by Lisa Samuel, Co-op News contributor
Dear Nutritionist: I know whole grains are good for me, but I haven’t tried anything other than brown rice and quinoa. I’m bored with those choices. Can you help?
Dear Member: Whole grains are good sources of carbohydrates, and carbohydrates provide energy for your body and brain—energy to help keep you running full steam ahead all day long! Whole grains are naturally full of fiber and nutrients, and eating whole grains has been associated with reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
Whole grains can be found in a variety of textures and flavors, adding to the pure enjoyment of eating. When we think of grains, we typically think of wheat. There are many varieties of wheat, including spelt, emmer, farro, einkorn, kamut, durum, and forms such as bulgur, cracked wheat, and wheat berries. But there are also many different types of grains besides wheat, including amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn (including whole cornmeal and popcorn), millet, oats (including oatmeal), quinoa, rice, rye, sorghum, teff, triticale, and wild rice.
Buying grains from the bulk bins can be a great way to experiment. Just buy a small amount of a grain and then see if you like it.
To get you started, see Lisa's recipe for a Spring Lamb Stew with Farro.