Consuming whole grains can be a surprising way to boost your daily protein intake. With the common mindset of “carbs are bad,” many people try to avoid them at all costs. Yes, whole grains do contain carbohydrates, but many whole grains contain more protein than one would think. The chart below gives an example of how much protein is provided in various grains.
Whole grains are not just a good source of protein. They contain other healthy nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin E, minerals, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Experiment with a grain you haven’t used before with one of the recipes below.
Peanut Butter Banana Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
- ¼ cup dry quinoa
- ¼ cup milk (or non-dairy milk)
- ½ very ripe banana – mashed
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Optional toppings: sliced banana, walnuts, unsweetened coconut shreds
Method1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Once quinoa is finished cooking, keep the burner on low heat and mix in milk, mashed banana, peanut butter, vanilla extract and cinnamon.
2. Pour into a bowl to serve. Top with desired toppings.
Warm Farro Salad
- 1 cup dry farro
- 1 medium butternut squash, pealed, seeds removed, and cubed
- 2-3 large kale leaves
- 1 small apple, diced
- 3-4 radishes, sliced thin
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- ½ Tbsp Honey
- Salt and pepper
Method1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss butternut squash cubes lightly with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 35 minutes until tender.
2. While squash is baking, prepare farro according to package directions.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Tear up bite sized pieces of kale and place in the bowl. Using your hands, gently massage dressing into kale leaves.
4. Once butternut squash and farro are finished cooking, toss them in the bowl with the dressed kale.
To finish, toss in diced apple and radish slices. Serve warm.
Easy Wheat Berry Chili
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 pepper (any color)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup cooked wheatberries
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can of beans, liquid drained
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- Salt and pepper
- Optional toppings: fat free sour cream, low fat shredded cheese
Method1. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Dice onion and pepper, then sauté with olive oil until onion is translucent. Next, add ground turkey and heat until cooked through.
2. Add wheatberries, beans, crushed and diced tomatoes, and spices. Mix thoroughly and heat until warmed through. Add salt and pepper to taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.
3. Serve with a dollop of fat free sour cream or low fat cheese.
Remember to always look for real whole grains. This means that in the ingredient list you should see the word “whole” written before the grain. Some examples are “whole grain brown rice” or “whole rolled oats.” If the word “pearled” is used, this means that the outer layer of the whole grain is brushed off, which takes away some of the nutritional value. Words such as “enriched” or “fortified” do not mean the product is a whole grain. Look for the word “whole” to ensure you are getting the healthiest grains out there!
Learn more about weight-loss options at a free information session.