If you’re looking for healthy whole grains to try that you can enjoy without fearing any health risks, then you’re in luck!
In this blog post, we’ll discuss seven whole grains you should try and how to cook them so you can get the most out of them. From quinoa to amaranth, these grains offer a whole range of benefits that are hard to beat. Not sure where to start? Read on, and we’ll guide you through the process of cooking whole grains so that you can start enjoying them today!
What are whole grains?
It’s that time of year again—the fall season! And what better way to kick off the season than by adding whole grains to your diet? Whole grains are foods that have been ground into pieces that still retain their original shape. They’re a great source of fiber, magnesium, and potassium, which help to keep you healthy overall.
Whole grain foods contain all of the essential nutrients needed for healthy living. They also have many health benefits, including lower cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.
Whole grain foods contain all parts of the wheat kernel (bran, germ, and endosperm) and the outer husk or bran. Whole grain products have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and obesity.
So, what are some whole grains you can try this season? Here are seven whole grains that you should try and add to your diet:
Types of whole grains
There’s nothing like a good bowl of whole grains to start the day off right. And in case you’re wondering, here are 7 whole grains you should try and how to cook them. Brown rice, steel-cut oats, whole wheat bread, oats in the shell, barley malt, buckwheat groats. All these grains are healthy and have a unique flavor profile that you’ll love. So, give them a try and see for yourself!
Whole grains are foods made from the entire grain seed — the bran, germ, and endosperm. They’re high in fiber and other nutrients and may help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Examples include oats, wheat berries, brown rice, and quinoa.
This article will cover seven types of whole grains and what to do with them when cooking or baking.
Brown rice is a whole grain, meaning that it contains all three parts of the grain. It also has more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than white rice. It’s been found to be more filling than white rice, which may help control your appetite.
Brown rice can be cooked in about 30 minutes and will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in the pantry or cupboard. You can find brown rice in most supermarkets or health food stores.
In their natural state, brown rice kernels are covered with a bran layer (the outermost layer of the grain). This layer is removed during processing to make white rice. The bran contains fiber, B vitamins, and other nutrients lost when this layer is removed during milling.
Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice because its bran layer is intact. This means that nutrients such as magnesium and selenium are more likely to be retained during cooking than polished grains like white rice or refined grains like wheat flour (stripped of all their bran layers).
While not technically a grain, wild rice is similar to brown rice and can be used similarly. It is, however, much more expensive than either white or brown rice!
Wild rice has a slightly nutty flavor that pairs well with many foods. It’s good in both sweet and salty dishes, making for an excellent food source of sodium.
It is also high in nutritional value, containing over five times as much protein as either white or brown rice. A one-cup (250 ml) serving has four grams of protein, 6% of your daily vitamin B6, and 8% of your daily zinc nutrition.
So why don’t we all eat more of this wonder food? The price! One cup (100 g, 3 oz) costs around $3 per ounce! This means that if you consume the recommended two cups per day, which is close to our average consumption, it would cost about $600 annually!
That may sound like a lot, but considering how nutritious and cheap regular grains are these days, it becomes less significant.
Steel Cut Oats
Steel-cut oats are one of the most popular oatmeal toppings! They are cooked for a slightly longer period than traditional rolled oats, giving them more flavor and texture.
Steel-cut oats can be made in either a quick or classic style. The difference is how the oats are toasted or cooked before adding liquid. In the case of quick oats, there is no need to add any additional juice as they retain their shape and softness when mixed with milk. For traditional oatmeal, you should toast dried oats until the smell changes and gets stronger.
These classic oats can then be topped with cream, brown sugar, and milk to make the perfect breakfast dish. Because they take a little longer to cook, steel-cut oats are also higher in calories than plain old run-of-the-mill oats. A 1/2 cup serving (100 grams) has 245 calories for an average person.
Another favorite gluten-free grain is amaranth! This nutritious food has a flavor that some describe as sweet or cereal-like. It can be cooked just like rice and tastes best when toasted.
Amaranth contains protein, vitamin B, calcium, iron, and zinc and is high in fiber. It also has something called gliadin, which helps stabilize blood glucose levels.
Amaranth grain is sold as an alternative to wheat flour because it makes dough a little bit denser than white bread dough. That’s why it’s essential to choose your cooking method and baking temperature carefully so that doesn’t happen.
Bakeware with lids is helpful if this happens since you can put the top on and let residual heat dry out the leftover grains.
Oatmeal is one of the most well-known grains in the world. It’s probably best known for its culinary uses, but you can add it to your diet as a healthy ingredient.
