By Noel Christmas

Kickstart healthy-eating with a quick & easy guide to whole grains.

It's one thing to know that whole grains are a quick way to kick-start a healthy diet—with all the extra dietary fiber and iron, plus the added B vitamins, they're a solid choice to up your eating game. But it's another thing entirely to know which ones to use and how they're best cooked. So let's find the right whole grains for you:

Lemon-Basil Quinoa Salad

Curried Brown Rice

Photo by pelicangal

Kelly's Slow Cooker Beef, Mushroom, and Barley Soup

Photo by Ragnall

Pear Walnut Wheat Berry Salad

Photo by Tami Regan

Jenni's Italian Farro Pilaf

Photo by mkstevens09

Millet-Stuffed Peppers

Photo by Sarah-May

Quick Tips

  • Hot and Cold. Serve them warm like rice pilaf, or try them cold with some extra seasoning.
  • Salad for Days. Bulgur and wheat berries top this list, but try any of these tossed with some veggies and a flavorful vinaigrette. Yum.
  • Fry 'Em Up. Treat the cooked and cooled grains like fried rice. It'll take some experimenting to find the right flavor combos for you, but that's half the fun, right?
  • Risotto Style. Farro is the classic non-rice to cook as risotto, but just about any of these will work cooked low and slow with hot stock stirred in.
  • Going Gluten-Free? Just because it's a whole grain doesn't mean it's gluten-free. Quinoa, millet, and brown rice are your best bets. Luckily, they're pretty delicious, too.
  • Start Cooking. Whole grains are no one-trick pony. You'll find plenty of recipes for them right here.