You've heard about how grains are good for you. So to enjoy the perks of dietary fiber, you now buy and eat whole grain cereals as well as whole wheat flour. But that's just the start of it. There are plenty of other grains oozing not only with nutritional benefits but also with great taste and flavor. In order to get the recommended 3 to 5 servings of whole grains a day, consider stocking up on these grains and seeds.
Although the hull and some bran have already been removed from the barley, it's still packed with dietary fiber and nutrients. What you'll love about this grain is the chewy texture and sweet taste, which is why it's the perfect addition to soups and stews. To cook barley, simmer a cup in 3 cups of water for 1 and a half hours.
This is a small seed that originated from South America. It can be found in food stalls as the popped variety, or in breads, muffins, cereals and pancakes. To add this nutritious grain to your pastries or dishes, simmer 1 cup of amaranth in 1 and 3/4 cups of water. It also comes in flour form so if you're going to bake some pastries yourself, you can replace white flour with this.
Millet, which comes from Africa and India, is not only loaded with fiber but also with protein. The texture and taste depends on how you cook this small grain, but it's usually light and fluffy like mashed potatoes. It's a wonderful idea to mix it with quinoa. Quinoa has the same cooking time as millet, which would require simmering for 25 to 30 minutes in 1.5 cups of water for every cup of millet.
Speaking of quinoa, this round seed is best used as substitute for rice. It's also excellent as side dish or as addition to stews and soups. It can be combined easily with other types of grains. As mentioned above, it's a nice combination with millet. Before you cook quinoa, make sure you wash it first. This is to remove the bitter taste. Then simmer a cup of quinoa in 1 and 1/2 cups of water for 25 to 30 minutes, exactly what you would do with millet.
Buckwheat comes in the form of flour. This type of flour has been used to make kasha, French crepes, soba noodles, and pancakes. You can buy these items in the supermarket that already include this seed but you can also add them to your dishes after you simmer 1 cup of it in 1 and 1/2 cups of water for 10 minutes. The great thing about this is that it's very quick and convenient to cook.
Bulgur comes from boiled, cracked or dried wheat kernels. Its sweet and slightly nutty taste makes it a great ingredient for stir-fries and pilafs. Boil a cup of bulgur in 2 and 1/2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can soak it in boiling water for 40 minutes.