Oatmeal is made from rolled oats that have been dried and processed. When cooked down, oatmeal becomes a gel and tastes delicious.
Many people love oatmeal because it doesn’t taste too plain and takes only minutes to make. It may not be fashionable, but oatmeal is an excellent source of minerals such as zinc, magnesium, and potassium.
It also contains small amounts of protein and vitamin B6. However, some types of oatmeal are lower in protein and vitamins than others.
This article will discuss the different kinds of oatmeal and how to prepare them.
Have you heard of buckwheat groats? They are not wheat; they are rhubarb seeds that have been dried and processed into what some call a grain.
Buckwheat is a fruit or herb plant native to temperate regions worldwide. It grows in dense bushes with green leaves and small red berries that contain little hairs called steri-glisten, which help keep the fresh berry longer. These berries also sprout very quickly!
These sprouts grow roots and branches like any other tree seed, but instead of trees, they produce a flower resembling a pancake. The parts then harden and stick together, forming what we know as buckwheat flour.
This particular kind of flour is high in protein and contains more iron than most whole grains. Due to its unique texture and taste, it’s becoming increasingly popular. You can find it in various dishes, such as pancakes, pasta, bread, and even sushi.
Millet flour is made from hulled or toasted millet grains mixed with water to form a thick, glistening dough.
It can be cooked like any other grain, but it will not turn brown until it has been exposed to air for at least a few minutes. This makes it perfect for dishes where you do not want to see the color of the food, such as porridge and pancakes.
It also mixes well with sweet and salty ingredients, making it a great addition to recipes. It is a cheap nutritional boost due to its high content of minerals such as zinc and magnesium, along with some protein.
You can find millet in many whole foods stores and supermarkets. It is usually sold in packets or bulk bins under “popcorn” wheat.
How to cook whole grains
Cooking whole grains is a great way to enjoy them! There are many ways to cook almost every type of grain available. They all depend on what method you choose and how much water they contain.
Most people begin by toasting the grains, adding heat and flavor to them. Depending on the grain, this can be done in a pan or an oven. Once toasted, most grains can have additional ingredients mixed or cooked alongside them.
Some more common grains that can be used this way include wheat berries, brown rice, bulgur, quinoa, and barley. These foods are rich in nutrients and taste good when eaten alone or with other recipes.
Health Benefits of Whole Grains
Although many people believe that “healthy” means eating less meat and fewer vegetables, the amount of whole grains you eat makes a difference in your health.
Whole grains are simply foods made from all parts of the grain. They include wheat berries, brown rice, oatmeal, barley, and rye.
They are also rich in vitamin B, magnesium, zinc, iron, and calcium.
Some studies have even linked them with lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
While some claim that carbohydrates contribute to weight gain, research shows the opposite: low carbohydrate diets can benefit patients with type 2 diabetes.
Those individuals may recommend limiting carbs or using low glycemic index (GI) recipes. A GI chart rates different types of food by how quickly their glucose levels rise.
Higher GIs have been linked to inflammation, so some diet plans try to lower inflammation while keeping people healthy and hungry.
Delicious recipes made of whole grains
Whole grains can be an essential part of a healthy diet, but it’s important to understand what whole grains are and how they differ from refined grains.
Refined grains have been processed to remove some or all of their bran and germ, such as white flour or rice. Some refined grains also have added nutrients put back into them, such as iron in enriched bread. Refined grains retain their shape after cooking (such as pasta), while whole grains become softer when cooked, so they look different on your plate or in your bowl.
Recipes featuring whole grains
Fall is a great time to try whole grains. Not only are they tasty and healthy, but they offer many health benefits. Try out whole grains in various recipes this season, and see how you like them. There are many ways to cook whole grains—try them as side dishes, salads, or even main courses. Plus, whole grains make great snacks and are a great way to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. So, whether you’re looking for a healthy change of pace or want to add more whole grains to your diet, give these 7 whole grains a try this fall!
Whole wheat bread
While many people try to be more conscious of their sugar intake, few realize how much white flour most foods contain! Most “white” flours are made from very little white rice or barely any white wheat that has been processed into a powder.
Some brands use brown rice as an ingredient instead of white rice! This is not necessarily better since both types of rice can pack in carbs, just like white wheat.
A small amount of whole-grain wheat or rice will help you enjoy your food less heavily loaded with carbohydrates. Unfortunately, it may also cost a bit more due to the higher price of whole grains.
Whole wheat bread is one of the best all-around foods for you to make at home. Several recipes do not require too high of a temperature to toast the dough, making this bread easier to take care of.
