-maid-butterButter is made by separating the milk’s fat (butter cream) from the liquid. The butter cream is aged and pasteurized for 24 hours, before being churned. The churning stage is when the butter will be separated from any excess liquid (buttermilk) and then the salt is added. After churning for a little over an hour, the butter is ready to be shaped and packaged. The butter we use at The Granola Factory is Country Maid Salted Butter which comes from Sommer Maid Creamery. Sommer Maid is a family owned and operated, local creamery located in Doylestown, PA.

butter-heartButter is better than processed oils. Many granola brands use canola oil which is lower in fat, but the process to make canola oil is a highly mechanized process that includes the use of chemicals. This process involves industrial steaming, de-waxing, bleaching, and deodorizing the oil. Although butter is also made with machines, it is made pretty much the way it’s always been, which is taking cream, churning it, and adding salt. At The Granola Factory, we use butter for the one of a kind flavor it offers our granola. Also, the mouth-feel achieved with butter cannot be matched when using oils.


Our Ingredients: Dried Cherries

cherry-treeHere at The Granola Factory, we use dried cherries in our Cherry Almond Quinoa granola. They add a great flavor and texture that pairs perfectly with the almonds. Our dried cherries come from Payson Fruit Growers located in Payson, Utah. These cherries are grown in the high desert, at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. The warm days and cold nights in this area make for tree ripen cherries that have both a great sweet and tangy flavor. Fun fact: The Cherry is the official state fruit of Utah!

cherriesAs soon as the cherries are picked they immediately start a cooling process in order to preserve their fresh flavor. The cherries are then transported a few minutes away to a processing plant where they are inspected, pitted, sorted, dried, and packaged.

dried-cherries-2Some reasons to include cherries into your diet are to reduce muscle soreness after exercise, ease arthritis pain, and enhance heart health. Also, cherries contain melatonin, which helps to regulate our sleep cycle and can help you sleep better throughout the night. Cherries are not only packed with antioxidants, but they are also a natural source of fiber, potassium, protein, and iron. In addition, cherries boost your immune system, thanks to vitamins C, A, and E.



Our Ingredients: Honey

beeHoney is the nectar of flowers collected from bees and is an all-natural energy source for the body. Unlike white sugar, honey divides glucose and fructose which allows the body to absorb simple sugars and convert them directly into energy. Honey as a sweetener is more concentrated than granulated sugar, which means you can use less of it to achieve the same sweetness. Honey is an ideal sweetener, as it contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and has antimicrobial properties.

Honey gives our granola a sweet flavor and crunchy, mouth-watering feel that almost melts in your mouth when combined with the butter. The unique blend of butter and honey is unlike any other granola on the shelf, which is what makes our granola’s flavor special.

honeycombThe golden honey we use here at The Granola Factory is unfiltered, raw honey. Unfiltered honey keeps all of its benefits like pollen, enzymes, antioxidants, and vitamins. This is made by extracting the honey from the honey comb, liquefying it to a temperature no higher than 140 degrees Fahrenheit, straining it through a stainless steel mesh strain, and packaging it for consumption. This method is better than the rest because it does not change the honey’s true natural composition. By not heating the honey any more than 140 degrees Fahrenheit, the honey’s natural flavor is not altered and its mineral and nutritional content is not harmed.  Our 100% pure honey is a blend of clover and wildflower, from the US and South America.

We buy our honey locally from Sandt’s Honey Co. in Easton, PA and Dutch Gold Honey in Lancaster, PA. Sandt’s Honey Co. is wherbees-making-honeye our golden honey comes from and Dutch Gold Honey provides us with our certified organic honey. The organic honey comes from regions in Brazil where the bees can find nectar from various wildflowers that are herbicide and pesticide free. The reason behind sourcing the organic honey from Brazil is not only because of the healthy condition the bees are in, but also because of the large, desolate areas that can be set aside for organic production.



