New recipes

All About Grains

All About Grains

Don't know barley from bulgur? Here's a guide to versatile grains.

Most of us know that grains are good for us but have difficulty naming more than two or three. And if the most common side dishes you serve with chicken are pasta and potatoes, maybe a lesson in grains is in order. Here, we offer some simple recipes and tips on where to find and how to cook grains, and explore a few of the most versatile -- from the everyday (wheat) to the exotic (quinoa).

Buying and Storing Grains

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for more great articles and tasty, healthy recipes.

In the past, you would have had to go to a health or natural foods store to buy these grains, but now you can find many of them at the supermarket. Arrowhead Mills and Bob's Red Mill are two commonly available brands. Grains -- especially whole ones -- have oils that eventually turn rancid. Shop at stores where the turnover seems high, and buy only what you plan to use within a few months. If you have space, it's best to refrigerate grains, but you still can't keep them forever. You can tell if they've lost their freshness by their smell -- old grains, including flours, will have a stale odor.

Processing Grains

When we refer to grains, we mean grains in their most natural form -- chewy, hearty, and high in fiber and nutrients. To put this into perspective, it helps to know how grains are processed.

Whole grains and groats are interchangeable terms for unrefined grains. Because the bran, endosperm, and germ are intact, they are higher in fiber and minerals than other forms. As you might expect, whole grains take longer to cook than refined forms. Examples of whole grains include wheat berries, whole grain rye, and buckwheat groats.

Polished grains include pearled barley and brown rice. These grains have been refined to remove the tough exterior husk and most (or all) of the bran. This makes them less chewy and quicker to cook than whole grains.

Cracked grains, such as bulgur and steel-cut oats, result when grains are ground into smaller pieces. Some cracked grains are derived from whole grains, others from refined grains.

Flakes are sliced whole grains or cracked grains that have been steamed and rolled. Rolled oats are probably the most familiar, but you'll also find rolled barley, wheat, and rye.

Flour is grain that has been milled to a powder. Whole wheat flour is the product of processing whole wheat berries.


Baking with Ancient Grains

Nutrient rich and loaded with complex flavor, ancient grains add a fun, wholesome twist to baking. These seeds and cereals — many of which predate modern wheat by thousands of years — make for fantastic baking flour.

In fact, several ancient grains are versatile enough to substitute into many standard recipes. To find the best combinations, our test kitchen bakers took five of our most popular recipes and replaced a portion of the all-purpose flour with the flour from one of eight ancient grains. The results were delicious. Some recipes came alive with a complete substitution: 100% ancient grain, 0% all-purpose flour. Others worked best with a 50% or 25% substitution. Which will you like best?

Amaranth Flour

Amaranth flour is versatile, full of whole-grain nutrition, and enhances the flavor of many recipes. Naturally gluten-free, it contains all nine essential amino acids and lysine, a protein missing in most grains. Amaranth is a good source of iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.

  • Flavor: Earthy and peppery.
  • Texture effect: Tender in small amounts dense in larger quantities.
  • Works best in: Pancakes and quick breads.
  • Gluten free: Yes.

How to incorporate amaranth flour into your baking

As with many ancient grains, amaranth flour is versatile enough to substitute into many standard recipes. To find the best combinations, our test kitchen bakers took five of our most popular recipes and replaced a portion of the all-purpose flour with amaranth flour. The results were delicious. Some recipes came alive with a half-and-half substitution: 50% amaranth, 50% all-purpose. Others worked best with amaranth at 25%. Here are our full findings for pancakes, scones, cinnamon bread, banana bread, and muffins. Learn more about the testing process on our blog »

Amaranth in Pancakes

We really like the flavor of 50% amaranth and 50% all-purpose flour. The pancakes are fluffy and more tender than those made with all-purpose flour alone. If you're feeling adventurous, substitute up to 100% amaranth, though that amount yields a real punch of flavor.

We also liked: Spelt

Amaranth in Scones

Substituting 25% yields a tender, crumbly texture in scones. The mild amaranth flavor adds some complexity without overwhelming other flavors. Substituting amaranth 100% yields a denser scone with a much grittier bite and a nutty, almost peanut butter-like flavor.

We also liked: Kamut

Amaranth in Cinnamon Bread

Cinnamon bread demonstrates that amaranth inhibits breads' rise. A yeast loaf baked with 25% amaranth flour is acceptable, but loaves using 50% amaranth flour or more are incredibly dense and barely rise. If you're determined to make a yeast loaf that's more than half amaranth flour, add a little extra water and prepare for a heavy loaf.

