Why whole grains?
Whole grains offer so much more than a little extra fibre! We have chosen to focus our offer on whole grains because these humble foods are incredibly rich. A good whole grain may provide all the protein you need in a meal, not to mention a lovely balance of vitamins, minerals & other nutrients.
It seems a shame that typical refined white flour loses 80% of its nutrients – all the iron, thiamine & riboflavin; most of the niacin, folate & protein, and some vit E & B6, magnesium, zinc… the list goes on!
Further, whole grains contain more fibre causing us to digest the food more slowly, providing more sustained energy & less of an increase in blood sugar. Anyone accustomed to brown pasta will notice how much less full you feel after a plateful of the white stuff.
To take advantage of all that whole grains have to offer, try experimenting & enjoy the wide variety of nutrients, textures & most importantly flavours!
No gluten containing ingredients (NGI):
Corn (polenta/maize), buckwheat, quinoa, millet, rice, tapioca, ground almonds, coconut/bean (gram, chickpea, soya) flours, gluten-free oats
Alternatives to wheat, not gluten-free:
Rye, oats, barley
Similar to wheat but with lower gluten content:
Spelt, farro (emmer), kamut
Similar to wheat, similar gluten content:
Durum wheat (pasta, semolina, often in couscous & bulgur)
Cooking with whole grains
Keep in mind it’s more art than science, so experiment with what works best! Some grains benefit from stock rather than water, or dry toasting/frying a little in the pan before you cook them for more flavour. Try these basic rules:
- Rinse grain & put in pan with cold water & salt/stock. Bring to a boil.
- Cover & turn heat to low (don’t disturb!) until liquid is absorbed.
- Turn off heat & let sit covered 5-10 minutes (don’t stir).
Amount for 1cup/240ml grain by volume, or any standard measure, mug, etc.
|Barley||3 cups||45min-1hr||~20min more than pearl barley|
|Buckwheat||2 cups||15-20 min||Good to toast first|
|Bulgur (fluffy)||2½ cups||1-2 min||Plus stand 30min (for salad)|
|Bulgur (chewy)||2 cups||15 min||As a stuffing or side|
|Couscous||1¼ cups||–||Add boiled water&stand 10min|
|Millet||1-1½ cups||20-30 min||Digestible & nutritious|
|Quinoa||1½-2 cups||15-20 min||Rinse 1st & toast if you like|
|Polenta (pudd)||2-3 cups||15-20 min||Humble, versatile Italian fare|
|Polenta (cake)||1½-2 cups||5-10 min||Stir lots, brush with oil & grill!|
|Rice: Short||1½-2 cups||20-25 min||Use in rice pudding|
|Rice: Long||2 cups||20-25 min||Fluffier, for pilaf & sides|
|Rice: Basmati||1½-2 cups||20-25 min||Fragrant long-grain rice|
|Rice: Jasmine||1½-2 cups||20-25 min||Thai aromatic long-grain|
|Rice: Sweet||1½-2 cups||40-45 min||Thai stickier long-grain|
|Rice: Red||2 cups||40-45 min||Nutty & chewy (can soak first)|
|Rice: Wild||3 cups||45-55 min||Tasty & nutty, lovely in salad|
|Risotto Brown||4-5 cups||1½-2 hrs||If you add liquid bit by bit|
|Spelt||3 cups||1-1½ hrs||Or soak 3-4hrs & cook 25min|
|Wheat Grain||2½-3 cups||30min-1hr||Delicious in salads or as a side|