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Easy cooking instructions for seven healthy whole grains.

Whole Grain Cooking GuideTrying to eat more whole grains? Keep trying! Grains provide a healthy boost of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Grains are also rich in carbohydrates—the body’s main fuel supply—so we need a fair amount daily (despite what low-carb/no-carb gurus say). When it comes to incorporating more grains into your diet the key is to keep portions moderate and skew strongly to whole-grain versions as often as you can. While the government guidelines urge you to "make half of your grains whole," we say aim for making most, if not all, of your grains whole. You’ll feel fuller longer, since whole grains and fiber take longer to digest. Use this guide to cook tasty whole grains and keep in mind that directions are for 1 cup of uncooked grain; serving size is 1/2 cup cooked.

Directions are for 1 cup of uncooked grain.

Barley, Quick cooking

Cook: Bring 1 3/4 cups water or broth to a boil; add 1 cup barley. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 10-12 minutes.

Yield: 2 cups

Nutrition per serving: 86 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 3 g fiber; 2 mg sodium.

Barley, Pearl

Cook: Bring 1 cup barley and 2 1/2 cups water or broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 35-50 minutes.

Yield: 3-3 1/2 cups

Nutrition per serving: 117 calories; 0 g fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 26 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 5 g fiber; 6 mg sodium.


Cook: Bring 1 cup bulgur and 1 1/2 cups water or broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 10-15 minutes.

Yield: 2 1/2-3 cups

Nutrition per serving: 96 calories; 0 g fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 5 g fiber; 7 mg sodium.

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