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Glorious Wholegrains

Quick tips for the busy: How to prepare and store wholegrains

We have all heard of these great grains which are gaining popularity in many cafes and restaurants in Singapore!

Some whole grains include: brown rice, quinoa, millet, barley, rye, buckwheat (kasha), oats and spelt

Of these, brown rice, quinoa, millet and buckwheat are gluten-free and suitable for people allergic to gluten or dealing with coeliac conditions.

Some of us have experienced bloating even when eating gluten-free grains and this could probably be due to poor management of grains before cooking. Grains such as brown rice and quinoa should be soaked overnight to soften the grain, making it more digestible. This also helps release phytic acid which can bind with our body's minerals and inhibit their absorption.

Buckwheat should not be soaked or you will end up with some mushy grub no one would want! Soupy buckwheat soba noodles (post coming soon!) make for a great cold day meal!

How brown rice should be cooked:

1 cup of brown rice to 2 cups of filtered water. Allow it to cook in a rice cooker.

Brown rice is such a versatile grain and we can cook delicious sweet and savoury meals out of it.

We could cook a huge pot of brown rice for dinner tonight. Say we have 2 cups of rice leftover after dinner, we could half that quantity and have sweet brown rice porridge  (post coming soon!) for breakfast the next day and then we can make a quick stir-fried brown rice.

How quinoa should be prepared and cooked:

If we do not want to soak our quinoa, we found that we could do a quick rinse of this grain before adding them into boiling water. You will notice the bubbles that arise from the quinoa while rinsing. That is the result of saponin (a natural herbicide) being removed from quinoa.

Once your quinoa has got a 'tail', it is ready! Fluff up your quinoa with a fork. You could eat it as it is, or toss it in some toasted sesame oil, herbs, spices and tamari sauce/ add it to your favourite salad!

Quinoa is yet another versatile ingredient that you can use to replace rice if you would like to skip the carbs! (Its technically a seed, you see!)

Instead of rice porridge, you could make a quinoa porridge or a quinoa salad (post coming soon!).

You could make a big batch of quinoa and have it over 4 to 5 days in sweet and savoury dishes. Keep your quinoa in a container in the fridge after cooking!

Fun fact!

Quinoa is an amazing whole grain that we get from the high plains of the Andes Mountains in South America. It provides us with extremely high energy and we can see that through the Incas who are able to run long distances at high altitudes because of this grain!

Red or white quinoa?

There really isn't much difference between both types of quinoa, although red quinoa has a little more fibre and white quinoa has more minerals and vitamins.

So there we have it! Great examples of how we can incorporate these glorious grains into our diet, quickly and easily!

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