While many of us may not have grown up eating whole grains, it’s time we start!
Whole grains are called whole because they contain all three parts of the grain as it’s found on the plant- the bran, the germ and the endosperm. Refined grains have the bran and germ removed during processing, which reduces the amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals compared to whole grains. (Most refined grains are later enriched to add back some of the essential nutrients lost.) Because they have all of their original parts and nutrients, whole grains are a healthier choice than refined grains.
Whole Grain Options
With the rise in popularity of whole grains, there are now more whole grain options than ever. You can find a variety of whole grain pasta shapes and sizes, more whole grain breads than you can count and most breakfast cereals are made with whole grains instead of refined ones now. The next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up a whole grain version of these foods for your family to try. It will taste a little different. Whole grains are heartier, so it will taste a little nuttier and be slightly chewier than the refined grain version. Give it a few tries to give your taste buds time to adapt and soon, the whole grain bread, pasta and cereals will be your family’s norm.
For more adventurous options, try cooking the actual whole grain, not just a product made with whole grain flour. Brown rice, popcorn, and oatmeal are whole grains that you are probably familiar with. There are many other whole grains to try as well. See this list of Whole Grains A to Z from the Whole Grains Council.
Ready to add more whole grains to your menu? Try these recipes and let us know what you think in the comments.