We also liked: Kamut or Spelt

More great amaranth recipes

Gluten-Free Amaranth Almond Bars
No-Knead Amaranth Honey Nut Bread
Morning Glory Breakfast Cookies

Barley Flour

Barley flour is exceptionally high in fiber and low in starch, making it one of the lowest glycemic index (GI) grains you can use. With three times the soluble fiber of oats, it's a delicious, nutty-tasting way to add nutrition to baked goods.

  • Flavor: Subtly sweet and nutty.
  • Texture effect: Often moist in small amounts crumbly in larger quantities.
  • Works best in: Pancakes and quick breads.
  • Gluten free: No.

How to incorporate barley flour into your baking

As with many ancient grains, barley flour is versatile enough to substitute for all-purpose or whole wheat flour in many standard recipes. To find the best combinations, our test kitchen bakers took five of our most popular recipes and replaced a portion of the all-purpose flour with barley flour. The results were delicious. Some recipes came alive with a complete substitution: 100% barley, 0% all-purpose flour. Other recipes worked best at 50% or 25% barley. Here are our full findings for pancakes, scones, cinnamon bread, banana bread, and muffins. Learn more about the testing process on our blog »

Barley in Pancakes

You'll love the extra-fluffy pancakes you'll make using 100% barley flour. Barley adds a touch of sweet nut-like flavor, which gives these breakfast cakes a bit of sophisticated taste.

We also liked: Spelt

Barley in Banana Bread

Banana bread made with 50% barley flour has the ideal balance of banana, spice, and nutty flavors. It's also deliciously moist, and rises well. A 100% barley flour loaf sinks a little, and is tough, dense, and gummy — although the flavor continues to shine.

We also liked: Quinoa

Barley in Muffins

Muffins made with 50% barley flour are lofty and domed, and just as tasty as they are beautiful. Moist and tender, they perfectly highlight the sweet, nutty flavor of barley. For a muffin with even more flavor (but a flatter, denser texture), substitute barley flour 100%.

We also liked: Quinoa

Buckwheat flour

Buckwheat flour is hearty, gluten-free, and a good source of magnesium, copper, and dietary fiber. We enjoy its health benefits, but also turn to it again and again for its bold, nutty flavor.

  • Flavor: Bold, toasty, and rich.
  • Texture effect: Moist and tender in small amounts chalky in larger quantities.
  • Works best in: Pancakes and quick breads.
  • Gluten free: Yes.

How to incorporate buckwheat flour into your baking

As with many ancient grains, buckwheat flour is versatile enough to substitute for all-purpose or whole wheat flour in many standard recipes. To find the best combinations, our test kitchen bakers took five of our most popular recipes and replaced a portion of the all-purpose flour with buckwheat flour. The results were delicious. Some recipes came alive with a full substitution: 100% buckwheat, 0% all-purpose flour. Others worked best at 50% or 25%. Here are our full findings for pancakes, scones, cinnamon bread, banana bread, and muffins. Learn more about the testing process on our blog »

Buckwheat in Pancakes

We found a 50% buckwheat and 50% all-purpose flour combination the most appealing. You'll enjoy buckwheat's distinctive flavor in a fluffy, moist pancake. At 100% buckwheat, pancakes will be dry and somewhat sandy, with assertive buckwheat flavor.

We also liked: Quinoa

Buckwheat in Scones

Scones made with 25% buckwheat flour will be moist and tender, and have delicate buckwheat flavor. Beyond 50%, scones will have a pronounced "grassy" note, and chalky texture.

We also liked: Kamut

Buckwheat in Muffins

Substituting buckwheat flour 25% in muffins seems to yield the best results: muffins are moist yet light in texture, with enjoyable buckwheat flavor. As you increase the amount of buckwheat beyond 25%, muffins become drier and chalkier.

We also liked: Quinoa

Kamut flour

Kamut flour, a good source of protein and dietary fiber, contains some gluten. Kamut, the commercial name for Khorasan wheat, is an ancient variety of durum, with a grain twice the size of modern-day wheat.

  • Flavor: Rich and buttery.
  • Texture effect: Light and tender in small amounts verging on crumbly in larger quantities.
  • Works best in: Scones, quick breads, and muffins.
  • Gluten free: No.

