With fall just around the corner, now is the time to stock your pantry with hearty, healthy whole grains! From amaranth to wild rice, get the skinny on whole grain ingredients and whole grain flours below.
Quick Guides to Whole Grains
Amaranth - A tiny poppy seed-sized grain. Malty, grassy flavor. (The leaves of the amaranth plant are also good to eat.) Gluten-free.
Barley, Hulled and Pearl - Chewy, tender grains. Especially good in soup.
Brown Rice - Rice with the hull still partially on. Higher in protein and fiber.
Buckwheat - Also called kasha. Small flower seeds with very toasty, nearly bitter flavor. Gluten-free.
Bulgur Wheat - Dried, precooked particles of wheat.
Farro - Chewy grain very similar to wheatberries and spelt.
Millet - Mildly sweet and nutty, and very small grains. Often used as birdseed. Gluten-free.
Oats - Sold as steel-cut or Irish oats (the whole oat groat, or grain), or rolled into quicker-cooking flakes. Technically gluten-free but often contaminated with gluten, and some GF folks find they can't digest oats well.
Quinoa - Ancient grain of South America. Complete protein, and gluten-free.
Sorghum - Important drought-resistant crop in central Africa. Gluten-free, with mild sweet taste. Can be popped like popcorn!
Spelt - A species of wheat that cooks up chewy and hearty.
Wheat Berries - The whole grain version of whole wheat flour! Great in risottos, soups, and casseroles.
Wild Rice - An intact grain, including the bran, endosperm, and germ, and a distant cousin of white rice varieties.
How To Cook Whole Grains
• How To Cook Brown Rice
• How To Cook Fluffy, Tasty Quinoa
• A No-Fuss Method for Cooking Almost Any Whole Grain
• How to Cook Rice on the Stove
• How To Cook Perfect Steel-Cut Oats
• How To Cook Steel-Cut Oats for Breakfast the Night Before
• How To Cook Barley
• Best of Both Worlds: A Method for Making Better Whole-Grain Risotto
Quick Guides to Whole Grain Flours
• Barley Flour
• Buckwheat Flour
• Oat Flour
• Sorghum Flour
• Spelt Flour
• White Whole Wheat Flour
• Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Baking with Whole Grain Flours
• Baking Tip: Soak Whole Grain Flours Overnight
• Fresh Flour: Grinding Whole Grains At Home
• How to Make Softer and Fluffier Whole Wheat Bread
• What To Make With Whole Wheat Pastry Flour?
• Good Question: Substituting White Whole Wheat Flour?
• Kitchen Storage: The Best Place to Keep Flour
• Not a Fan of Whole Wheat? Try Spelt Flour!
• What's the Difference? Cake Flour, Pastry Flour, All-Purpose Flour, and Bread Flour
• How To Prevent & Get Rid Of Grain Weevils
• Whole Grain, Whole Wheat, Multigrain: What's the Difference?
What are your favorite whole grains for cooking and baking? Any special tips or good ideas you return to?
(Images: Elena Schweitzer/Shutterstock; Faith Durand; Emma Christensen)