Grains are great for our health, providing our bodies with fiber, vitamins and minerals. But if you limit yourself to wheat and rice, you’re overlooking what I call “super grains.” These grains provide a source of protein, making them superb choices for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet. Ready to experience the wonderful world of grains? Try these options:
- Quinoa makes a brilliant breakfast when you use Ancient Harvest Organic Quinoa Flakes. It’s also a scrumptious side dish at dinner time, quick to cook and chewy in substance. With nine grams of protein per cup, quinoa also serves as a substitute for rice. In addition, you can enjoy this gluten-free grain in pasta, such as Ancient Harvest Organic Quinoa Pasta Rotelle.
- We get a kick out of kamut. Perfect for a summer breakfast, the big puffy grains in Arrowhead Mills Organic Puffed Kamut Cereal are crunchy even when floating in a sea of White Wave Silk ® Very Vanilla All Natural Soymilk. You can also use kamut flour in cooking to benefit from the higher protein content, such as Bob’s Red Mill Kamut ® Flour.
- When it comes to filling up, not out, with food, amaranth wins for having seven grams of fiber per serving! With seven grams of protein as well, this ancient grain makes a great addition to every meal. Try Bob’s Red Mill Organic Amaranth Flour in your favorite bread recipes, or enjoy Arrowhead Mills Organic Amaranth Flakes for a tasty breakfast topped with plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon.
- Are you on a gluten-free diet and want the satisfying crrrrunch of crackers? We’ve got the answer with Orgran Toasted Buckwheat Crispibread! These gluten-free, vegan crackers contain just 44 calories per serving. They’re fabulous spread with almond butter for a snack, such as MaraNatha Natural Cashew Butter.
- OMG oatmeal! Oats qualify as one of the most versatile grains, ideal for purposes ranging from baking to breakfast. Treat yourself to afternoon tea with Back to Nature Oat Graham Crackers with Honey. For a sweet start to your day, enjoy Nature’s Path Organic Instant Hot Oatmeal Maple Nut. And if you’re on a diet, you can benefit from the delights of Dukan Diet Oat Bran Muffin Mix in flavors like vanilla and chocolate.
- A newly discovered grain, teff is high in protein and terrific for breakfast. We recommend the purity of Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Teff.
Joanne Eglash, Vitacost.com’s Diet Diva, has a master of science in holistic nutrition and more than 15 years experience as a nutrition consultant, blogger, author and journalist. She has written for a wide range of publications and websites, including ediets.com,Natural Health magazine, Shape magazine, Success magazine, Energy for Women and Chefs. Joanne is currently the national Diets columnist for the online news and entertainment site, Examiner.com, and a features food columnist for Yahoo.