Image by: The Corner Kitchen
~ by Janet Helm, MS, RD
Ancient grains are hot. You’ll find farro, freekeh, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, sorghum, teff and other ancient grains on multiple 2014 food trend lists. They’re the new rice on restaurant menus, the new pasta for home cooks. Now it appears that ancient grains are the new oatmeal -- although I think there’s always room for oatmeal!
Even so, ancient grains are no longer simply an ingredient for salads and side dishes. These hearty, whole grains are being reimagined as a warm breakfast cereal, like this Freekeh Breakfast Bowl by The Corner Kitchen. Freekeh is a roasted, green wheat (picked young) that originated in the Middle East. It's one of my favorites -- along with bulgur, the signature grain in tabbouleh.
But bulgur can also make an appearance at breakfast. Take a look at this Cinnamon Banana Breakfast Bulgur by Neighborfood.
Image by: Neighborfood
Lots of Healthy Aperture bloggers have been having fun with various whole grains at breakfast, especially quinoa -- which does seem to be the new darling. Here's an Apple Pie Quinoa Breakfast Bowl by Peace Love Quinoa (who obviously loves her quinoa).
Image by: Peace Love Quinoa
Peace Love Quinoa created another variation of morning quinoa that she shared on Healthy Aperture: Breakfast Quinoa with Fruit and Almonds.
Image by: Peace Love Quinoa
I adore barley -- maybe it seems more old-school than ancient, but this whole grain has been around forever. Yet, you may think of it more as an ingredient in beer or soup. However, humble barley is suddenly hip again. It's worth waking up to. Check out Coconut Mango Barley Breakfast by Veg Girl RD.
Image by: Veg Girl RD
Farro is another ancient grain that's getting tons of attention. This rich nutty grain from Italy is amazing in salads or cooked like a risotto -- but consider it for breakfast too. For inspiration, try this Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Farro by Kitchen Confidante.
Image by: Kitchen Confidante
Whole grains consistently appear at the top of the list of foods Americans are actively trying to increase (although there continues to be a whole grain gap in this country -- most people fall short of daily whole grain recommendations). If you don't eat a serving of whole grains at breakfast, it's hard to make up for that by the end of the day.
Maybe if we help widen the options -- help people think of whole grains in a new way -- we'll get a little closer to daily guidelines. Starting your morning with a hot, comforting bowl of grains -- whether that's oatmeal or freekeh, bulgur or quinoa -- is a great start to the day. If you love some of these grains at dinnertime, why not see how you can make them a part of your a.m. options.
Have you been experimenting with different whole grains in the morning?