If you read our blog post from a couple weeks ago, then you already know how beneficial whole grains are to your health. But, now you may be wondering, “I know I should be eating whole grains, but how exactly do I incorporate them into my diet?”.
Whole grains contain all natural parts of a seed, the bran, germ and endosperm. On the other hand, refined grains include grains that have been processed to improve their shelf life, which also strips the grain of many of its nutrients. You’ll notice that refined grains are also a finer texture and lighter color than whole grains.
While all of this grain talk may sound complicated, it’s easier than you think to include more whole grains in your diet.
Substitute whole grains in your baking
One easy trick for eating whole grains is to swap any refined grains out for whole grain ingredients. The Whole Grains Council suggests replacing half the white ﬂour with whole wheat ﬂour in your recipes for cookies, muﬃns, quick breads and pancakes.
You can also try substituting one third of the ﬂour in a recipe for quick oats or old-fashioned oats.
Incorporate whole grains into your breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it’s beneficial to start the day off with lots of nutrients. . Oatmeal and whole grain granola are a great way to include those key nutrients into your breakfast.
Or if you have extra time, try making these delicious, fluffy whole grain bagels!
Swap out noodles for whole grains in soups/stews
Try cooked whole grains like barley and farro or wheat berries to add some heartiness to your soup. Either simmer the grains with the broth as the rest of the ingredients cook, or stir in pre-cooked grains in the last five minutes. Choose sturdy grains that hold their shape and structure when cooked.
Add whole grains to your salad
Cook a large batch of grains such as barley, farro and spelt on Sunday, and then store it in the fridge for a quick salad topping you can use throughout the week!
Try new foods
Experiment with different grains such as buckwheat, bulgur, millet, quinoa, sorghum, whole rye or barley. Cook grains in a liquid that already has some flavor like chicken broth or stock for maximum flavor payout in your cooked grains.
Our favorite trick is to make a “fancy” risotto using barley to impress dinner guests. This trick is so easy too. All you have to do is simmer some barley, season with olive oil and garlic, and mix with mushrooms and parmesan cheese for a beautiful meal!