Learn About and Cook with Whole Grains

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.

1. Millet

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.

2. Bulgur

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

40 comments

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you :)

Patricia H.
Patricia H.3 years ago

thanks for sharing

Aditya n.
Aditya n.3 years ago

thanks

Dale Overall

Love whole grains and don't use any white processed stuff as there is not any value in the 'food' at all. Red quinoa is marvellous and kasha with golden sauteed sweet onions mixed with portobello mushrooms and herbs. Just delicious. Such a variety of whole grains to choose from!

Dale Overall

Many traditional, organic whole grains are marvellous when non GMO. A lot of flavour when home made and not highly processed.

Lindsay Kemp
Lindsay Kemp4 years ago

Thanks for this info - there was a phase several years ago when all we heard about was wholegrains! There were some great recipe books out then. Perhaps we'll see some more!

Joan Mcallister
4 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Angela N.
Angela N.4 years ago

thank you :)

Mandi A.
Ama A.4 years ago

Wheat berries are also amazing, just boil and let simmer for amour at hour. I like to add aguava nectar, raisins, chopped apple, cinnamon and sliced almonds... Sooo good

Lynn C.
Lynn C.4 years ago

This will be helpful. Thank you