Grains are an important part of most peoples’ diets. According to the Mayo Clinic, grains are high in fiber, contain key vitamins and minerals, and can lower heart disease and diabetes. Here are 7 grains along with recipes to incorporate into your everyday life.
1- Wheat & Whole Wheat
Wheat is one of the most common staple foods in the world. It’s found in many processed items, including commercial bread, pasta, sweets, and pastries. Whole wheat is less processed since it uses all parts of the grain, and it is usually lower in calories and higher in fiber. Here’s a recipe for classic homemade whole wheat bread that you can make to replace the store-bought bread you usually buy at the grocery store.
Rice is a staple ingredient in many different cultures, so you can find it in recipes like Chinese stir-fries, Indian curry, and Cajun jambalaya. Rice is also a great addition to any dish or meal that has a sauce, like pot roast or roasted chicken, so the sauce or gravy can be served over the rice. Here’s a quick & easy recipe for vegetable fried rice, so you can skip take-out this week and make your own.
Corn is high in vitamin C and is easy to incorporate into your diet. Try eating corn right off the cob; it makes a delicious side to most meals. You can also bake with it, incorporating cornmeal into bread, muffins, or tortillas. Corn is also an excellent addition to soups or casseroles. Try this recipe for corn chowder, which uses fresh corn, potatoes and onions;
Oatmeal for breakfast is a heart-healthy way to start the day. Besides a warm bowl of instant oats, you can try overnight oatmeal by combining oats with milk, yogurt and fruit and chilling overnight for a sweet breakfast parfait in the morning. Oats are also fun to bake with. You can make bread or muffins with them, but why stop there? Make a batch of cookies that are delicious and healthy with this oatmeal cookie recipe.
Despite having wheat in the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat. It’s higher in protein than other grains and can lower bad cholesterol. Buckwheat seeds are small and crunchy, and make good additions to anything you’d add nuts to like granola. Buckwheat flour can be used as a substitute for regular flour in baking and gives baked goods a nutty taste. Start your morning off right with these buckwheat flour pancakes.
Barley is an ancient grain similar to rice. It can be cooked and served like rice, so try using barley in some stir-fries or curries. Barley is also delicious served cold as part of a salad. It’s perhaps most commonly recognized in soup. Try this recipe for homemade beef and barley soup, which has options to make it in a slow-cooker or instant pot.
Quinoa is another grain that is like rice, although it contains more protein and nutrients than white rice. Quinoa is a popular choice for salads, pilafs, and power bowls due to its ease and speed to cook. Here’s a recipe for a Mediterranean quinoa salad that includes garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and feta cheese.