Megan Callahan, MS, RD, LD
Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian

September 26, 2020

September is National Whole Grains Month and National Family Meals Month. What a great time to “Build a Better Breakfast” and incorporate whole grains for the whole family.

Whole grains are just like the name sounds – the entire grain, with all three parts (endosperm, germ and bran) together. There are many different types of grains. Each type of grain can be found in a whole grain form. Examples of whole grains include oats, whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta and brown rice. Sometimes you will also see grains in the refined form. This includes grains such as a white bread, white rice and white pasta. Refined grains are not whole because they typically only have one part (the endosperm) out of all three parts that were there originally.

Whole grains offer slow-digesting complex carbs that help keep us satisfied and focused through the day.

Whole grains are beneficial as they provide fiber, which can help manage blood sugar, promote digestive health and regularity, and help manage cholesterol. Whole grains also include the nutrients found in all three parts of the grain, such as B vitamins, which are key for staying energized through the day.

Always getting tired part way through the day? Whole grains can help play a role in staying fueled and energized for success. it’s recommended to make at least half of your grains for the day whole grains. Dietitian tip: Aim to include whole grains with breakfast to start the day headed toward that goal. Most people are familiar with oats and oatmeal as breakfast choices. Those are great, convenient choices for your busy mornings! Some people are surprised to find out that quinoa counts as a whole grain and that it can be a fun and versatile option to include with breakfast. It can be convenient, too, if you select a make-ahead style recipe that’s ready to go. Try this Slow Cooker Banana Bread Quinoa if you’re looking for a fun, make-ahead whole-grain breakfast choice for the whole family.

Slow Cooker Banana Bread Quinoa
Serves 6

All You Need:
1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
1 cup Hy-Vee unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 cup water
3 tbsp packed Hy-Vee brown sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed
Desired toppers, such as: sliced bananas, chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, and/or brown sugar

All you do:

  1. Pour quinoa, almond milk, water, brown sugar and mashed bananas into a 4- to-6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours. Add additional liquid or sugar to taste.
  2. If desired, serve hot quinoa with sliced bananas, chopped walnuts, chocolate chips and/or brown sugar.

Recipe source: The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.