2. Replace White Rice With Brown Rice continued...
Long grain brown rice has a slightly denser texture than medium grain rice. Short grain brown rice becomes creamy when it’s cooked, ideal for risotto. Risotto-like dishes can also be made with other whole grains and seeds, such as millet, quinoa or bulgur, says Samuel. Red rice has a sweet flavor that makes it a perfect choice for desserts such as rice pudding.
“Whenever you’re cooking rice, bulgur, barley, or other grain, consider making a double batch,” Samuel suggests. “Cooked grains can be refrigerated and used later either in side dishes or salads.”
3. Give Whole Wheat Pasta a Try
If you tried whole wheat pasta in the past and didn’t like it, give it another go. “Whole wheat pastas have gotten better and better,” says Michelin-award winning restaurateur and master chef Joe Bastianich, who created New York’s Italian food emporium, Eataly. Whole wheat pasta has up to three times as much fiber as conventional pasta. Because of its lower glycemic index, whole wheat pasta (cooked al dente) can also help keep blood sugar levels from spiking up after a meal.
Since whole wheat pastas typically have a more flavor than white pasta, chefs often recommend using them in heartier dishes, such as mushroom or tomato-based sauces. Bastianich offers another tip. “Remove pasta from boiling water two minutes before it’s tender and add it to the sauce,” he says. “Then cook until tender in the sauce. That way, the pasta absorbs the flavors of the sauce.”
4. Soup Up Your Favorite Soups
Soups are an ideal dish for adding a serving of whole grains, says Cynthia Harriman, director of the nonprofit Whole Grains Council. Barley, bulgur and less well-known grains such as rye berries or sorghum are great choices for chicken, turkey, or vegetable soups.
5. Snack on Whole Grains
One of America’s favorite snacks, popcorn, is a whole grain and a good source of fiber. But don’t stop there. Whole-grain breakfast cereals make a great-tasting and convenient mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. You can also make your own granola with whole oats or other grains, nuts, dried fruit, even bits of dark chocolate.
Another option: make your own power bars. “If you’re cooking oatmeal for breakfast, make a double batch,” says Miller. “Add cinnamon, raisins, and chopped nuts to the left-over oatmeal and pour the mixture into a low baking pan. Once the oatmeal cools, you’ll be able to cut it into bars for snacking.”