How to incorporate Kamut flour into your baking

As with many ancient grains, Kamut flour is versatile enough to use in many standard recipes. To find the best combinations, our test kitchen bakers took five of our most popular recipes and replaced a portion of the all-purpose flour with Kamut flour. The results were delicious. Some recipes came alive with a half-and-half substitution: 50% Kamut, 50% all-purpose. Others worked best at 25%. Here are our full findings for pancakes, scones, cinnamon bread, banana bread, and muffins. Learn more about the testing process on our blog »

Kamut in Cinnamon Bread

A 50% Kamut flour substitution in cinnamon yeast bread creates a loaf with a beautifully buttery, tender, and moist interior that's almost croissant-like. While rising nearly as high as an all-purpose loaf, and offering superior flavor, a 50% kamut flour yeast loaf does demand about a tablespoon of additional water. A 100% Kamut loaf is denser and may crumble a bit correct this a bit by adding more water.

We also liked: Spelt

Kamut in Scones

Kamut's buttery flavor really enhances scones made with 50% Kamut flour and 50% all-purpose flour. It also lends them tenderness not apparent with 100% all-purpose flour. Although 100% Kamut scones have wonderfully rich flavor, they're also dense and crumbly.

We also liked: Spelt

Kamut in Banana Bread

A 50% Kamut/all-purpose flour banana bread is moist, with mild, sweet whole-grain flavor. A 100% Kamut loaf is somewhat astringent, with a slight sandy bite to it.

We also liked: Barley

Millet flour

Millet flour is packed with nutrition for flavorful, healthier baked goods. Naturally gluten-free, it adds mild flavor to both sweet and savory recipes. You might recognize whole millet: some cuisines use the small yellow seed in cooking, and it's typical in many bird seed mixtures, as well.

  • Flavor: Sweet and corn-like.
  • Texture effect: Cornbread-like in small amounts sandy in larger quantities.
  • Works best in: Muffins and quick breads.
  • Gluten free: Yes.

How to incorporate millet flour into your baking

As with many ancient grains, millet flour is versatile enough to use in many standard recipes. To find the best combinations, our test kitchen bakers took five of our most popular recipes and replaced a portion of the all-purpose flour with millet flour. The results were delicious. Some recipes came alive with a half-and-half substitution: 50% millet, 50% all-purpose flour. Others worked best with 25% millet flour. Here are our full findings for pancakes, scones, cinnamon bread, banana bread, and muffins. Learn more about the testing process on our blog »

Millet in Pancakes

Pancakes made with 50% millet flour are light and fluffy, with sweet, corn-like flavor. A 100% millet batter is rather difficult to work with, so while we like the flavor of the finished pancakes, their texture is quite dense.

We also liked: Spelt

Millet in Scones

With perfectly tender texture and sweet flavor, our favorite millet scones are those made with 25% millet flour. We find a 25% dough is easier to work with than the wetter doughs made using 100% or even 50% millet flour. These higher-substitution scones are also dry and dense.

We also liked: Kamut

Millet in Cinnamon Bread

Cinnamon bread made with 25% millet flour is light and fluffy, just like our favorite all-purpose yeast loaf, with added sweetness from the millet. A loaf made with 50% millet flour doesn't rise quite as high, but is almost as soft and moist. Tip: Mix in water gradually millet tends to absorb less.


Converting All Grain Recipes to Malt Extract

This week we take a look how you can convert an all grain recipe to malt extract (or back). The majority of brewers (perhaps 70%) brew with malt extract recipes, though most serious enthusiasts have made the switch to all-grain. Yet it is the small percentage of expert brewers who write all of the brewing books and publish a large portion of recipes online. This can leave many extract brewers out in the cold.

The basic process for converting an all grain recipe to extract is as follows:

  • Convert the base malt (usually pale malt grains) to an equivalent amount of extract
  • Adjust the color of the beer down to match the original color
  • Dial the hops up to match the IBUs of the original recipe

Converting a recipe is best done with the aid of brewing software or a good spreadsheet since you need to be able to adjust the original color, IBUs and original gravity estimates. At the end of the article, I will cover exactly how to do this using our software in a single step. However, I believe it’s important to understand what’s going on under the hood.

Converting Grains to Malt Extract

For the first step, convert your base malt to extract. The base malt is easy to identify as it is the largest ingredient in the beer – typically 5-10 lbs of pale malt. For example, let’s look at an all-grain ale with 8 lbs of pale malt and 1 lb of crystal malt. The simplest base malt conversion is to just multiply the number of pounds of pale male by 0.75 to get the pounds of liquid extract. Therefore 8 pounds of pale malt becomes 6 pounds of liquid extract.

