An unexpected way to eat more healthy grains

Whole grains for breakfastThere’s a lot on your healthy eating to-do list, from getting more fruits and veggies to avoiding excessive sugar and salt. But we’re about to make it easier to cross off one healthy eating task: To eat plenty of whole grains. Whole grains are packed with nutrients including protein and fiber and have been associated with decreased risk for heart disease, improved digestion and weight management. But surprisingly, only 10 percent of Americans get their recommended three servings (at minimum) of whole grains each day.

Most people overlook breakfast as an opportunity to eat more grains, unless they’re thinking about packaged cereals. But look outside the cereal box. Eating healthy grains like quinoa and wild rice is an ideal way to get a nutritious start to the day.

This recipe from Food Network Magazine relies on wild rice, oats, farro and wheat cereal for a bowl packed with whole grains. The wild rice offers protein and fiber, oats lower bad cholesterol, farro provides long-lasting energy and shredded wheat packs nutrients including iron and zinc.

Whole-Grain Breakfast Porridge

1/2 cup red or wild rice
1/2 cup steel-cut oats
1/4 cup pearl barley or farro
1/2 cup farina or wheat cereal
1 2-inch piece orange peel
1 cinnamon stick
1 to 2 tablespoons packed dark or light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dried fruit
Chopped nuts, maple syrup and/or milk (optional)

Up to 12 hours before you plan to eat, put the rice, oats, farro and wheat cereal into a 6- to 10-cup rice cooker. Stir in the orange peel, cinnamon stick, sugar, salt and five cups of water. Add any dried fruit you like – some great options include sliced apples, chopped apricots or raisins.

Close the cooker, then set the timer and program for the porridge cycle so your meal is ready in time for breakfast. If you don’t have a porridge setting on your rice cooker, program it for 50 to 55 minutes (it will stop cooking and keep the mixture warm when it’s done). Enjoy the porridge warm with nuts, syrup and/or milk, if desired.

Nutritional Information (Makes four servings)
Per serving: 287 calories; 1g total fat; 151mg sodium; 62g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 8g protein

 

This blog post is part of #HealthyMe, a personalized web experience based on your health and wellness goals. To sign up today, visit http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/healthyme 

 

 

Photo credit: LollyKnit

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    1. Hi Martha! Some people recommend cooking on the stovetop if you don’t have a rice cooker. One Food Network reader says, “I don’t have a rice cooker but combined all the ingredients except those to add when serving and cooked on the stovetop over low heat for about the same time as suggested.” You can read more suggestions here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/whole-grain-breakfast-porridge-recipe2.html. Thanks for reading!

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