Why I Love Whole Grains

I never intended to become a domestic fairy, but it happened anyway. When I first married my husband at 23, I didn’t know how to cook.

Let THAT sink in! Eesh!

The silver lining is that I got to learn! I got to experiment and try new things and develop my own style. I got to follow food and baking blogs and learn on my own. I loved the process. I sifted through food ideologies and discovered Michael Pollen and his In Defense of Food. My personal mantras lend themselves to pursuing the natural ways of the world, and I never realized how unnatural a lot of our food could be!

This is when I stumbled upon whole grains. I’m not talking about buying “whole-wheat” flour and bread, I’m talking about oatmeal and quinoa and barley and farro and millet and bulgur, oh my! Ever heard of those last few? That’s why I love whole grains: I discovered a whole slew of new things and a new way of cooking that I never experienced growing up.

There are a few diet trends lately that exclude whole grains, but before you discredit them completely, know that they come with many health benefits. They reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. They can lower your cholesterol and contain essential phytochemicals and antioxidants. Oh, and they’re yummy.

Adding whole grains to your food plan doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, they are a great addition to standard meals, or can replace boring staples like plain rice and oatmeal. Here are my highlights:

  • They make great salads, which make excellent leftovers for quick, hearty and transportable snacks.
  • They’re easy to add produce to (think berries and fruit to porridges and fresh vegetables and greens to salads) and promote the best things to have in your diet.
  • They’re cheap! Try any health food bulk section and you’ll be surprised what you can come away with for 5 bucks.
  • They’re fun to discover! When I made my first quinoa taco salad, it blew my mind! I’ve been cooking with whole grains for about 4 years, and I have yet to try amaranth, buckwheat, and sorghum. Can’t wait!
  • They are easy to cook up and can be added to any meal (think brown rice to enchiladas, couscous to curry, barley or wild rice to soup). Extra credit: cook them with homemade vegetable stock for added flavor and nutrition (see here)!

Here are my favorite recipes so far:

Millet Breakfast Porridge (we make this at least 3 times a week!)

Farro + Kale Salad (currently in my fridge)

Barley + Lentil Soup

Thai Farro Salad

High Protein Bulgur Black Bean Chili

Quinoa Oats

Quinoa Taco Salad

And next on my list to try:

Nourishing Coconut Milk Oatmeal

Cinnamon Buckwheat Groats

Morning Glory Oats

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

Lemony Wheat Berries with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup

Have fun with whatever you try! I started with the Creative Ways with Whole Grains class from Craftsy (see here); it’s a good place to start and it’s free!

And now I spend my days dreaming of our future pantry. It has spice jars for bulk-bought spices, bins for all our baking ingredients (no more flour dust storms!), and … a whole shelf filled with containers of whole grains. Ooooohhh, the dreams of a domestic fairy. 🧚

How does Marabou support women?

We live in culture where “bouncing back” is more valued than proper rest. As admirable as it may be for a sports star to get back on the field, the same rules don’t apply to postpartum recovery. The traditional resting period has been stolen from women through pressure to get back to their job or simply through lack of presence.

Grandmas, sisters and best friends who otherwise would have been there to help a woman transition into motherhood often live too far away to be of any help. Household chores and caring for older children inevitably fall on the mom. But she just delivered a new life! She needs rest. 

Marabou Services is a unique gift registry which provides services instead of stuff. Most mom’s get too many onesies, too many baby blankets and not enough helping hands. Break out of a destructive cultural norm and start a Marabou registry today.

Start a Marabou Gift Registry!

With a Marabou registry you can sing up for any service which will benefit you or someone you know during the postpartum recovery period.

Postpartum doulas for a first time mom

House cleanings for moms of multiples

Childcare for moms with older children!

Once your registry is created, add it to any other registry or post it to your Facebook and ask friends and family contribute to your postpartum service, rather than buying you more stuff.

More and more moms find they have to figure out postpartum alone. Is it any wonder why PMDs are on the rise? Or women are embittered by the journey of motherhood? We can change that by giving the gift of peace.