Contributed by Claire F.

My Recipe for Adding Whole Grains

  • Switch to whole grain or rye bread for sandwiches
  • Use brown rice instead of white
  • Try quinoa or tabbouleh instead of cous cous
  • Choose steel cut oats over instant oatmeal
  • Add barley or farro to soups
  • Change to whole grain pasta

Whole GrainsI keep hearing about quinoa and chia seeds as well as other new healthy grains. I know I am supposed to add them to my diet but for someone who grew up on Wonder bread and Skippy peanut butter, all this whole grain eating sounds so unappetizing. Now that I am looking for whole grains that are delicious, I decided to do some research to find out more about healthy grains.

As it turns out, eating high fiber whole grains reduces our chances of developing high cholesterol, type 2 diabetics, heart disease and obesity. White flour and white rice have the healthy layers of grain stripped away leaving us with just the starchy bit. Considering that heart disease runs in my family I decided to make a change.

Ingredient 1 – Breakfast. Rather than eating instant oatmeal, which are also loaded with sugar and salt, I prepared a bunch of steel cut oats and cooked them in coconut milk. They can stay in the fridge for four days so making them ahead made sense. Then I heat up a bowl each morning and add some honey and berries. Or, I eat whole grain granola with yogurt honey and berries. A half a cup of oats is one serving whole grain.

Ingredient 2 – Lunch.  I got rid of my Wonder bread and replaced it with whole grain bread. I thought it would be gross but after trying a few whole grain varieties, I found one I love—it has nuts and seeds within the bread and oats on top.  I have begun making sandwiches with this bread and have them for lunch everyday. Each slice is one serving of whole grains. (Rye bread is also a good source of whole grains.)

Ingredient 3 – Dinner.  Instead of white rice and beans, I switched to brown rice, wild rice or barley. I also tried quinoa, tabbouleh, bulgar, wheat berries and amaranth. One cup is a daily serving and each one tastes delicious, especially when mixed with beans, spinach, tomatoes and other vegetables.

Just by making these changes, I now incorporate four servings of whole grain into my daily diet with little effort. I didn’t realize changing my diet would be so easy.

What healthy changes have you begun introducing into your daily diet? We invite you comment in the box below.