Our Ingredients: Salt

saltContrary to what many think, salt plays an important role in our health. Salt is vital to the body, as it passes nutrients to our cells. It also aids in proper digestion, regulates muscle contractions, and helps with nerve stimulation. Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. However, a diet too low in sodium may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. According to the New York Times, a study was done that showed those who consumed less than 3 grams of sodium daily had a 26% increased risk for cardiovascular problems compared to those who consumed 4-5 grams daily. Salt is also a key factor when it comes to exercise. It not only prevents muscle cramps, but also helps you stay better hydrated by retaining the water in your body.


morton-kosher-saltWhy We Use Salt

In our granola we use Morton Kosher salt, which is a coarse-grained compound composed of sodium chloride. Morton Salt has been around since 1848 and is still a leading salt manufacturer in the US. Many processed foods use salt for preservation and shelf life purposes, but we use it for flavor. It enhances the taste of the honey and roasted pecans in our granola. According to the FDA, our granola is a low sodium food option. Low sodium is considered 140mg of sodium or less, per serving.


How Salt is Made

morton-vacuum-panThere are three ways to produce salt: the solar method, the evaporation method, and rock mining. The salt we use is made by the evaporation method, which is the evaporation of salt brine by using steam heat. At an evaporation site, water is pumped into an underground salt deposit. Once the salt dissolves, it is pumped to the surface as saturated brine. The brine is boiled and salt crystals fall to the bottom of a vacuum pan, which are then dried and packaged. This method yields a very high purity and high quality salt. The salt used at The Granola Factory is sourced from evaporation sites in the US and Canada.                                                                         vacuum-pan

Our Ingredients: Pecans

Pecan Trees Pecans are a tree nut member of the hickory family and have a rich, buttery flavor. They are native to North America & Mexico and are one of the few major tree nuts that grow naturally in North America. Once collected, the shell of each pecan is removed. This shelling process reduces a pecans weight by about half.

Pecan StagesAt The Granola Factory, we use roasted pecans that are locally roasted by Queens Nutritional Products in Allentown, Pa. For our granola, we use pecans in two flavors: All-Natural Honey Pecan and Organic Grains & Honey. In our All-Natural Honey Pecan granola, we use chopped, roasted, salted pecans. This results in bigger pecan chunks throughout. For our Organic Grains & Honey granola, we use unsalted pecan pieces, giving it a less salty taste and smaller pecans in each bite. The buttery taste of pecans pairs perfectly with the buttery flavor of our granola.

pecan-heartPecans have many health benefits and contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals. They are high in healthy fats and help to lower cholesterol. The fiber found in pecans promotes digestive health and the natural antioxidants pecans have play a role in heart health and disease prevention. Another benefit of eating pecans is that they contain phosphorous, which is important for healthy bones and teeth.



Our Ingredients: Rolled Oats

what-is-a-whole-grainFirst, lets start with what exactly an oat is. An oat is composed of three parts: the germ, the endosperm, and the bran. The germ is packed with nutrients, the endosperm is full of carbohydrates and protein, and the bran contains fiber.

The method to making rolled oats involves the whole, dehusked oat groat (grain kernel) being steamed and rolled into flakes. This process stabilizes healthy oils in the oats, which keeps them fresh longer.

Iowa MapOats are mainly grown in North America and Europe. At The Granola Factory, we use oats that are delivered fresh from St. Ansgar, Iowa. The midwest is the biggest grower of grains and a huge supplier of oats. Our oats are shipped to Lancaster County and delivered straight to our bakery.

When it comes to oats, there are numerous health benefits and reasons why they would be a great addition to any diet. Oats are a good source of thiamine (vitamin B1), iron, fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Oats can lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease thanks to the high amounts of beta-glucans.

granola-bin-1Why choose granola over processed cereals? The whole grains used in granola really make a difference when it comes to nutrition. The grains used in processed cereals are ground into flour and known as refined grains. This process removes the dietary fiber, iron, and vitamins.  Refined grains can lead to weight gain, inflammation, and blood sugar imbalances. Whole grains are always a better option when it comes to health!

