Happy Whole Grains Month! In case you didn’t know, September is the official National Whole Grains Month, according to the Whole Grains Council. Here at Grainful, we know that you celebrate whole grains year round, but why not get in on the celebration and strengthen your relationship with the wholesome food group?

What are whole grains?

According to the Whole Grain Council, the definition of whole grains is:

Whole grains or foods made from them contain all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed in their original proportions. If the grain has been processed (e.g., cracked, crushed, rolled, extruded, and/or cooked), the food product should deliver the same rich balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain seed.

This includes: amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, OATS, quinoa, OATS, rice, rye, sorgum, teff, OATS, tricticale, wheat, while rice… oh and did we mention oats?!

It is also key to understand the difference between whole wheat and whole grain; Whole wheat is one kind of whole grain, so all whole wheat is whole grain, but not all whole grain is whole wheat.

*Note in Canada this distinction may vary.
**Source: http://wholegrainscouncil.org/

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Why are they good for you?

Choosing whole grains over refined grains is proven to lower the risk of many chronic diseases. Many different studies have shown that with a regular inclusion of whole grains in a overall healthy diet can reduce the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and can help with weight maintenance.

Photo courtesy of Oldways and the Whole Grains Council, wholegrainscouncil.org

Photo courtesy of Oldways and the Whole Grains Council, wholegrainscouncil.org

How can you enjoy whole grains this month?

You can always incorporate more whole grains in your diet. Here are a few oat-y ways to sneak whole grains into your day no matter what you're craving. Of course, what would a Whole Grains Month celebration be without arguably (though maybe biased) the best whole grain of them all, steel cut oats, check out some fun new recipes to help you make the most of your whole-grain celebration. 

Sweet:

The Minimalist Baker's Caramelized Pear Steel cut oats

Photo Credit: The Minimalist Baker

Photo Credit: The Minimalist Baker

All you'll need for this delicious dish is: steel cut oats, water, butter, brown sugar, Bosc pears, cinnamon, lemon juice and the toppings of your choice (think pecans, granola, nut butter- there is room for creativity here). Check out the full recipe here.

 

Savory

Simple bites's Ramps, Parmesan and Tamari Savory Steel Cut Oats Recipe

Photo Credit: Simple Bites

Photo Credit: Simple Bites

These salty-but-healthy steel cut oats are the perfect way to spice up your grains. Toss spinach leaves, parmesan cheese, Tamari Soy sauce and ramp greens into your oats and your taste buds will be impressed! Check out the full recipe here.

Sweet and Spicy

Grainful's madras curry

Looking for both sweet AND spicy? Grainful has got you covered with the new madras curry meal mate from the steel cut sides line. All you need is 30 minutes, some chicken (or tofu) and seasonings for a wholesome, delicious and exotic meal that will make you want to celebrate whole grains month every month!

 

Whole grains month special from grainful:

Get 30% off of every order of Steel cut side bought from the grainful online store between 9/21/15 and 9/30/15.

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