December 20, 2017

Celebrate Whole Grains, January's Harvest of the Month!

In these colder months we turn to the pantry for our cooking inspiration: jars full of rice, barley, wheat berries, oats, and more. Whole grains are a great staple to use in baking bread, making hearty salads, and for warm breakfasts of porridge on a chilly day. When you eat unprocessed whole grains you are getting protein, minerals, and fiber that are converted into energy to sustain you through the day. Check out this info sheet for other healthy serving ideas and some shopping tips.

In 2013, Island Grown Schools began growing heritage grains with students in school gardens. We grew Turkey Red winter wheat, Duborskian-South River rice and two corns grown by native peoples in our region, Narragansett White Flint and King Phillip. Though we grew only small plots of these grains, this fall students were able to dry, shell, and grind corn into tortillas, and harvest rice and wheat stalks for seed to use next growing season. Students used their rice harvest in math class, and at one school they discovered that from just 15 plants they were able to harvest 2,580 seeds.

There are many ways to incorporate whole grains into your cooking. When baking, experiment with using up to half whole wheat flour in your favorite bread and cookie recipes. Prepare large amounts of whole grains such as quinoa and rice to heat up and enjoy throughout the week. Make a quick meal by mixing cooked wheat berries, quinoa, or rice with seasonal roasted vegetables, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
This January, choose whole grains in your kitchen, and harness all of the nutrition and flavor these mighty seeds have to offer. Try our featured recipe of the month, overnight oats.