Even soft whole wheat baguettes taste good warm out of the oven! The only thing to watch out for is if the rolls get soggy because they might bake longer than usual.
How to cook whole wheat bread?
Whole grain bread has been touted as one of the healthiest foods available, but most people don’t know how to cook it properly. This recipe is fast and easy to follow.
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 egg
- Mix the warm water and yeast until dissolved. Let it sit for five minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients and knead the dough for 10 minutes.
- Let it stand for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Punch down the risen dough and shape it into a loaf pan.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Whole wheat wraps
Wraps are one of the most popular foods for people of all ages. They can be made with anything from rice or flatbread as a base, toppings such as vegetables and meat, and either butter or mayonnaise as an accompaniment.
A whole grain wrap is not only healthier than most versions, but it’s also more nutritious. A few things vary depending on what kind of wrap you make and what kind of bread you use, but almost every type of whole grain will help increase your nutritional intake.
These include vitamins like B6 and A, zinc, magnesium, and potassium; minerals like calcium, iron, and phosphorus; and dietary fiber that helps keep you full.
What are they lacking? Sugar! While some types of bread have added sweeteners, most do not. This makes them better for your health because the less sugar you eat, the lower your blood glucose levels.
How to cook whole wheat wraps?
Cooking whole wheat wraps is one of my favorite foods. They are delicious and filling, and they’re really easy to prepare.
I’m going to teach you how to make these tasty treats. I hope you’ll give them a try!
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 tomato
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/2 red onion
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 lime
- In a small bowl, combine the rice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Mix until combined.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat.
- Spread the rice mixture evenly across the bottom of the pan.
- Cook for 8 minutes or until golden brown.
- Flip the wrap and cook for 6 minutes or until golden brown on the second side.
- Remove it from the pan and let it cool slightly.
- Cut each wrap in half lengthwise.
- Place a layer of lettuce on top of each half.
- Top it with the remaining ingredients.
- Roll up tightly.
- Cut each roll crosswise into slices.
- Serve immediately.
- You can bake the wraps if you don’t have a grill.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the rice mixture onto the parchment paper.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
- Turn off the oven and leave the wrap inside for another 30 minutes.
- Slice once cooled.
Whole wheat pizza
If you are looking for more ways to enjoy whole grains, look no further than making your pizza! You can use our recipe as a starting point or add some of your ingredients.
Whole-grain pizzas will satisfy your hunger better than traditional thin-crust pizzas because they pack all the carbs into the dough instead of using toppings to fulfill that function. Because there is less space in the stomach, eating this food will also make you feel much fuller. This helps reduce appetite craving episodes and can be used in diet planning.
Many types of whole wheat flour vary in color and taste. The flavor depends on what ingredient you include in the dough while baking. To create the best-tasting pie, try different flours to see which one pairs well with your personal preference.
How to cook whole wheat pizza?
Whole wheat pizza is still tasty and satisfying without bad carbs. Here is how to make a whole-wheat pizza at home.
- 1 cup of whole wheat flour
- 2 cups of water
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- Mix the flour, water, salt, oil, tomato paste, garlic, egg white, and Italian seasoning in a bowl until smooth.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Add the mozzarella cheese and stir until combined.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 20 seconds.
- Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a greased baking sheet.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake for 8–10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top with desired toppings.
- Return to the oven for another 4-6 minutes or until golden brown.
Tips & Tricks
- Use a nonstick pan instead of a regular cast iron skillet for cooking. Cast iron pans absorb too much grease and become heavy over time.
- If you cannot find whole wheat flour, substitute it with unbleached flour.
- Toppings should include fresh vegetables, herbs, spices, and sauces.
- Be sure to brush the crust with olive oil after baking. This helps prevent sticking.
- Make sure to cook the pizza for longer than usual since whole wheat flour takes longer.
- For a thicker crust, add additional whole wheat flour.
- Don’t forget to eat the leftovers!
Whole wheat crackers
One of our favorite whole grain foods is a little bit unexpected. We call them breadcrumbs! That is if you like soft, fluffy bread crumbs, which are perfect in most recipes.
Whole wheat bread usually has less than half the refined white flour used to make regular bread. Therefore, it takes longer to bake. This gives the bread more flavor and texture because it comes into contact with all the bits of food while baking.
We love having a variety of whole wheat bread at home, so we can try each one out. They all taste great, and none are too heavy or hard! Check out our list below for some of our favorites.
How to cook whole wheat crackers?
Whole wheat crackers are delicious! They offer an alternative to white flour crackers loaded with unhealthy ingredients. If you don’t know how to cook whole wheat cracker dough, here’s everything you need to know.