An equivalent conversion for dry extract is 0.6, so 8 pounds of pale malt becomes 4.8 pounds of dry malt. A more accurate conversion would actually take the potential of the grain and extract into account when converting malt, but I will leave that topic for a future article.

To simplify things, we leave the specialty malts (1 lb of crystal) alone and switch to steeping them instead of mashing them. Some specialty malts (notably wheats, Munich malt, flaked and terrified grains) cannot be steeped and need to be replaced with a reasonable substitute. For example, those grains listed in our online grain listing as “must mash” should not be steeped. The same is true if you have a large proportion of specialty malt.

A good rule of thumb is you should steep no more than 3-5 lbs of specialty grains in the final extract recipe. Obviously you want to choose your malt extract to match the original color and style of the beer. If you are converting a wheat beer, choose a wheat extract. Beers with large amounts of Munich malt require a Munich extract. If you are making a light colored beer, pick the palest extract you can find. Pale extract is always a good starting point.

Matching Beer Color

Once you have your base malt converted, the next step is to match your color. Malt extracts are almost always darker than the equivalent pale malt due to darkening in production and storage, so you will need to reduce the color and quantity your specialty malts to match the same color as the original beer.

To manually calculate the color of both your original beer and the final beer you can view our article on beer color. However, I recommend using your favorite brewing software or a spreadsheet to simplify the process.

If you don’t have home brewing software, the best way to come up with the same color as the original is really by trial and error. You can swap the existing specialty grains with lighter color grains (try 40L Crystal as a substitute for 60L Crystal malt for example), or you can reduce the amount of your darker colored specialty grains until you match the color of the original recipe.

Some very light colored beer styles such as Koelsch may be impossible to precisely match using malt extract simply because commercial malt extracts are much darker than equivalent pale malt grains. In these cases, try to get as light as you can and consider using malts such as Carafoam (if appropriate) to replace crystal malts if appropriate to further reduce the color.

Adjusting Bitterness

The last step is to match the bitterness (IBUs) of the original beer. When going from all grain to extract this involves adding more hops because partial batch boils result in lower hop utilization than full batch boils used by all grain brewers. Some use a rule of thumb such as “add 20% more hops” but it is far more accurate to calculate and match the IBUs for both versions.

Again a spreadsheet or program is needed to calculate the International Bitterness Units (IBUs) of the original beer and final beer. Don’t use HBU’s (Home bitterness units) here since the boil sizes between all grain and extract brews are much different. Before starting, make sure you have the correct boil size both for the original beer and converted recipe set correctly when calculating IBUs. All grain brewers use full size boils (6+ gallons for a 5 gallon brew), while extract brewers use much smaller boils (perhaps 2-3 gallons for 5 gallons of beer). This has a large effect on IBU calculation.

Once you have both calculations set up, simply increase the hop additions incrementally until you reach your target bitterness. You now have an extract beer recipe that will closely match your all grain recipe.

You can use the above three step guide with any brewing software or well designed spreadsheet to manually perform the three steps (convert base malt, adjust color, adjust bitterness). If you wish to convert back (extract to all grain), you can follow the same three steps, but this time divide by the conversion factor (6 lbs of pale extract/0.75 = 8 lbs of pale malt).

BeerSmith has a nice conversion wizard built in to do all three steps in one shot. Open the recipe you want converted, click on the ‘Convert Recipe’ toolbar button (or “Convert Recipe Wizard” on the “Actions” menu). Select the type (All Grain, Extract, Partial Mash) of conversion you wish to perform. Pick the target equipment profile you wish to convert to (since your extract equipment likely has a much smaller boil pot) and press the OK button. The program will perform all three steps and give you the finished recipe. It is a very handy feature if you have recipes from a book or the web that you wish to convert quickly.

Thanks for tuning in to the BeerSmith Home Brewing Blog this week – I appreciate your continued support of the blog. Please consider subscribing for regular weekly delivery of articles by RSS or email if you enjoyed our blog.

Related Beer Brewing Articles from BeerSmith:

Beersmith’s calculations are awesome. I tweak and build recipes all the time, sometimes from scratch.

The recipe conversion tools are somewhat crippled by a very shallow ingredients database.

