So you know you want to eat more whole grains. But what does that look like on a daily basis? How do you eat more whole grains? Especially if you're cooking for a picky eater...
I'm happy to share with you what I do! This post will help you get some ideas for how you can eat more whole grains.
First of all, what is a whole grain and what is not?
A whole grain can be wheat, rice, oats, quinoa, rye, corn, barley, spelt, and more.
It is common to think of whole grains and whole wheat as the same thing. However, a whole wheat is a type of whole grain.
In other words, a whole wheat is a whole grain but a whole grain is not necessarily a whole wheat.
Foods/ingredients like white flour, all purpose flour, enriched flour, enriched grains, refined flour, refined grains, white bread, white rice, etc.-- are not whole grains.
In a world where refined grains are everywhere
A great rule of thumb is to aim for at least 1/2 of your daily grains to be whole grains
Here are some examples of whole grains that I eat on a regular/daily basis:
Whole Grain Pasta
Going into this lifestyle, I was not a fan of whole wheat pasta. My mom would sometimes make it when I was younger and I would always complain.
What I've learned though, is that if you mix in 'regular' pasta in with the whole wheat pasta, its blends right in! Problem solved.
Whole Grain Rice
The biggest difference between whole grain rice and white rice when eating it, is that white rice is fluffier and stickier.
Again, you can use the mix in method here! I love to mix Jasmine or Basmati rice with Brown or Wild rice.
With all rice, I believe it is best eaten seasoned and tossed on the stove for a few minutes after it's finished cooking.
Whole Grain Wraps/Tortillas
A great trick to make any wrap or tortilla taste better is to crisp it up a bit.
I like put a small drop of olive oil in on a pan and wipe it around with a paper towel to create a very thin layer of oil all over.
Then I turn the heat to medium low and let sit for about 2 minutes. Then I place a tortilla in the pan and flip it after 2-3 minutes. This creates a perfectly crispy yet still easy to fold wrap or tortilla.
If you don't know this already, Oatmeal is one of my favorite foods.
It has been my favorite ever since I was little. Started with the dinosaur egg oatmeal and whatever my mom bought. Then cinnamon apple and brown sugar cinnamon instant packs got me through college. And now fruit, nut, and seed loaded whole grain quick/rolled oats are my jam. I could eat it at any time of the day.
Have you experimented making delicious and creative oatmeal yet? Check out my "Go-To WFPB Oatmeal" recipe for inspiration!
I don't have any memories of eating quinoa before 2019. Now, I love it and eat it in a couple of different ways.
Probably the most common way to eat it is however you eat rice. Some people scoop it on to salads, some people cook and eat it like oatmeal. My personal favorite way of eating it is in tacos. I just season it like you would taco meat. Check out my Quinoa Taco 'Meat' recipe to try it!
I also want to note here that there are a lot of quinoa mixes out there that you can buy with a variety of whole grains (like millet and buckwheat) mixed in with the quinoa. This is a great way to diversify your grains without really being able to tell.
Half Whole Wheat Dough
I like to use that mix in method when it comes to a lot of things.
Through a decent amount of trial and error of making dough, I've learned that mixing half whole wheat flour and half all purpose flour does not require you to change anything else in the recipe.
When you use whole wheat flour only, it may require some extra steps depending on what you make.
Whole Wheat Tandoori Naan
You can eat naan in a ton of different ways. I often get it in some from when ordering Indian or Mediterranean food. However, often times restaurants do not use the whole wheat version.
At home, we like to make naan veggie sandwiches with whole wheat tandoori naan, some form of sprout or leafy green and cooked + seasoned veggies.
They are very similar to wraps but thicker and more filling!
Whole Grain Bread
Finding actual whole grain bread can sometimes seem a little tricky. Some of the wording used on the packaging can be misleading. Like it says made with whole grains on the front and then the ingredients list has enriched white flour still as the first ingredient.
But have no fear, there are plenty of decent ones out there!
I use bread for sandwiches, toast, mini pizzas, and more!