If you’re ready to hop on the Whole Grains bandwagon, hooray! There’s still plenty of room here for another health-conscious girl like you! But maybe you’re hesitating, not quite sure how to eat more whole grains. Don’t let that stop you from reaping the benefits of a diet rich in whole grains! I’ve been enjoying them for years, and I’m happy to share some whole grain pro-tips. Here are 7 tips on how to eat more whole grains.
1. Swap Your Pasta
I would never have been able to make the whole grain commitment if pasta was off-limits. Thank goodness for whole grain pasta, then… it’s just as tasty and delicious (even more so, in my opinion) than the pastas made from refined flour. When your last box of plain Barilla is gone, buy a new box of whole grain pasta, and enjoy! Making this switch is one of the easiest ways to eat more whole grains.
2. Try a New Cereal
Most breakfast cereals are made with at least part of a grain, but you still need to check labels to make sure the cereal you love contains whole grains, and not just refined grains. Take a peek at the ingredients. Are one of the first ingredients oats? Then chances are, it’s whole grain oats. But if the ingredients say “wheat” rather than “whole wheat” or “rice” rather than “brown rice,” you may want to find a new cereal — these almost always refer to refined wheat or rice, not whole grain.
3. Switch Your Bread
White bread is bland, flimsy, and literally bleached of its nutrients, most of which were stripped away with the bran and germ in the refining process. If you really want to know how to eat more whole grains, this is another excellent place to start — swap your familiar but icky white bread for whole grain bread instead. Like cereal, you have to scrutinize the ingredients, though, to make sure your replacement bread is actually whole grain bread. If so, get ready to enjoy a much tastier and filling toast or sandwich maker. Yum!
4. Add Some to Soups
Almost any soup or stew can be improved by adding a little cooked brown rice or quinoa. It’s another easy way to eat more whole grains. Be sure, though, that you add the rice or quinoa by serving, because letting it cook too long will make it soggy.
5. Try Them as a Side
Wondering how to eat more whole grains, and maybe trick your family into eating them, too? Try adding brown rice as a side dish at dinner, rather than Kraft Mac and Cheese. It’s a much healthier choice, on several levels — you’ll be adding whole grains to your family’s diet, and replacing a fat and sodium-laden chemically-enriched side dish.
6. Bake with Them!
Most baking recipes call for “all-purpose” flour, but by making using half whole grain flour, and half “all-purpose” flour, you can even add whole grains to your cookies and cakes, breads and pies. Want to know how to eat more whole grains, even than that? Look for recipes that call for “whole wheat flour” rather than “all-purpose” flour instead of trying to convert your own.
7. Enjoy Them as a Snack
I’ve made my own granola bars using whole grain oats and rice and quinoa, and they’re so delicious! These little snacks are yet another way to eat more whole grains, and let me tell you, they don’t feel like work at all… they’re tasty! And because I’ve made them myself, I know exactly what’s gone in them, like less sugar and preservatives and JUNK than the store-bought granola bars and snacks.
See? It’s completely possible to eat more whole grains without changing your entire diet and without giving up the stuff you love. There’s no way I’d have been able to give up pasta! Which of these ways to eat more whole grains will you do first? Or do you have another idea to share?