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Great Grains! The 411 on Latin Ingredients

Just about every healthy snack or packaged food boasts about its whole grain content, which can be a bit confusing. What does it all really mean, what are the best whole grains for you, and how do they impact your health? 

Whole grains, which have not been ground into a powdery flour, take longer to cook, but the payoff is steady blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and an efficient digestive tract. Let's take a look at the whole grains that should be on your grocery list this week. 


If you aren't the hot cereal type, amp up your gluten-free fiber intake by adding a few tablespoons of barley to your next steaming pot of caldo. Chewy, with a nutlike flavor, adding barley to a savory stew can even help stretch your budget, yielding more portions in your recipe. You can also use barley as a fiber rich replacement for white rice. Healthy, economical, and yummy, what’s not to love?

Wild Rice

Although not a true rice, wild rice is a true whole grain, as it's the seed head of a Native American grass that grows in marshy areas of Minnesota. Wild rice is a great gluten-free side dish with any roasted meat, and adds a nutty, chewy texture to chopped salads, or stuffings.


Popular in Italy, farro is whole grain wheat, and is finally making an appearance in U.S. restaurants. Three different types grain (einkorn, emmer, and spelt) can be labeled and sold as farro, so keep an eye out for all three and have faith that the farro you find in your local grocery store will be well worth a try. Try serving whole grain farro next to broiled fish or sliced steak or wok-toss boiled farro with broccoli rate and peppers for a great veggie meal. Or drizzle leftover cooked farro with a bit of olive oil and chopped scallions for a great, late night snack.

Next, a look at more delicious whole grains...

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