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Your Guide to Healthy Whole Grains

Learn all of the wonderful ways you can prepare hearty whole grains, then add them to your recipe rotation.

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Great Grains

Whole grains have all three of their edible parts intact: the endosperm, the bran and the germ. Learn the tastiest ways to prepare these hearty grains and how to take advantage of their flavors and textures.

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Amaranth: 1 cup grain + 1 cup water + 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cook: Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a pot. Add 1 cup of amaranth. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it steam for 10 minutes.

Use: Golden-colored minuscule seeds with an earthy, sesame-like flavor. Sprinkle popped amaranth over cereals, casseroles or salads. Cooked amaranth makes a great polenta or porridge.

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Barley: 1 cup grain + 1 1/2 cups water + 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cook: Sort and rinse barley. In a medium saucepan, add water and barley and simmer, covered, until tender, approximately 1 hour.

Use: Chubby, dense and chewy grains with a slightly sweet, malty flavor. Hulled barley is minimally processed and best used in soups, stews and nubby grain salads; pearled barley is polished to remove the bran and hull and works best in risotto and puddings. 

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Brown Rice: 1 cup grain + 2 cups water + 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cook: Rinse 1 cup of brown rice well, then put in a saucepan with 2 cups of liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat so the liquid simmers, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from heat and let it steam for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Use: Whole-grain rice with a deep nutty flavor. Short-grain cooks up sticky; long-grain turns fluffy. Use whenever white rice is used, in pilafs, casseroles or rice salads. Holds up beautifully in stir-fries.

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