Learn how to incorporate whole grains in your cooking routine and find the best whole grain recipes for your favorite meals. Use Save for grocery coupons!
This year, let's eat more carbs. The good kind! Opt for "whole" grains instead of refined grains for a complete nutritional profile when you're craving grains to round out your meal.
You can typically tell whole grains by the color. Most have a nutty hue and taste, like brown rice, wheat berries, or barley. On the other hand, refined (processed) grains are stripped of their beneficial nutrients in the factory. Think white rice or white pasta, which provides texture but has less flavor.
According to Harvard Business Review, whole grains have beneficial B and E vitamins, protein, and minerals like iron and zinc. The fiber in whole grains also makes them more filling, so you're more likely to feel satisfied with your portion than refined grains. Simply put, you get more nutritional bang for your buck with whole grains. Unprocessed whole grains include:
Here's how to weave more whole grains into your diet and still enjoy the foods you love!
If you're new to whole grains, look for recipes online. Search your favorite foods (pancakes!) to find whole-grain versions. The Whole Grains Council has some of the tastiest whole grain recipes.
You can also Google your favorite meal with "whole grains" and see what pops up.
Mainstream grocery stores are great for variety, but you can save time by shopping at a store that specializes in healthy foods.
You can also get most whole grains online from major stores in bulk and standard grocery sizes.
One of the coolest things about adding new whole grains to your kitchen is that most have long, storied histories. For example, quinoa has roots tracing back to 5,000 BCE, to pre-Columbian civilizations! Spelt also dates back to around the same time, originating from southern Europe.
When you know where your food comes from, even centuries back, it can give you a better appreciation for what you're eating. Especially for kids, it's pretty neat to know you're using ingredients that have sustained humanity for centuries all over the world.
To truly boost your nutrition, you need to know what you're eating. Each whole grain has unique nutritional properties. For example, a single cup of Kamut or teff offers 20% of your daily protein value!
If you're cooking for a partner or kids, share what you've learned with them for some interesting mealtime conversation.
Our favorite part about whole grains? The diverse tastes and textures! You can use them in many ways, from adding warmth and texture to a salad (may we recommend quinoa?) or heartiness to a vegetable soup (hello, barley!). They're delicious for breakfast. Add a modern twist to porridge (use buckwheat) or mix in some oats for your favorite dessert crumble.
Whole grains are satiating and can satisfy a craving for refined carbs. Try using a different whole grain each week to explore new ingredients and find your favorites.
Remember that when shopping for grains, whole provides more nutritional value. Refined grains are stripped of many beneficial properties that can power up your health. Whole grains come in so many flavors, textures, shapes, and sizes that you can always find a unique addition to swap in your favorite dish.
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