How to Cook Whole Grains
This basic cooking lesson will teach you all about how to cook whole
grains. Whole grains are low in fat and should be part of a healthy
diet. White flour, white rice and pasta that isn't whole wheat are
not considered whole grains. They, of course, are grains just not
"whole". Wheat flour, brown rice and whole wheat pasta is the
Planned Kids Cooking Curriculum
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Tips on How to Cook Whole Grains
- Saute or toast whole grain with chopped onion in 1 tablespoon
oil before adding liquid. This tastes great with rice, see
- Use broth or stock for
your liquid when cooking.
- Use a large pot when cooking grains.
- When cooking grain, if it is still not tender and has ran out
of liquid add a 1/4 Cup liquid or more. Continue to cook until
- You can use a steamer to cook all types of whole grains.
Whole Grains include:
* Brown rice
* Whole-wheat pasta
* Wheat berries
* Wild rice
How to Cook Whole Grains- Pasta
Using a large pot, fill half to more than half of the pot with
water. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Once your water is
boiling add a tablespoon of salt, do not add oil. Add pasta and stir
to keep the noodles from sticking together. After 5 minutes taste
test a noodle. Continue to watch closely. Most noodles take 7-10
minutes to cook. This is the best way to determine whether your
pasta is done or not. Drain water off noodles when they are done and
Try some easy pasta recipes.
How to Cook Whole Grains- Barley
Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add barley and cook about 30
minutes or until tender. Drain. Barley can be made into a side dish,
added to salads or soups.
Beef Barley Soup
1 pound ground beef
1 onion chopped or pureed in blender
2 teaspoons oregano
1 large can of tomatoes, pureed in blender
4 Cups beef broth
2/3 Cup barley, uncooked
Brown beef with onion. Season with salt and pepper and add oregano.
Drain meat and add to a soup pan. Add pureed tomatoes, barley, and
beef broth to pan. Cook until barley is tender. If desired add a bag
of frozen vegetables 10-15 minutes before serving. Allow to cool and
pour in freezer containers.
How to cook whole grains- Rice
I found out the hard way that brown rice is a little trickier to
cook than white rice. That's because brown rice retains it outer
layers after processing while white rice has both the germ and bran
removed, leaving it easier to cook and fluffier after cooking but
with less nutrients. Most of my family prefers white rice because it
is fluffier and not as chewy as brown rice. However, I think both
To cook brown rice,
begin by soaking one cup of brown rice in
cold water. Drain and then put rice into a saucepan, cooking
uncovered on medium heat for about three minutes. You can add 1/2
teaspoon of salt if desired. After dry cooking the brown rice, pour
two and 1/2 cups of boiling water into the saucepan with the rice
and let it attain a full boil.
Reduce heat, cover and cook until the rice has absorbed all of the
water, a process generally taking 40 to 45 minutes. You don't need
to stir the rice during this time.
After enough time has passed, remove the pan from the stove and let
it sit with the lid still on for about 10 minutes. Use a fork to
fluff the brown rice before serving.
When you are learning how to cook rice and brown rice, remember
that one cup of rice will always need two cups of water
cook with being dry and sticky.
To cook white rice,
add one cup of rice, one tablespoon of
butter and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to boiling water. Stir this mixture
one time and then cover the pot. Once the rice is boiling, reduce
the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until most of the water
has been absorbed. Stir the rice occasionally but don't over-stir.
This may cause the rice to take on a gummy, glutinous texture.
My favorite way to cook rice
In frying pan brown, 3 Cups of rice in 1 Tablespoon butter and 2
Tablespoons oil. Add in chopped onions or celery. Brown until rice
is glassy looking. Add 3 Cups of water or chicken broth to the rice.
Cover and cook 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
Try this best fried rice
with your cooked rice.
Make teaching easier with our activities and recipes compiled in one easy to read format.
***Also available in paperback.
How to Cook Whole Grains - Quinoa
learning how to cook quinoa, one very important thing I discovered
was that one cup of quinoa will make three cups after boiling. This
is because quinoa is a grain that readily absorbs water and expands
to twice its size. In fact, the first time I made quinoa I did not
know this bit of information and I ended up with enough quinoa for
Before you cook quinoa, prepare it by first rinsing the grains to
remove that fine, dusty residue you will notice it is covered with.
Place the quinoa in a strainer and run water over the grains until
water is clear. If you want quinoa to taste roasted, toast the
grains in a skillet for five minutes before cooking.
When cooking quinoa, you can use a pot or a rice cooker. Place two
parts water and one part quinoa in a pot of water and boil. Once
boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 10 or 15 minutes. When the
grains appear translucent and feel soft, they are done.
Quinoa can be incorporated in stews, soups, pilafs, bread, cookies,
pancakes and bagels. Many people eat quinoa like oatmeal, enhancing
it with nuts and fruit. A simple recipe for quinoa "oatmeal"
includes cooked quinoa, chopped walnuts, chopped dried apricots,
raisins, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and one cup of soy milk.
For a sweeter tasting quinoa breakfast meal, add one tablespoon of
maple syrup or substitute sweetener.
Recipes calling for couscous or rice can use quinoa as a substitute
without much alteration to the flavor or texture. You can also try
mixing cooked quinoa with chili, vegetable dishes or burrito
fillings for a unique, delicately nutty flavor. By learning how to
cook quinoa you can also save on your food bill by using it as a
filler in meat dishes.
Learn about buying Quinoa
How to Cook Whole Grains- Couscous
Learning how to cook couscous was easy to know since I already knew
how to cook pasta. Couscous can be used as a substitute for pasta,
although it is shaped differently and looks more like a pea.
To cook couscous as a separate dish, all you need is one cup of
couscous, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and one and 1/4 cups of water. Boil
the water and salt in a saucepan and then pour the water into a
bowl. Add the couscous, stir well and cover the bowl with a towel.
Let the couscous sit for about five minutes. Fluff the couscous with
a fork and serve as a filler for a variety of dishes.
I have used couscous as a substitute for rice and macaroni, mixing
it with melted cheddar cheese and butter. It tastes just as good and
I don't feel as guilty eating a big bowl of it! Another delicious
recipe is couscous chicken salad. Just add about two cups of cooked
couscous to two, 12 ounce cans of drained chicken, flavor with
cinnamon, salt, pepper, dried apricots and mandarin oranges.
Couscous may be one of the most versatile foods I have ever used.
Once you know how to cook couscous, you can combine it with just
about any kind of recipe, even desserts. For example, apple-cinnamon
couscous is a delicious dessert easily made by using one cup of
apple juice, two tablespoons of dried apples, two tablespoons of
raisins, one teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 cup of couscous. Just boil
all the ingredients except the couscous in a saucepan, remove the
pan from the heat and then add the couscous. Let it sit for about
five minutes before serving. For variety, use other juices or dried
fruit with this recipe instead of the raisins and apples.
More Help on How to Cook Whole Grains
How to cook whole
Learn how to make whole
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Basic Cooking Lesson Pages:
~ Basic Cooking Lessons,
~ Stock and soups,
~ 5 mother sauces,
~ Yeast and baking breads,
~ Herbs and spices,
~ Dry beans,
~ Different cooking methods,
~ Growing an herb garden, How to Cook Q&A