Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Simple Ways to Enjoy Whole Grains

Chock full of key nutrients and loaded in fiber, whole grains are delicious and priced right for your wallet and your pantry. Go beyond brown rice by exploring rye, millet, oats, quinoa, spelt, wheat berries and more.

You’ll find a wide variety of whole grains in our stores — experimentation is heartily encouraged! Cooking with whole grains is an essential piece of eating a diet based in whole foods.

Luckily, they're also quite simple to incorporate into your menu. Here are some easy ways to enjoy whole grains:

  • Try barley, quinoa or spelt berries in your favorite soup, replacing rice or noodles.
  • Cook quinoa, rye berries, cracked wheat, bulgur or barley, cool and toss with chopped veggies or fruit and a vibrant vinaigrette for a salad.
  • Have a hearty hot breakfast of amaranth, quinoa, grits or oats cooked with dried fruit and topped with nuts and your choice of almond milk, coconut milk or yogurt.
  • Try kasha, cracked wheat or oat groats in a casserole or hearty stuffing for vegetables (such as stuffed cabbage and stuffed peppers).
  • Enjoy a sweet treat with a millet, quinoa or brown-rice pudding.
  • Firmer grains such as rye berries, barley, wheat berries and quinoa can be used just like brown rice as a base for flavorful curries and stir-fries.
  • Bake oats, amaranth, teff or rye flakes into breads or muffins.
  • Bonus tip: Whole grains supply key nutrients for good health and contain all the components naturally present in the grain seed kernel: the endosperm, the germ and the bran.

Hungry yet? We've picked a few of our favorite recipes that feature whole grains to get you from sunup to sundown. Enjoy!

What do you make with whole grains? We'd love to know.

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Nancy says …

I KNOW I want/need to incorporate more whole grains into my family's diet but to be very honest, they frighten me. I've no idea where to begin to incorporate them in such a way that my family barely notices the transition.

alicia says …

I cook quinoa in my rice cooker. Once cooked, it can be served in many different ways - like rice as a side dish or as a bed for a stew like main dish. It can be tossed with a pasta type of sauce. It can be served with milk or yoghurt for breakfast. I have also made a pudding (like rice pudding) with it or tossed it with chopped raw veges and an oil and vinegar dressing for salad. My 4 year old grandchild loves it - she calls it quinoa rice. I also cook steel cut oats in bulk and then divide into serving size portions. Into each bowl I add 2 TBS of flaxseed meal and 1 Tbs of dried fruit chopped into raisin size (if needed) and sometimes a few chopped nuts as well. Season with cinnamon and you won't even notice that there is no sugar - or you could add in a little local honey. I freeze the servings and my husband has a quick healthy breakfast to grab. This combo keeps his blood sugar on an even keel all day and that makes him more even tempered.

Charlotte says …

I love whole grains for breakfast. I usually make a big batch of quinoa/farro/bulgur on Sunday and in the mornings I add whatever I want/have: almond milk, cinnamon, maple syrup, fruit, nuts or if I want savory I fry up an egg and top the bowl of grains with it. Nancy, maybe it won't be so bad for your family to notice the difference, but if you think it'll be problematic perhaps you could mix the new grains with another they're comfortable with; Like rice and wheat berries or couscous and quinoa to soften the transition...good luck

Jamie says …

Hi Elizabth - Just a note to let you know that KAMUT(R) khorasan products are a great way to incorporated organic whole grains into a diet. Many fine companies such as Eden Foods, Bob's Red Mill, Suzie's, Arrowhead Mills, Nature's Path (etc!) use KAMUT(R) khorasan in many tasty ways!

Maureen Peach says …

Can a southern transplant buy white grits in the Boston/Cambridge stores? I live in Arlington; I haven't seen them there. Maybe at Alewife? I can find them at the Bob's Red Mill site, but the shipping costs make it kind of silly to buy them.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MAUREEN - I would suggest checking with our local store to see if they can special order the Bob's Red Mill for you if it is a line they carry. They'll be happy to help!