Whole grain foods, and incorporating whole grains into recipes, is a healthy and delicious choice for your nutrition plan. To be classified as a whole grain, the food item must contain all the essential parts and naturally occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed.
Below are some examples of whole grains and a guide for cooking common grains:
Timetable for Cooking Common Grains
|Check packages of products for additional information
|Type of Grain (1 cup)
||Amount of Water in Cups
||Yield in Cups
||Simmer for 45 to 50 minutes.
||Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.
||Bring water to boil, then add bulgur; cover and remove from the heat. Let stand 30 to 60 minutes. Drain if needed. Or cook as directed on package.
||Bring water to boil, then add Kasha; cover and let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Drain if needed. Or cook as directed on package.
||Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
||Bring water to boil, then add oats. Simmer uncovered 25 to 30 minutes.
||Simmer for 15 minutes.
||3 to 4
||Simmer for 50 to 60 minutes.
||2 3/4 to 3
Examples of whole grains:
Amaranth: High in protein and gluten-free, it's used in baked goods.
Barley: Pearled barley has some of the hull removed, so it isn't considered a whole grain, like hulled barley. Substitute rolled barley flakes for old-fashioned oats.
Try: Barley-Vegetable Sauté
Buckwheat: High in protein and gluten free, ideal for people who struggle with wheat allergies and can't tolerate gluten.
Cornmeal: Ground whole-grain, whole corn kernels. Available in white, yellow, and blue forms.
Flaxseed: While not actually a grain, its nutritional profile is similar to that of whole grains. Add to baked goods.
Kamut®: Trademarked name of organically grown grain resembling wheat kernels.
Kasha: Generic for any crushed grain, commonly buckwheat kernels.
Millet: Mild-flavored, mixes well with other foods and is delicious toasted.
Try: Savory Millet and Potato Stew
Oats: Oats are a healthful grain with several types available.
- Quick-Cooking and Old-Fashioned Oats: Both are whole grain with bran and germ still intact.
- Oat Groats: Whole oats (before being steamed and rolled), so they have the highest nutritional value of all oat products.
- Steel-Cut Oats: Groats cut into smaller pieces, they are chewier and nuttier than quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats.
Try: Baked Apple-Raisin Oatmeal
Quinoa: Quick-cooking grain perfet for a light, fluffy side dish or to add to soups and salads.
Try: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Rye: Fibrous grain with a deep, rich flavor. Substitute rolled rye flakes for old-fashioned oats.
Try: Old-World Rye Bread
Spelt: Nutty-flavored, higher protein variety of wheat.
Teff: A whole grain with a sweet, molasses-like flavor typically used to make Ethiopia's spongy flabread injera.
Wheat Berries: Chewy, nutty, whole wheat kernels for main or side dishes or for adding to salads.
Try: Wheat Berry, Roasted Corn and Spinach Salad, Bulgur and Orange Salad , "Healthified" Greek Chicken Pizza or Whole Wheat Waffles