9 In Musings

Get Your Grains

Get Your Grains

Whole grains. They’re getting more and more press as being at top of the list of foods that do the body good.

But what exactly does that mean? Eating lots of whole grain bread?

That’s what I used to think, until we started doing a bit more research. I realized there’s an entire arsenal of grains out there I never knew existed.

Yes, there’s life beyond pasta and white rice. Actually, after starting on whole grains, those refined grains just don’t satisfy anymore.

Which is a good thing, because apparently since refined grains like white flour and white rice are stripped of their fiber, they don’t give you the nutrients you need, and aren’t so good for the metabolism.

Oh, and whole grains have been linked to lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems.

But watch out – once you start incorporating them in your diet, you might see some changes – like that mac and cheese might not taste as good as it used to. You also might drop a pound or two.

Ready to give them a try? Here are a just a few of my new favorite grains.

You could simply boil them and serve them as a side, with a bit of olive oil, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper for seasoning (following the cooking instructions in the recipes below). Use them as a base for a salad, or as a substitute for rice in a stir fry. Or, try them in one of the recipes below!




Chewy and nutty, it’s perfect for salads and a good alternative for rice. Boils in about 15 minutes.

Try it in Cajun Bulgur Salad




IMG_3030 (1)

It’s actually a seed, with a slightly crunchy and fluffy texture. Boils in just 20 minutes.

Try it in Black Bean and Quinoa Bowl with Peach Salsa or Quinoa Salad with Snap Peas





farroAn ancient wheat-related grain popular in ancient Rome – chewy and delicious, with a texture a bit like barley. Boils in about 20 minutes.

Try it in Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Fontina or Garlic and Kale Soup

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  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    August 12, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Ah yes, whole grains. I was just reading about grains in my Food Matters book last night! ;) Thanks for including some recipe ideas… I want to try, um, all of them. :) And that first picture is super cool.

    • Reply
      August 12, 2011 at 9:23 am

      Haha. You should try them all! Probably slightly healthier than Nutella… ;)

      The benefit of living in a house built in 1925 is that you can randomly find old shabby white boards just hanging out in the rafters of your garage! It may show up in all of our future pics :)

  • Reply
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    August 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I adore farro. I found it at a little Italian shoppe near my apartment and make it often. It really does have a nice texture.

    • Reply
      August 12, 2011 at 9:10 pm

      Me too! What is your favorite way to enjoy it?

  • Reply
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    August 13, 2011 at 12:32 am

    I like it simply prepared with some grape tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and a bit of parmesan. Obviously it is an uber-Italian way, too. lol

  • Reply
    Anita Menon
    August 13, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    A fabulously informative post. I did not know quinoa is a seed! Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply
      August 13, 2011 at 3:50 pm

      Thank you! I could go on and on about grains – I’m glad you found it interesting! :)

  • Reply
    August 17, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Have you come up with a whole grain pizza dough you like? I’d love to hear about it if you come up with one, even if it’s not 100% whole grain!

    • Reply
      August 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      Great question! We’re actually currently working on one. We’ve experimented with substituting half of the white flour with wheat flour, but it didn’t have quite the rise we had hoped for. We’ll keep you posted!

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