When you start your day with whole grains, your ﬁrst meal will be rich in important nutrients like zinc, magnesium, and potassium. Plus, the fuller, richer taste and extra ﬁber will keep you satisﬁed for hours. But do you ever get tired of your morning bowl of oatmeal or slice of whole wheat toast? There’s a whole world of whole grains out there to explore! They show up in everything from sweet and savory porridges, to hearty baked goods, to creative casseroles and brunch dishes.
For inspiration, we turned to the pros. Below, food bloggers share their recipes featuring less-familiar whole grains in honor of Whole Grain Sampling Day. Try a new grain with one of these three creative recipes:
Only a few minutes and four ingredients stand between you and a delicious, colorful bowl of Warm Blueberry Millet Porridge. ”Cooking millet for breakfast is easy and the outcome is somewhere between rice pudding and oatmeal,” writes Emese from My Pure Plants. She tops her breakfast bowl with extra blueberries, chia seeds, and almonds for crunch.
Millet is a small, yellowish grain with a mild ﬂavor that pairs well with other foods. It’s gluten-free, high in antioxidant activity, and especially high in magnesium. Millet is delicious in savory recipes like soups and stews, but its texture shines in breakfast porridge recipes like this one.
“Word on the street is that teﬀ is the secret to Ethiopian runner success. So those aspiring to up their exercise endurance should certainly try a little teﬀ in their diet,” says Cordialis Msora-Kasago of African Pot Nutrition.
Sounds like a great way to start the day! With a nutty and earthy ﬂavor, teﬀ makes a delicious porridge. Msora-Kasago lightly toasts the grains before simmering in water and milk and topping with fresh fruit. The result? You won’t miss the sugar or maple syrup. “I personally ﬁnd this soo tasty that I do not add any sweeteners,” she says.
Teﬀ has long been a staple food in Ethiopia and Eritrea, where it’s estimated that people get roughly ⅔ of their protein from this tiny nutritional powerhouse. A teﬀ grain is roughly the size of a poppyseed. It contains high levels of calcium and resistant starch, a type of dietary ﬁber that can beneﬁt blood-sugar management. It’s also a sustainable breakfast choice: teﬀ thrives where many other crops can’t, growing in diverse climates and during rainy seasons and droughts alike. And because the grains cook quickly, preparing teﬀ requires less fuel than many other foods.
Posie Brien of the blog 600 Acres knows a secret about teﬀ: it’s a delicious pair for chocolate. “[Teﬀ] has a rich and earthy ﬂavor: it’s more robust than whole wheat ﬂour,” writes Brien. While reﬁned ﬂours tend to have a neutral taste, whole grain ﬂours can provide more complexity. In these muﬃns, the nutty ﬂavor from the ﬂour ampliﬁes the richness of the chocolate.
This recipe is 50% whole grain; half the ﬂour is all-purpose and half is teﬀ. Making half your grains whole is a great way to slowly introduce them into your baked goods. Before you know it, you’ll be craving the fuller, more complex ﬂavors! “When I switched to whole grains,” wrote the chef Alice Waters in My Pantry, “the greatest revelation was a world of ﬂavor I had been stubbornly resisting for years.”
Ready to break out of your breakfast rut? Check out more whole grain recipes from the Whole Grains Council.