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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:

Warm Blueberry Millet Breakfast Porridge

Blueberry-millet-porridge-Courtesy My Pure Plants.jpg
Blueberry Millet Porridge – Image courtesy My Pure Plants

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. 

Teff Porridge

Teff porridge_courtesy Cordialis .jpg
Teff Porridge – Image courtesy African Pot Nutrition

“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.

Chocolate Teff Muffins

Chocolate Teff Muffins-Courtesy Posie Brien.jpg
Chocolate Teff Muffins – Image courtesy 600 Acres

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.

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