Whole grains are not only delicious, but they offer a multitude of nutritional benefits. They can make your everyday dishes more inspiring and can work their wholesome magic on your body. The great thing is that integrating them into your diet doesn't have to be difficult. Here are five easy ways to get more whole grains.
A simple way to get more whole grains into your diet is to swap white bread for whole grain bread. Whole grain breads provide more protein, fiber, calcium, and iron than varieties that are not whole grain. Avoid breads made from refined, enriched, or bleached flours since their nutritional value is usually less than that of whole grain breads.
There are many flavor-rich, whole grain alternatives to everyday staple food items. Choose brown rice over white. Whole grain pastas are also widely available. Try whole grain bagels, tortillas, English muffins, pita breads, breakfast cereals, crackers, breadcrumbs, and snack bars. Even frozen pizzas with whole grain crusts are now available.
Try white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour. They're lighter than regular whole wheat flour but still contains good flavor and nutrients. Beyond this, the list of whole wheat and whole grain flour options is extensive. Look for corn flours, oat flours, barley flours, rye flours, and more.
When you're baking, look for ways to replace some or all of the traditional white flour with whole grain flours. A good rule of thumb when starting to bake with whole grain flours is to substitute a third of the all-purpose white wheat flour with one or more other types of whole grain flours and the remainder of the flour amount with whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour.
Switching out a quarter of the flour for twice as many rolled oats is a particularly easy (and delicious) way to add whole grains to cookies, muffins, and pancakes.
Choose whole grain bread for deli sandwiches. Request whole wheat tortillas and brown rice for burritos. Choose whole grain muffins over pastries. Even some donut shops are offering whole wheat options.
Once you get into the whole grain groove, you might start to feel adventurous. Then, instead of brown rice and whole grain pastas, you can try other whole grains like faro, oat, wheat berry, whole grain rice, kasha, amaranth, quinoa, barley, bulgur, bran, buckwheat, and millet. Try adding wild rice or barley to soups and stews.