Whole grains are cereal grains that are unrefined and contain the germ, endosperm and bran.
Wheat, Oat, Barley, Brown Rice, Farro, Freekeh, Spelt, Emmer, Kamut, Rye, millet, Quinoa, Amaranth, Buckwheat, Black Rice, Red Rice, Wild Rice, Bulgur, Corn… Also available are whole grain flours, couscous, pastas and breads.
With the entire grain kernel intact, whole grains contain more fiber, protein and other key nutrients than their refined ("white") counterparts. Eating whole grains has been associated with lower risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease and better weight maintenance.
Cook grains like rice; bring dry grains to a boil with water or broth and simmer, covered until liquid is absorbed. Or cook like pasta with larger amount of liquid and strain after cooked.
- Whole grains in general take longer to cook, so follow manufacturer instructions on time.
- Short cuts: soak whole grains overnight to shorten cooking time. This works great for steel cut oats, kamut, brown rice, wheat berries and farro.
- Rice cookers work well in cooking all sorts of grains, not just white rice.
- Unlike refined grains, whole grains have a shorter storage life. Use often and rotate your inventory properly.