The typical American diet includes quite a lot of processed food stuffs, including highly processed grains. Bleached, enriched white flour is a lot easier to come by than whole, healthy grains.
One important first step in getting more whole grains in your diet is learning about several of them (there are so many delicious grains out there!), and then starting to experiment with them in the kitchen. Here are three whole grains to start out with—give them a whirl and then get creative by moving beyond the recipes provided in the resources below.
Cultivated for centuries, millet is a cereal grain that comes in several varieties, such as foxtail millet and pearl millet. It can be cooked and eaten whole or ground into millet flour. This grain is rich in B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. For much more information about millet, plus some recipes to try, read Tap the Culinary Wisdom of Our Ancestors: Discover Millet.
Bulgur is a form of crushed and dried wheat that is high in protein and can be easily cooked into many recipes for added texture and flavor. Bulgur is rich in fiber, potassium and iron. For more (including a wonderful recipe for Bulgur Stuffed Peppers), check out How to Cook Bulgur: Five Recipes.
3. Grain corn
Modern-day corn varieties are less nutritious than heirloom corns—plus, most grain corn is de-germed to increase shelf life, thus most of the nutritional value is stripped out of the corn. Floriani Red Flint is one variety of incredibly flavorful grain corn that’s making a comeback. I’ve never tasted such amazing pancakes and grits as those made with Floriani. To learn more about this corn’s interesting history, get a breakdown of its nutritional value and find tasty recipes, see Floriani Red Flint Grain Corn.
What is your favorite whole grain to use in the kitchen?
Photo by Jim MacKenzie