- Whole wheat flour
- Baking soda
- Cooking whole wheat crackers is quite simple.
- First, mix the water, salt, yeast, and baking soda until dissolved.
- Then add the flour and stir thoroughly.
- Continue stirring until the mixture becomes thick and sticky.
- After mixing, pour the dough onto a floured surface and knead it until smooth.
- Let the dough sit for 10 minutes, then roll it out using a rolling pin.
- Cut the dough into the desired shapes and bake according to the package instructions.
Tips For Cooking Whole Wheat Crackers
- Make sure the oven temperature is set to 350°F/180°C. This ensures that the crackers won’t burn.
- Don’t overmix the dough. Overworking the dough makes it challenging.
- Bake the crackers for 15 minutes. This gives the crackers a nice crunchy texture.
- If you follow these tips, you should be able to cook whole wheat crackers successfully.
Whole wheat soups
Another way to enjoy whole grain foods is in homemade soup! Homemade vegetable or chicken broth can be mixed into recipes such as tomato, pepper, mushroom soup, or even creamy potato soup.
Thickening the liquid part of the recipe will give your soup more body. To do this, you can use breadcrumbs, flour, rice, pasta, or even celery puree. Pureed carrots, sweet potatoes, or zucchini also make great additions to create an authentic cream-based flavor.
To add some depth of flavor, you can cook dried beans, peas, or grains along with the vegetables in the soup.
How to cook whole wheat soup?
Whole wheat soup is one of those dishes that everyone loves, especially kids. They love its hearty flavor and ability to fill them up without weighing them down.
But most store-bought soups are unhealthy because they are made with refined flour, white rice, and artificial sweeteners.
This recipe uses whole grains instead of refined ones. Whole grain foods contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that protect against diseases.
So here’s how to make a wholesome whole-wheat soup.
- 1 cup dry whole-wheat pasta
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 pound fresh spinach leaves
- 1/2 medium carrot
- 1 small zucchini
- 1/2 yellow squash
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Cooking pasta according to package directions
- Drain and set aside.
- Heat oil in a pot.
- Sauté onions with garlic until soft.
- Stir in basil and seasonings.
- Add the vegetables and sauté until tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in cooked pasta.
- Top each serving with freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Serve immediately.
Whole Wheat Pasta with Mushrooms and Spinach
This Whole Grain Pasta is a great way to get your whole-grain intake in one meal. It’s also loaded with mushrooms, spinach, and garlic for added flavor!
This low-calorie pasta dish is packed with protein from the mushrooms and spinach, as well as antioxidants from the garlic and tomatoes. It’s also a great source of fiber from the whole-wheat pasta
How to cook whole wheat pasta with mushrooms and spinach?
Pasta made with whole wheat flour is delicious and nutritious. They contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Whole-grain pasta has been shown to improve health outcomes, such as reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
This recipe uses a combination of whole wheat pasta and white pasta to create a dish that tastes amazing.
- 1 cup whole wheat pasta
- 2 cups mushrooms
- ½ cup spinach
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Cooking pasta according to package directions.
- Set aside after draining.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Sauté garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in spinach and cook for another minute.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss in the cooked pasta and serve.
- To save time, you may substitute fresh spinach for frozen spinach.
Whole Wheat Tortillas
These tortillas are made with 100% whole wheat flour and great for making your own wraps or burritos at home. Keep them on hand in your freezer so that when hunger strikes, there’s no need to run out for takeout — just grab one of these babies instead!
How to cook whole wheat tortillas?
Whole wheat flour tortillas are delicious but aren’t exactly low-calorie foods. You may reach for an unhealthy alternative if you’re trying to watch your calorie intake.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Slowly stir in the olive oil and water until a soft dough forms.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray or brush with oil.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball.
- Roll each ball into a flat circle about 6 inches across.
- Cook the tortillas in batches in the skillet until golden brown, about 1 minute per side.
- Remove the cooked tortillas from the pan and serve immediately.
Note: For best results, refrigerate any leftover tortillas between uses.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know that whole grains can be tricky to get your head around, so we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to cook them and their benefits. From types of whole grains to recipes that include them, we’ve covered everything you need to know to start incorporating whole grains into your diet. So, what are you waiting for? Start cooking up some healthy whole grains today!
Alex is a passionate fitness enthusiast dedicated to helping people lead healthier, more active lifestyles. He encourages small – sustainable changes over drastic transformations and works with people to create customized wellness plans. His mission is to help others benefit from the most effective methods available, sharing tips, strategies, and health & fitness tools on Gearuptofit.com to inspire people to live their best lives.