If you haven’t heard by now about how great whole grains are, now is the time to find out why they are so loved and maybe even jump on the whole grain train yourself. And what better time to do so than September: Whole Grains Month!

We’re here to give you the Whole Grains 101 so you can learn what makes them special and how these are good additions to your diet. Find out the benefits over their refined-grain counterparts, tips for cooking, and some recipe ideas you may not even know you can make with whole grains. 

You may be wondering why there is a whole month dedicated to these grains. Well, whole grains are quite amazing, and having a month dedicated to them is an excellent way to get that information out there to those who may not know much about their goodness.  

What Are Whole Grains?

First things first, what exactly are whole grains? As their name indicates, these pertain to the entire seed of a plan – were you aware that all grains are made up of three edible parts?

  1. The bran – this is the multi-layered outer skin of the edible kernel, containing important B vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. 
  2. The endosperm – the largest portion of the kernel and the germ’s food supply, containing starchy carbohydrates, proteins, and some vitamins and minerals.
  3. The germ – the part of the grain that has the potential to sprout into a new plant. It contains many B vitamins, some protein, minerals, and healthy fats.

Any grain that no longer contains all of these parts is no longer considered a whole grain. This is something to take into account when shopping for whole grain foods. It’s important to check the ingredients list for the word “whole” preceding the grain (such as “whole wheat flour”). Ideally, the whole grain will be the first ingredient on the list, indicating that the product contains more whole grain than any other ingredient by weight. 

Whole Grain Mediterranean Rice Bowl with Zucchini Fritters

Did you know that both Success® Brown Rice and Success® Tri-Color Quinoa are within the whole grains line up? That’s right, cooking whole grains can also be less of a challenge and part of your daily routine with our convenient Boil-in-Bags.

Whole Grain Options

It’s easier to shop for whole grain options when you understand what makes something a whole grain and the types of foods that are considered to be whole grains. Here is a list of items to look for on your next grocery trip if you are looking to incorporate more whole grains into your diet:

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Wild rice
  • Whole-grain corn
  • Whole oats/oatmeal
  • Popcorn
  • Whole rye
  • Whole-grain barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Triticale
  • Bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • Millet
  • Sorghum
  • 100% whole wheat flour
Summer Paella with Quinoa

At Success®, we offer two of the most delicious options on this list: Quinoa and Brown Rice. Including these versatile grains into your diet is as easy as substituting them into recipes you would typically prepare with white rice. While some recipes may require a specific rice variety for the proper preparation, there are many more that can easily be turned into whole grain options by swapping with quinoa or brown rice. Not to mention, they also make tasty side dishes.

Quinoa

Pronounced Keen-wah, quinoa is actually not a grain, but a seed. With its nutty undertones, an earthy aftertaste, and a slightly chewy texture, you may be surprised that it is great for salads, casseroles, and even paellas!

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole with Quinoa
Chicken and Broccoli Casserole with Quinoa

Get the full 101 on quinoa and its benefits and start incorporating it into your favorite dishes, or discover some new ones on your whole grain journey during Whole Grains Month. 

Brown Rice 

Brown rice is probably the best known whole grain out there. These fluffy and nutty grains are perfect for using in stuffed veggies, soups, and salads. Although it is more often used for savory dishes, you would be surprised at the many uses brown rice has for making sweet treats – give a try to our Creamy Brown Rice Pudding or Pumpkin Mousse Pie with Brown Rice Crust and you’ll know what we’re talking about!

How to Cook Whole Grains?

Cooking whole grains is a bit different than cooking white rice or jasmine rice because of the outer bran coating that is still present. They require more water and longer cooking time

For brown rice, you are looking at about 45 minutes of cooking time, with another 10 minutes to let the cooked grains stand before serving. For quinoa, it’s about 15-20 minutes, and an additional 5 minutes to stand before fluffing and serving. 

Luckily, Success® Boil-in-a-Bag options are available. They cook to perfection in just 10 minutes and with very little effort so they are perfect for those days when you don’t have hours to prepare a meal.

Our Boil-in-Bags can be either cooked simply by boiling in water, in the microwave or out of the bag following the water excess or total absorption method

Whether you’re already a whole grain enthusiast and are looking for some new recipe ideas, or you’re just beginning your whole grain journey, celebrate Whole Grains Month by learning more about them and your options to make them part of your diet – now easier with Success® Rice and Quinoa, and our tasty recipes that you’re sure to enjoy!