The Whole Grains You Have to Try – P.S. these A-list grains all start with "B"
Not only do these dishes boost your health, but they are oh so yummy!
Bulgur, buckwheat, corn, farro, millet and more. There are so many whole grains to try – and they’re a foundation for any diet. But before we dive into the health-food glory of whole grains, let's first establish what a whole grain actually is:
Per the Whole Grains Council of the U.S.: a whole grain is a grain that is served with the exterior germ and bran. It is usually brown, but can also be black, purple, red, or really any variety of exotic hues. Grains like white rice are not considered ‘whole’ grains, but are refined grains given the exterior pieces are removed.
Now for the glory part – and oh there is so much! Decades of research have been conducted on the health benefits of whole grains. The results overwhelmingly suggest whole grains play an important role in lowering the risk of chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and also contribute to body weight management and gastrointestinal health*.
Here are a few less common, but definitely interesting whole grains that you may not have introduced to the dinner table yet, but certainly should. And soon!
Weight management and reduced risk of chronic diseases anyone?
1. Bulgur Wheat
Bulgur is a nutritious grain with a nutty flavor. It’s often used in the Lebanese dish, tabbouleh, and is produced by soaking wheat berries in water and then drying until they crack.
For a light, superfood-packed recipe, try our Bulgur Wheat Salad with Arugula & Apricots. The peppery arugula balances the sweetness of apricots in this grain-based salad.
Buckwheat is more than just an ingredient for pancakes. Though buckwheat is technically a fruit of the rhubarb family, it's commonly known as a grain, so we're including it with this list. From Japanese soba noodles to Russian kasha, the nutty flavor profile of buckwheat makes it a sturdy, core ingredient for a variety of dishes.
Try this adopted-into-the-family grain in our Buckwheat Pilaf with Green Beans, Golden Beets, Dill & Walnuts recipe. The nutty pilaf balances the sweetness of the beets with a bright, dill finish.
Have you heard the term ‘ancient grain?’ Enter barley. Barley is one of the oldest cultivated whole grains, partially because it's a highly adaptable crop, making it easy to grow.
For a dish packed full of fiber, try our Toasted Barley Pilaf with Mixed Mushrooms and Leeks topped with Manchego Cheese and Toasted Walnuts. The leeks are cooked until tender, and the toasted barley with mixed mushrooms will make you open your windows and beckon for fall weather.
*ASN 2010 Evidence Review. The Journal of Nutrition, May 2011