Summer is ending, but our favorite time of year is just beginning. Say hello to September with open arms because it’s Whole Grains Month!
Whole Grains Month gives you the chance to better focus on whole grains and the chance to give back. With the launch of our Good Grains for a Good Cause campaign, a food-related charity of your choice (such as a food pantry or soup kitchen) can potentially win cases upon cases of whole grains! All you have to do is nominate your favorite charity. Just ﬁll out our online form with the basics about your charity. It’s that easy! Less than ﬁve minutes of your time can help bring whole grains to dozens upon dozens of deserving families.
Whole grains are worth celebrating for many reasons. First, whole grains are delicious. From smoky freekeh, to sweet oats, to peppery amaranth, there is a grain to suit every palate and preference. Chefs know how to leverage this collection of ﬂavors, textures, and aromas. In her book, My Pantry, Alice Waters confesses that, “When I switched to whole grains, the greatest revelation was a world of ﬂavor I had been stubbornly resisting for years.” In Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, Maria Speck explains that she eats whole grains because of their ﬂavor, not their nutritional qualities: “To me, whole grains carry luxurious qualities: lively textures, vivid colors, and rich ﬂavors.”
Yet, one of the most welcome discoveries to whole-grain enthusiasts is that the most ﬂavorful options are also the most nutritious. Packed with ﬁber to keep you feeling full, whole grains also contain more than a dozen vitamins and minerals. They’re a staple of some of the healthiest diets around the world, like the Mediterranean Diet. Make whole grains the base of your meals, to get a plate full of yum and nutrients.
Better yet, whole grains are worth celebrating because they are sustainable and shelf-stable, which means less food and water waste. Once produced, whole grains stick around for longer, too. You can easily store whole grains in your pantry for several months, or more!
This Whole Grains Month, set yourself up with new whole grain recipes and routines. Next time you’re at the store, grab a new-to-you whole grain to add to dinner. Sub whole-wheat pasta or pizza crust for their reﬁned ﬂour counterparts next time it’s Italian night. Use leftover whole grains, like amaranth or millet, to make breakfast porridge. Look for the Whole Grain Stamp when you’re picking out a new breakfast cereal. Try out one of our favorite whole grain recipes. There are ample opportunities to enjoy whole grains!
Tasty, healthy, and sustainable to boot, whole grains are a versatile pantry pick for any family. Go celebrate whole grains and share the love!
Shannon Evins, RD, Oldways Nutrition Communications Intern
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