How to Cook Whole Grains

Want to eat more whole grains, but not sure how to do it? Here’s everything you need to know, the benefits of eating whole grains, and lots of recipes.

Whole grains

You’ve probably heard, “Eat more whole grains!” But what does that mean? Is it as simple as eating more whole grain bread? Well, not really. We’re here to show you what it means to eat a diet rich in these hearty grains. Alex and I went from not knowing a thing about them to cooking up things like quinoa tacos and farro soup on the regular. And let me tell you: whole grains can be some of the tastiest things on the planet, when they’re cooked correctly! Here’s everything you need to know, and then a bunch of our go-to recipes with whole grains.

What are whole grains?

Grains are the edible seeds of plants. Whole grains are grains that are in their whole form and have had nothing processed away by a manufacturer. (Geeky technical explanation: Whole form means that it contains the three key parts of a seed: the bran, germ, and endosperm.)

Here’s a list of common whole grains: Rice, quinoa, farro, bulgur wheat, corn, oats, teff, sorghum, buckwheat, and barley.

Are whole grains good for you? What are the benefits of eating them?

The reasons for eating grains is long and can be a little confusing! Here are some of the major benefits of eating whole grains; they are:

  • Are high in fiber: This helps you feel full and satisfied, and can help maintain a healthy body weight. (Source Mayo Clinic).
  • Help you live longer. A diet rich in whole grains is associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. (Source Harvard TH Chan School of Nutrition)
  • Reduce the risk of obesity. People who eat whole grains regularly have a lower risk of obesity, as measured by their body mass index and waist-to-hip ratios. (Source Whole Grains Council)

How to cook whole grains: the recipes!

Are you ready to start eating all the grains? For each one, we’ve provided a Master Recipe on how to cook it, and then a list of recipes with how to use it.

More healthy recipes

Looking for more healthy recipes? Here are some of our favorites:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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