Food and Exercise: Timing is everything

food clock


By Matt Nelson

In my experience as a college athlete and years dedicated to nutrition and fitness, I have learned that by making simple adjustments to WHAT and WHEN you eat around your workout, you will see noticeable changes in your energy levels and body.

It is two weeks into the New Year and hopefully you are still following the resolutions you set for yourself. Your resolution may be to eat healthily, lose weight and become physically active.  These are all noble resolutions, and balancing all three together will give you the best opportunity for meeting your goals.

The most common mistake people make when attempting to lose weight and workout is to eat less than usual and then head to the gym or park for an intense workout without the proper nutrition. This strategy may net you some short term results, but will quickly lead to a feeling of being burnt out.  This feeling leads to a failed resolution and a return to the lifestyle you previously lived.  Changing your body needs to be viewed as a marathon, not a sprint, so easing into a renewed active lifestyle and making small adjustments along the way is key.

The car comparison

If you think of your body as a high-powered sports car (because that’s the kind of car I would want to be associated with), it needs to be fueled with premium gas and on a more regular basis than a typical car. To draw a comparison, food is the fuel that provides energy for your body to sustain activity.  If you fuel your body with high-quality foods, it will result in the ability to workout longer and more efficiently.

fueling the car

A brief lesson in calories

The energy provided by food is measured in calories. We’ve all heard of calories and need to realize that they are nothing to be afraid of.  The key is to eat the right number of calories in a day to match your new or revamped active lifestyle.  To keep things simple, there are three nutrients that provide calories in food; proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

3 nutrientscropped table

Each nutrient provides a different function when digested by your body. So, eating foods high in a certain nutrient around your workouts will provide the proper fuel your body needs to work out and recover effectively. What you eat is important, but from my experience, when you eat is just as significant.

 Before your workout

Load up on carbohydrates

It is essential to eat roughly 30-45 minutes before you work out. By the time you begin your workout, your body will feel nourished and your “gas tank” will be on full.  Of the three calorie sources, carbohydrates provide the best energy source before a workout.  If you typically do not eat before working out, try making this recipe and you will see a noticeable difference in your sustainable energy levels!

Cherry Almond Granola Bars

CA bars

To take granola and mold it into a granola bar, you’ll need to heat honey and almond butter and mix them together until emulsified.

CA bars2

 After you workout

Choose a meal high in protein but also containing carbohydrates

Post-work out nutrition is of utmost importance for muscle growth and recovery. Your muscles are primed to be repaired after putting them through a demanding workout, and protein is exactly what they need!  If you are interested in learning more about the science of protein, click here.

Many foods and combinations are great for post workouts. For example, something as simple as a glass of chocolate milk can have the same effect as a high priced protein shake.  Many athletes and bodybuilders are already in on this delightful secret.

Take a look for yourself…

My go to post workout meal is Greek yogurt and granola. This combination is loaded with protein and just the right amount of carbs to replenish worn out muscles. A typical serving of Greek yogurt has 15 to 20 grams of protein and 5 to 8 grams of carbohydrates according to Kurtis Hiatt from U.S. News & Health.

Granola and Yogurt 2

Greek yogurt and granola is an excellent combination for a post workout snack. Try a couple of these for yourself:

Stoneyfield Organic Plain Greek yogurt with Granola Factory Organic Grains & Honey granola.


Wegmans Organic Vanilla Greek yogurt with Granola Factory Native Berry granola

 nativeberrygranolawegmans vanilla



About the author:  Matt Nelson is an account manager at The Granola Factory. Matt earned a B.S. in Marketing from Rowan University and played four years of college baseball.

Photos and videos courtesy of:

  • Blisstree.com
  • samedaysupplements.com
  • rugbyrenegade.com
  • Youtube.com
  • packworld.com
  • ourpersonaljourney.wordpress.com

Savor the Season: Making Wheat Whole Again

It’s June, which is one of my favorite months of the year. Flowers are blooming, and blueberries and soft-shell crabs are plentiful in grocery stores. But June is also when farms are harvesting winter wheat, the most popular variety of wheat grown in America. So given this fun fact, I thought it would be the perfect month to focus on some great recipes that incorporate whole wheat.