I’ll give an example of where I couldn’t use BeerSmith: I received a gift of a partial Mash extract recipe from the local homebrew shop. Their recipes call for 1.5 gallon boils with more water added later. I always do full boils. The fact that BeerSmith can (usually) convert this for me is awesome.

The first problem I hit is, there’s nothing in the Extract database for “Munich Malt”. Well, I can -make up- SRM, potential SG, but this is a let down. NB, B3, and the local homebrew shop all sell this type of extract, but BeerSmith only has entries for grain users. A pity, since it would probably be trivial to flesh out the database in an online update.

The recipe you have mentioned in your post is very attractive and also seems awesome. Keep it up this kind of work.

Nice details about malt extract from whole grain. What really makes this article special is the thrust is not only given on the taste but also on the color as color creats the first impression.
Oat Roller

A bit daft suggesting the Beersmith SW & not providing a link or the cost??
IMHO for newcomers switching to grain additions, which is a big step, you present too much info, why not break it down to at leas the two most important issues:
1) how to select quantity & manage the grain malt extraction.
2) You don’t seem to worry about this, but a similar approach to the selection & management of hops, bitterness, aroma & taste.
Bitterness is the step I struggle with most & so many recipes followed correctly just don’t provide the desired result & almost always fail to say what the final bitterness is.


Related Items

1 Amaranth

Amaranth is made up of tiny brown seeds, nutritionally similar to a grain. Amaranth is gluten-free.

Taste: mild and nutty

Health benefits: protein

Cooking time/method: Bring 1 cup amaranth and 2 cups water to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender and water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Eat with: Amaranth is great when combined with other grains&mdashadd a few tablespoons to a pot of oatmeal for a protein-packed boost to your favorite morning dish.

2 Barley

Barley consists of light golden, compact grains. Look for whole or hulled barley&mdashpearled is not whole grain. A high-fiber food, barley helps lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, and aid regularity.

Taste: mild, chewy, and dense

Health benefits: fiber

Cooking time/method: Boil in a large pot of salted water (similar to pasta) until tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Drain.

Eat with: Use barley instead of rice in a paella for a grain with a little extra fiber.

3 Bulgur

Bulgur is boiled, dried, and cracked wheat. It is a good source of potassium, B vitamins, iron, and calcium it also has the same amount of protein as brown rice but less fat and more fiber.

Taste: earthy and nutty

Health benefits: protein and fiber

Cooking time/method: Simmer 2 parts water to 1 part coarse or medium bulgur until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. For fine bulgur, use the same ratio but pour boiling water over the grain, cover, and let stand until absorbed.

Eat with: Try bulgur with braised meats, or mix it into an herb-packed salad, such as tabbouleh.

4 Farro

Also known as emmer wheat, farro is an heirloom wheat variety most frequently imported from Italy and sold pearled (which cooks quickly) rather than hulled (whole). For the most health benefits, look for whole farro. Rich in fiber, protein, and vitamins A, B, C, and E, farro is low in gluten and easily digested.

Taste: nutty, earthy, and chewy

Health benefits: protein and fiber

Cooking time/method: Boil in a large pot of salted water until tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Drain.

Eat with: Top farro with a poached egg and wilted greens for an easy dinner.

5 Freekeh

Freekeh is a dried and roasted green wheat, typically sold as whole freekeh or cracked freekeh.

Taste: Faintly smoky and chewy

Health benefits: protein and fiber

Cooking time/method: Bring 1 cup freekeh and 2 1/2 cups water to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender and water is absorbed (15 to 20 minutes for cracked freekeh or about 40 minutes for whole freekeh).

Eat with: Use freekeh in tabbouleh, or add it to a stuffing for roasts.

6 Kamut

Kamut is a variety of large heirloom wheat.

Taste: firm and nutty

Health benefits: protein, fiber, and minerals

Cooking time/method: Boil in a large pot of salted water until tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Drain.

Eat with: Simmer kamut in a rich stew, where it will hold its shape.

7 Oats

Oats are small grains that can be rolled into flakes or steel-cut into pieces. Oats can be gluten-free&mdashcheck the packaging to confirm if it is gluten-free before consuming.

Taste: mild, subtly sweet, and filling

Health benefits: fiber

Cooking time/method: Bring 1 cup rolled oats and 2 cups water (or 4 cups water if using steel-cut oats) to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (5 to 15 minutes for rolled oats or 30 to 45 minutes for steel-cut oats).

