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Learn About and Cook with Whole Grains

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

Read more: Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Vegan, Vegetarian, , , , , , ,

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Shelley Stonebrook

Shelley Stonebrook is an Associate Editor at Mother Earth News—North America’s most popular magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living—where she works on exciting projects such as Organic Gardening content and the Vegetable Garden Planner. Shelley is particularly interested in organic gardening, small-scale, local food production, waste reduction, food preservation and cooking. In her spare time, she posts in her personal blog, The Rowdy Radish.


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2:46AM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

Thank you :)

3:57AM PST on Jan 24, 2013

thanks for sharing

12:35AM PST on Jan 23, 2013


9:27PM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

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!

8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

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

7:58AM PDT on Jun 18, 2012

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!

12:26AM PDT on Jun 18, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

5:45PM PDT on May 25, 2012

thank you :)

6:40AM PST on Dec 20, 2011

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

8:16PM PST on Dec 7, 2011

This will be helpful. Thank you

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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