This year we're bringing grains to the breakfast bowl with the help of your everyday fruit salad. Together with a choice combination of fruit and grains — be it quinoa, barley, or farro — you can transform a light fruit salad into a hearty, one-bowl meal satisfying enough for breakfast, lunch, and yes, even dinner.
Here's what you need to know about this new way to breakfast including what grains to choose, how to pair them with fruit, and our cooking lesson on how to put it all together.
Why You Should Add Whole Grains to Fruit Salad
A whole grain is defined as retaining all three natural components it was grown with: the bran, germ, and endosperm. The bran and endosperm are full of fiber, which fills the belly and keeps it feeling full for longer than more refined grains. Adding even just one cup of cooked whole grains to your fruit salad means that you're getting more complex carbohydrates as well as fiber, which helps control blood sugar and sustain energy.
While we love a hearty fruit salad for breakfast, it is also a thoughtful snack for your 3 p.m. slump, as the sugar in the fruit paired with the rich carbs of the whole grains will give you a longer-lasting energy boost.
Choosing Your Grains
Whole grains include everything from amaranth to quinoa, and even wild rice (although it is technically a grass). Now, not all grains are ideal for building fruit salads, as some soak up more of the fruit's moisture than others. For our fruit salads, we want a sturdy grain that won't go mushy right away.
Most whole grains are boiled until tender in salted water, but some, like farro and barley, can also be baked. Try toasting the grains like nuts before cooking them for a nuttier taste in the cooked grains.
Cooked whole grains should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated. These grains will keep for a few days, but always use your nose to check them around day five or beyond. The same things that make them so healthy also allow for quicker fermentation than, let's say, leftover spaghetti in the fridge.
7 Whole Grains for Fruit Salads
New to whole grains? Check out this guide on cooking and baking with them.