Eat with: Top cooked oats with seasonal fruit, or add rolled oats to baked goods.

8 Quinoa

Quinoa are small, round seeds that come in red, white, or black varieties. Quinoa is gluten-free. Although it cooks like a grain, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an herbaceous plant. Quinoa is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. It&rsquos also a good source of magnesium, which protects against osteoporosis.

Taste: grassy and nutty

Health benefits: protein and fiber

Cooking time/method: Boil in a large pot of salted water until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain, return to pot, and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff before serving.

Eat with: Cook quinoa in equal proportions with rolled oats for a protein-filled breakfast porridge, or add cooked quinoa to muffins and cakes for extra protein and texture.

9 Rice

Whole grain rice can be brown, red, or black. Rice is gluten-free.

Taste: nuttier than white rice

Health benefits: easy digestibility and fiber

Cooking time/method: Bring 1 cup rice and 2 cups water to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, 45 to 60 minutes (depending on the type). Let sit, covered, for 10 minutes before fluffing and serving.

Eat with: Serve rice with a stir-fry or roasted meats and vegetables.

10 Spelt

Spelt consists of large, dark brown grains. Look for whole spelt for complete nutritional benefits.

Taste: chewy and nutty

Health benefits: protein and fiber

Cooking time/method: Simmer like pasta until tender, 50 to 75 minutes. Drain.

Eat with: Toss spelt into salads or add it to veggie burgers.

11 Wild rice

Wild rice is really the long, black seeds of a grass related to rice. Wild rice is gluten-free.

Taste: firm, nutty, and earthy

Health benefits: protein and fiber

Cooking time/method: Simmer like pasta until tender, 50 to 75 minutes. Drain.

Eat with: Blend wild rice with other rices or roasted vegetables for a layered side dish.


Top diet trends: Mediterranean, Dash, Keto

"All whole grains are healthy — packed with fiber and other nutrients and help reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other illnesses. But farro stands out for its complex nutty flavor and versatility," Calvo told TODAY.

In 2019, market research firm Mintel reported that 32% of people aged 55 and older (even those who consider themselves carnivores) have been trying to eat more plant-based meals amid a wave of new studies demonstrating the benefits of diets that are high in fiber and rich in complex carbohydrates.


Brown Rice

Brown rice is the posterchild of a quintessential healthy whole-grain. We all know it, and we all choose it at restaurants in place of white rice when we’re feeling a little health-minded that day! It’s a great healthy staple, it’s affordable, and it’s easy to find.

How to cook it: Because of the extra germ layer, brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice. Use a ratio of 1 cup rice to 2 cups water. Bring to a boil in a pot, reduce to a low simmer, and cover for 40-45 minutes.

How to store it: Dry brown rice in a sealed container will remain good for years. Cooked brown rice will last for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, and 3 months in the freezer.

Gluten-Free: Yes!

Another familiar face – oats! While oats are generally considered a whole-grain, Oat Groats are the most intact and whole-grain form of them. However, since groats take so long to cook, most people prefer their oats in a different form: rolled, steel-cut, or crushed, to name a few.

How to cook it: This depends on the form of the oats. Refer to the package instructions on your specific oats – the cooking times vary greatly!

How to store it: Sealed and in a cool place, dry oats can last for about 1-2 years. Cooked oats will stay good in the fridge for about 3-5 days, and 3 months in the freezer.

Gluten-Free: Technically yes, but many oats get cross-contaminated with wheat at some point in their life. If you have a severe gluten sensitivity, opt for specifically “gluten free” oats.


Amazing Grains

see recipe

Italian Roasted Vegetable and Wheat Berry Buddha Bowl

All the best ingredients in Italian cooking come together in this satisfying vegan Buddha bowl. The base of the meal is wheat…

see recipe

Sorghum Berry Breakfast Bowl

Cook up a batch of sorghum to enjoy in salads, soups and freestyle bowls, and use some of it for this very…

see recipe

Stirred-Not-Fried Wild Rice

This vegan recipe combines wild rice and steam-fried vegetables for a healthy alternative to traditionally greasy fried rice. To make this a…

see recipe

Rice Bowls with Kidney Beans, Spinach, and Mixed Veggies

This complete meal in a bowl requires very little cooking and has a lot of textures and flavors. Use any beans, grains,…

see recipe

Polenta Pizza Pie

This polenta-based “pizza pie” is a fresh, delicious mash-up of a casserole and a pizza. It’s a fun take on a classic party dish….

