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Expert Tips: Cooking whole grains


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At PN, we emphasize the importance of eating whole foods. For most people, this includes whole grains such as:

  • amaranth
  • barley
  • brown rice
  • buckwheat
  • millet
  • oatmeal
  • quinoa
  • teff
  • wheat berries
  • wild rice

Because whole grains are a more complete food that contain all parts of the seed (see picture below), it takes longer to cook them.

whole-grain-anatomy2

But here at PN, we’re always looking for ways to make the process of eating well easier and more efficient.

Here are some food prep tips that will:

  • Prevent you from having to rinse or measure whole grains before cooking them
  • Prevent you from scorching whole grains
  • Decrease whole grain cooking time by 10 minutes
  • Make you the most popular person in your circle of friends

What a deal!

Whole grain cooking part 1

Whole grain cooking part 2

Whole grain cooking part 3

Summary

  1. Choose your whole grain (e.g., wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, etc.)
  2. Add as much as you want to the pot.
  3. Add enough water to cover by about 1 inch (or just a bit more).
  4. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer.
  5. Simmer for 10 minutes less than prescribed cooking time.
  6. Sample to make sure it’s done.
  7. Drain off excess water.
  8. Enjoy your grains!
  9. You can store them for up to 4 days in your fridge.

Note on buckwheat

Cooking buckwheat groats (aka kasha) is a slightly different process than most grains. The dry grains must be coated with egg first, or they can become mushy. Here are the steps to follow.

  1. Measure out your desired amount of dry buckwheat groats into a bowl.
  2. Crack an egg into the dry grains and stir it around until grains are well coated.
  3. Heat a little bit of oil, butter or coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Pour egg-covered grains into the saucepan.
  5. Stir well, and keep stirring so that grains don’t clump and stick together, or to the bottom of the pot.
  6. When the egg has cooked and the grains are dry again, follow the process for cooking grains, above.

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