Updated: Jun 2, 2020
Having non-perishable food staples on hand is a great way to pull together easy meals and minimize trips to the grocery store. Why not change the repertoire of your pantry by substituting rice for healthier whole grain options such as barley, bulgur, wild rice, buckwheat, quinoa, whole wheat couscous, oatmeal, cornmeal and popcorn. The added benefit, whole grains are relatively inexpensive, easy to cook, can be used interchangeably with other grains and refined flours, and add a punch of good nutrition and taste to your meals.
Packed with Health Benefits
Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates are not the bad guys. It comes down to choosing the right carbohydrate, whole grains vs. refined (processed) grains and white grain products, and portion size. Whole grains are packed with fibre to keep you full, are linked to a lower risk of heart disease, help to even out blood sugars and keep your bowels regular. They are also packed full of good nutrition including more protein and a good source of B vitamins.
Easy to Cook and Create Simple Meals
Whole grains are extremely versatile and can be transformed into tasty meals. The possibilities are endless! You will never be bored and possibly find a new favourite grain. Although whole grains tend to take a little longer to cook, a large batch can be cooked at the beginning of the week and used in different ways each day to create simple dishes. Whole Grain Cooking Tips - Whole Grain Council A bonus! Cooked grains freeze well and heat up in just minutes, in the microwave. Whole grains are generally chewier and have a nutty full flavour. It might take you a while to get used to these new tastes and textures, but once you do you may never go back. Share your feedback below!
A New Grain - Let the Possibilities Begin!
Stir in ¼ to ½ cup chopped fresh herbs just before serving. Use a variety such as basil, oregano and parsley; chives and cilantro; rosemary, thyme and sage. Or add in dried herbs and spices before cooking.
Add dried fruit and chopped, toasted nuts just before serving. Add 2 tablespoons each of nuts and fruit. Cranberries and almonds, raisins and walnuts, or chopped apricots and pistachios.
Stir in 1 cup cooked vegetables before serving. Steamed spinach or mixed greens, sautéed or roasted vegetables, boiled vegetables or cooked frozen corn and peas.
Add canned beans for a heartier side. Add 1 can of drained and rinsed beans including black beans, chickpeas, lentils, red beans, white beans, pinto beans.
Stir in purees, pesto, salsa or a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add 2 tablespoons or to taste a basil pesto, sun-dried tomato paste (use 1 tablespoon as this is usually concentrated), salsa verde, any fresh or jarred salsa, peanut sauce, sriracha, tahini and lemon juice, dollop of hummus.
Add citrus zest while the grains cook, then juice just before serving. Zest and juice of 1-2 lemons or limes, or 1 orange. Add the zest while cooking the grains, then stir in juice just prior to serving.
Cook with stocks or broths and aromatics instead of water. Chicken or vegetable stock (low sodium or homemade), tomato juice, 1 to 2 bay leaves, or 1 slice of onion and a clove of garlic.
Reference: Spark Your Grains