Whole Grain Cooking Guide
Easy cooking instructions for 9 healthy whole grains.
Trying to eat more whole grains? Keep trying! Grains provide a healthy boost of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Grains are also rich in carbohydrates—the body’s main fuel supply—so we need a fair amount daily (despite what low-carb/no-carb gurus say).
The key is to keep portions moderate and skew strongly to whole-grain versions as often as you can. While the government guidelines urge you to “make half of your grains whole,” we say aim for making most, if not all, of your grains whole. You’ll feel fuller longer, since whole grains and fiber take longer to digest.
The first place to look for whole grains, especially more common ones like bulgur and barley, is near rice at most markets. Less common grains can be found in the bulk bins at well-stocked supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Here are some shopping tips and basic prep and cooking instructions.
Wild rice, a staple of Native Americans in Minnesota, is not a rice at all, but rather the only aquatic-derived grain native to North America.*
Cook 1 cup rice in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water—at least 4 cups—until tender,45-55 minutes. Drain. Makes 2-2 1/2 cups.
Per 1/2-cup serving:
83 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 1 g fiber; 2 mg sodium; 83 mg potassium.
*You can also find "quick" wild rice—a whole-grain rice that cooks in less than 30 minutes—or "instant" wild rice that's done in 10 minutes or less. Follow cooking instructions on the package.