Hi! Happy Sunday, peeps! How’s your weekend going?
Okay, so I get questions from readers all the time asking about my choice of whole-grain ingredients, so I thought hey! Maybe I should put together a post and spill all my secrets and favorite recipes. Today is the day!
Disclaimer: I am not a dietitian or professional in the field of nutrition. This post simply expresses my personal opinion based on experience for the best way to incorporate more healthy grains into your everyday life.
Feel free to weigh in on your favorite ways to eat whole grains in the comments! I’m always looking for new and different ways to get my grain-fix. 😉
Here we go.
1. Use whole wheat OR white whole wheat flour in place of all-purpose. Although I love whole wheat flour, I will confess that I don’t use it too often ever since I was introduced to white whole wheat flour. What’s the difference between the two?
Whole wheat flour is produced from the red wheat berries and therefore gives a more of a grain-y, rustic flavor. This is ideal for some recipes, but for other recipes where you’re looking for that fine, soft texture, white whole wheat flour is the way to go. WWWF is produced from the white wheat berry which results in a finer texture which is perfect for baking sandwich breads, cakes, cookies, ect.
A few of my personal favorite recipes using these flours….
- Birthday Chocolate Sheet Cake
- Flakiest Buttermilk Biscuits
- Homemade Multi-Grain Sandwich Bread
- Fluffiest-Ever Buttermilk Pancakes
2. Put more oats into your diet. All that talk you hear about oats being super-good for you isn’t just rumors. Oats have proven to be VERY beneficial to your health, they’re very filling, and there are a number of ways you can put them into your everyday diet!
- In your smoothie. For.real.
- Toss ’em in your pancakes for a rustic touch. Oh, and add chocolate chips too just to balance everything out. 😉
- Steel-cut oats! I pretty much swear by this recipe.
- Cookies. Because, um just YES.
- Granola. Homemade OR storebought are both good choices as long as storebought has clean ingredients. I highly recommend KIND granola as a storebought choice simply because nearly all of their ingredients are clean, plus they have about a million-and-one fun flavors to choose from! Perfect for a quickie breakfast and ideal for a pick-me-up snack.
If you’re feeling adventurous and have a little extra time on your hands, you should totally try this homemade granola. It’s seriously the best.thing.ever.
P.S. Granola in the form of breakfast cookies. You NEEEED to try it. Oh, and these parfaits and this coffee cake too. YEESS.
3. In place of short-grain white rice, try brown rice or quinoa instead. Call me biased, but I actually prefer either brown rice or quinoa over white rice. I’ve noticed that it actually makes you feel GOOD after eating either of these, plus it keeps you satisfied much longer.
Here are several of my favorite recipes using brown rice and quinoa. P.S. The chili is my FAV.
4. Try whole wheat pasta, rather than white. A lot of people think that it’s a bummer to have to eat whole wheat pasta, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not! There are literally SO many pasta companies out there now that make amazing whole wheat pastas that, in my opinion, taste even better than white pasta! My #1 favorite brand is Bella Terra Organic . That stuff ROCKS.
My favorite pasta recipes that just so happen to use whole wheat pasta. You would never know it!
- Healthy Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese
- Italian Wedding Soup (super-popular!)
- 20-Minute Spaghetti Carbonara
- Skillet Cheesy Beef Ziti (super-popular!)
5. Corn is so much healthier than you would think. It really is and there are so many things you can sneak it into. It’s rich in good-for-you calories, high in fiber, and loaded with tons of vitamins. No guilt for that extra-large bowl of weekend popcorn anymore!
Here’s MY favorite ways to eat all the corn….
- This cornbread. (drool)
- This kicked-up cornbread. (squeal!)
- Chocolate-covered popcorn. (GAH)
- Grilled corn-on-the-cob. Is it summer yet??
6. Wheat bran (or wheat germ) is MAGICAL! It really is. I loooove this stuff and buy it in bulk so that I always have some on hand. You can put it in SO many things and it has so many amazing heart-healthy benefits.
