Happy National Oatmeal Month! With all the excitement around oatmeal, why not spread the love to other grains as well, specifically the whole ones!
Why Whole Grain??
This is a one-worded answer, fiber! Increasing your daily intake of fiber from whole grains has numerous health benefits, including:
Now let’s talk about some specific whole grains!
What is it: Farro is an ancient wheat with a nutty flavor, known to have once fed Roman legends. This grain has been around the block once or twice. It is quickly gaining traction in the U.S. and is commonly used in Italian dishes. Be sure to buy the farro whole and soak/cook accordingly!
Tastes great in: Salads & hearty soups
What is it: Though technically a seed, quinoa has similar properties as other grains and is known by the Inca as “the mother grain.” Quinoa has a nuttier flavor & more delicate texture than other grains and has quickly become one of the most popular grains on store shelves.
Tastes great in: Hot or cold dishes! Pair with veggies of choice, legumes, and/or your favorite lean protein
What is it: A member of the grass family, barley is a nutrient-packed grain that is often overlooked. Remember to buy hulled over pearled barley as this will have the bran layer still intact, which contains the fiber!
Tastes great in: Soups, stews & risotto
What is it: Rice has become a staple in many households. Brown rice packs in more fiber and protein than white rice because it has not had the nutrient-dense bran and germ removed. Brown rice has a nutty aroma and taste. Note that other rice colors- black, red, and purple- can also be considered a whole grain.
Tastes great in: Stir-fries, rice bowls with vegetables, or a rice pilaf
What is it: Oats are a popular cereal grain sold in many forms, including oat groats (the whole oat), steel-cut oats, and rolled oats. Rich in soluble fiber, oats contain beta-glucan, which can help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol.
Tastes great in: Overnight oats, muesli, and don’t forget the classic oatmeal!
Since it is National Oatmeal Month, let’s spend a little extra time on this dish with seemingly endless topping opportunities:
Sweeteners- brown sugar, maple syrup, coconut sugar, honey, melted chocolate
Nut or seed butter- peanut butter, almond butter, pumpkin seed butter, sunflower butter
Chopped nuts & seeds- cashews, pecans, walnuts, coconut flakes, chia seed, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed
Fresh/frozen/cooked berries- blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries
Additional fruits to try- kiwis, mango, peach, banana, cherries
A place for our consultant Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) to share nutrition science, yummy and healthy recipes, tips on seasonal ingredients, and other nutritional musings. Enjoy!