I’ve wanted to write about whole wheat for a while now. Since the New Year, my wife and I have been trying to substitute nutrient-rich whole wheat flour for white flour. To our surprise, it hasn’t been as difficult as expected. We’ve actually come to prefer the taste of whole wheat flour in certain foods over white flour.

Whole Wheat Flour vs. White Flour

Whole wheat flour is very different in taste and nutritional value when compared to white flour. As a quick science lesson, there are three components to any grain: the bran, germ and endosperm. While the bran and germ pack most of the nutritional value, they are also the parts that give any grain a more distinct flavor and shorter shelf life. Hence, the invention of refined grains such as white flour. White flour will last a lot longer in your pantry, and won’t overpower the pastry you’re baking with a “wheaty” taste.


Though I prefer white flour in many recipes, it adds very little nutritional value to your diet. Whole Grains, such as wheat, are packed with fiber. Fiber is one of the most vital nutrients for our digestive systems. High-fiber foods digest in your body at a slower-pace, which keeps blood sugar low and leaves you feeling fuller longer. As an example, I eat our cherry almond quinoa granola every morning. It is packed with whole grain oats and protein-rich ingredients such as quinoa and almonds. After eating the granola with milk, I usually don’t get hungry until mid afternoon.

So now that we’ve gotten the science and nutritional aspects out of the way, let’s get back to the flavor benefits. Whole wheat flour is much more flavorful than white flour. This is how wheat flour was milled since its beginnings. As processed foods became popular in grocery stores, white flour became the norm and our paletes have adapted to its taste over time.

Whole Wheat Pizza with sharp cheddar, ricotta, sautéed shiitake mushrooms, sliced granny smith apples and caramelized onions.

 Making the Switch

If there are three foods I love to eat on a monthly, if not weekly basis, it’s pizza, pasta and cookies. Yes I know, very typical of an American man. But all three commonly use white flour. So these were the three foods Lisa and I tried switching to whole wheat flour. The results? All three, in certain circumstances, taste BETTER with wheat flour.

Pizza and Pasta: I have a favorite pizza recipe from Nancy Silverton’s “Mozza” cookbook. The pizza dough recipe is the best I’ve come across and bakes great in a regular home oven. I adapted her recipe to use whole wheat flour instead of white flour. The dough had amazing flavor and texture.


Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta with Seared Scallops and a Basil Pesto Cream Sauce


For the pasta recipe, I also adapted a recipe from her cookbook. Both recipes worked perfectly with whole wheat flour.

If there is one ingredient that didn’t pair well our pizza and pasta, it’s tomato. Yes, I realize tomato is to pizza what peanut butter is to jelly. But the disagreement between these two ingredients forces you to get creative with your pizza and  incorporate more healthful ingredients, such as sautéed mushrooms and Granny-Smith apples.

Cookies: Lisa’s chocolate chip cookie recipe is simple and delicious. We switched out the white flour for whole wheat and there was very little difference in flavor. Given the minor subtleties in flavor, what reason do we have to use white flour over whole wheat going forward?

By making traditional chocolate chip cookies with whole wheat flour you'll add more fiber to your cookies and won't notice any difference in flavor.

By making traditional chocolate chip cookies with whole wheat flour you’ll add more fiber to your cookies and won’t notice any difference in flavor.


The Cost-Benefit Analysis

Yes, whole grains such as whole wheat flour are more expensive than refined white flour, but when it comes to food, you often get what you pay for. Whole wheat flour will cost you more, but it will keep you feeling full longer and digest easier in your body. And if you get the chance to try one of these recipes, you’ll realize that not only are you paying for more healthful flour, but also for more flavorful food.

 The Menu

Whole Wheat White Pizza With Shiitake Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions & Granny Smith Apples

Whole Wheat Pasta with Seared Scallops and a Basil Pesto Cream Sauce

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies