Cooking Healthy with the World's Healthiest Grains

While cereal grains comprise a large percentage of the total quantity of food consumed by most Americans, many people eat only a few different types of grains. In fact, refined wheat products, oatmeal, and white rice are the only grains that many people eat. As you continue your exploration into the World's Healthiest Foods, you may be excited to learn that there are many different varieties of whole grains. These foods have unique and wonderful flavors and textures, and have a broad range of nutrients, including fiber, B vitamins, and trace minerals, that refined grain products (for example, refined wheat and white rice) do not contain.

Among the World's Healthiest Grains are barley, oats, millet, rye and brown rice. While these foods may be foreign to you now, it is easy to get the hang of preparing these grains. In fact, all you need is a large saucepan and water, and you are on way!

Each of the World's Healthiest Grains can be purchased in any natural foods stores, and are available in bulk as well as in prepackaged form.

Before cooking, rinse the grain thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt or debris. First, bring the water to boil in a large saucepan, then add your grain.

A general rule of thumb to follow when cooking whole grains is to add one part grain to two (or two and a half) parts water or broth. After the liquid has returned to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 10-50 minutes. Cooking time for grains varies tremendously. Brown rice, may take up to 50 minutes. Once the grain is cooked, remove the lid and let the grain cool uncooked for a few minutes before serving.

To impart a nuttier flavor to the cooked grain, you could roast the grains first before boiling. To do this, place the grains in a dry skillet over low-medium heat and stir them frequently. When they have achieved a golden color, add them to the boiling cooking liquid. Cooked grains can be used in a variety of ways. For a quick lunch or dinner meal, prepare quinoa as discussed above, and serve under steamed spinach, carrots, broccoli, and summer squash. For a satisfying breakfast, add chopped almonds and fresh berries to a bowl of millet or brown rice. Top with soy milk and honey. Cooked grains also make a hearty addition to any soup, including chili or vegetable soup.

This page was updated on: 2002-11-22 08:45:19
© 2002 The George Mateljan Foundation