A few of my personal favorite things to add wheat bran to…
- Granola bars. It adds a really nice nuttiness and I love the boost of nutrients it gives them!
- Homemade granola or oatmeal. Just toss in a tablespoon or two!
- Breaded chicken nuggets. Just a few tablespoons of wheat bran added to your flour breading, will transform your chicken nuggets into crispy, nutty heaven!
- Toppings. Streusels, crumb toppings, ect. Yeee-um.
Q: Any other ways you like to incorporate whole grains into your diet? I’m all ears!
This post was sponsored by KIND Snacks, however all opinions are 100% my own.
These are such great tips!! I used to be so good at swapping out rice for whole grains, and I need to get back to that mentality!
Once you get back in the habit, it almost becomes second nature to reach for the healthy grains!
Great post, Sarah! I love adding grains to almost anything — I love ’em and they’re so good for you! That KIND granola is in our house when I don’t make my own — I love that it’s so low in sugar. 🙂
Thanks Marcie! Isn’t KIND granola the best?!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
What a great post, Sarah! I’ve never tried white whole wheat flour before, so I definitely need to do that. It sounds a little better than baking with just whole wheat flour. And I love how you incorporated so many of your amazing recipes into this post! So informative (and delicious)!
You definitely need to try white whole wheat flour, Gayle! It’s seriously one of my favorite baking ingredients!
Olivia - Primavera Kitchen says
What a great post, Sarah! It is very informative and thanks for all the tips!!! I have to try the white whole wheat flour!!!
Thanks Olivia! And yes, you definitely do need to try that flour!
I’m with you on the white whole wheat flour! It’s the best! I rarely use regular whole wheat flour anymore! Love all these tips!
Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says
This is fantastic! It is nice you put all of these recipes in one place!
Thank you Shelby!!
Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says
Love finding sneaky ways to hide in more whole grains and greens for the family 🙂 White whole wheat flour is so awesome! This is such a fabulous post, girly! <3 it!
Thanks Kelly! And right?! Dontcha’ just love WWW flour? 🙂
Hannah Barta says
Thank you so much for writing this post! Lately I’ve been experiencing a LOT of white-sugar and other really-bad-for-you-stuff cravings, and I’ve been wondering if it’s because I don’t incorporate enough whole grains into my diet — or any grains really besides the crappy stuff found in brownies and crackers. I recently stopped eating a lot of bread and switched my previous 98% whole-wheat bread to Ezekiel bread because, you know, everybody’s always talking about how you should reduce your bread intake . . . I’m honestly not sure it’s such a good idea as everybody proclaims. I think I’m going to try to get back on the healthy-grains bandwagon, and see if it helps me out 🙂
dance a real
I’m so glad to hear that this post helped you out a little bit, Hannah! I can tell you firsthand that it’s hard at first to put healthy grains into your diet, but once you get in the habit it almost becomes second nature and your body will start to feel a whole lot better very quickly!
Manali @ CookWithManali says
Wonderful post Sarah! I try to do all the things that you mentioned in the post 😀
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely says
All such great tips! I’m all about whole grains. Drooling over all your recipes : )
Amber @ Dessert Now, Dinner Later! says
I do some of these, but definitely need to do more! Thanks for the tips!
Isabelle Clover says
Very useful post Sarah. I like whole grains, B-vitamins are a big part of whole grains; B-vitamins include niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin. These nutrients play a key role in keeping up a healthy metabolism as well as a healthy immune system. Folate is another key nutrient in whole grains which helps in the formation of red blood cells. Iron is found in whole grains and carries oxygen in your blood. Magnesium is an important mineral used in building bones. Potassium also helps build bones and is an important part of your nervous system. Potassium also helps to keep your heart beating. Vitamin E is also found in whole grains and is an important antioxidant. Fiber is another very important nutrient found in whole grains; fiber not only decreases cholesterol, reduces your risk of heart disease, reduces your risk for certain cancers, but fiber also helps control blood sugar levels and it helps you stay fuller feeling for longer periods of time.
These ways are super amazing! thank you so much for sharing this.