see recipe

Easy Turmeric Eggplant Curry

Eggplants shine like the superstars they are in this really simple dish. Great for those new to curries, this foolproof recipe couldn’t…

see recipe

Quinoa Primavera

This colorful quinoa will make you say quin-wow! Jam-packed with loads of yummy veggies, this dish makes a one-pot meal that packs…

see recipe

10 Cozy Curry Dishes From Around the World

Costa Rican Rice and Beans (Gallo Pinto)

Rice and beans is a combination found all over the world, but it’s not just for lunch and dinner. This dish, which…

see recipe

Caribbean Rice

The combination of butternut squash, curry spices, brown and wild rice, and chard gives this dish a unique taste and lots of…

see recipe

Brown Rice Breakfast Pudding

My mom used to serve a version of this for breakfast—cooked with milk, sugar, and a hint of cinnamon. It is still…

see recipe


Amazing Grains

In this mouthwatering dish, juicy cremini mushrooms and blistered cherry tomatoes meld into a hearty base of mashed sweet potato and polenta….

see recipe

Blueberry Farro Grain Bowl

Blueberries bring refreshing bursts of sweetness to this colorful bowl. Farro, an ancient grain and a cousin of modern wheat berries, makes…

see recipe

Jerk Grain Bowls with Air-Fried Plantain Chips

Air fryer–cooked plantain chips add extra texture and flavor to these colorful, spicy jerk-flavored bowls. For best results, choose a half-ripe plantain,…

see recipe

Lots-of-Vegetables Risotto

Garlic, mushrooms, and vegetable broth infuse this creamy vegan risotto with savory flavor, while crisp-tender carrots and peas add a dash of…

see recipe

Find new favorite recipes.

Our chefs add new plant-based recipes every week to keep mealtime exciting and satisfying.

Mujadara Bowls with Parsley-Tahini Sauce

Mujadara is a Middle Eastern medley of lentils, rice, and caramelized onions. This version uses bulgur wheat instead of rice. Add roasted…

see recipe

Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

Stir-fries should be pretty. This recipe uses vegetables for variety of color (two colors of peppers), texture (crisp peas and tender cabbage),…

see recipe

Green Goddess Grain Bowls

Plant-powered dietitian and Forks Over Knives contributor Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN, has a brand-new cookbook out today. California Vegan features more than…

see recipe

Let us do your meal planning.

Save time, money, and the headache of what to cook with our customizable weekly meal plans.

Broccoli and Brown Rice Casserole with Chickpeas

Broccoli and some pantry staples are all you need to make this comforting rice casserole, which has a subtly creamy texture thanks…

see recipe

Crispy Tofu and Veggie Stir-Fry

Sesame-crusted tofu strips are air-fried until golden on the outside and creamy on the inside. The tofu strips will be delicate, so…

see recipe

Szechwan Stir-Fry

Remember water chestnuts from chow mein when you were a kid? Those crunchy veggies are making a comeback in this spicy stir-fry,…

see recipe

Five-Spice Stir-Fry

Chinese five-spice powder brings deep flavor to this vibrant veggie medley. We opted for hot cooked quinoa in this stir-fry to mix…

see recipe

Learn to cook the FOK way.

Master the essential skills and techniques to create delicious oil-free, plant-based meals at home. Spots are limited.

Freekeh Tabbouleh with Grapefruit

In this colorful, meal-worthy salad, nutty freekeh anchors the zesty flavors of grapefruit, cucumber, and fresh herbs. If you don’t have freekeh…

see recipe


Explore:

Use healthy oils (like olive and canola oil) for cooking, on salad, and at the table. Limit butter. Avoid trans fat.

Drink water, tea, or coffee (with little or no sugar). Limit milk/dairy (1-2 servings/day) and juice (1 small glass/day). Avoid sugary drinks.

The more veggies &mdash and the greater the variety &mdash the better. Potatoes and French fries don’t count.

Eat plenty of fruits of all colors

Choose fish, poultry, beans, and nuts limit red meat and cheese avoid bacon, cold cuts, and other processed meats.

Eat a variety of whole grains (like whole-wheat bread, whole-grain pasta, and brown rice). Limit refined grains (like white rice and white bread).

Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.

A monthly update filled with nutrition news and tips from Harvard experts—all designed to help you eat healthier. Sign up here.

Explore the downloadable guide with tips and strategies for healthy eating and healthy living.