Great grains and what is stevia?

I have been trying all of these different grains and hardly eat pasta ever anymore - or rice. I wasn't quite sure of the differences between all of these grains and what I could do with them so I wanted to look them up and share my findings.

These grains are healthy as they are full of fiber and help to flush out our systems which helps so that no harmful substances reside in our bodies.

BULGUR - pre-cooked wheat. Low fat protein. 2x the fiber of brown rice, more fiber than oats. Mild flavor & short cook time. I've been having bulgur for breakfast in place of oats! (W/ almond butter and cinnamon...mmm). It has been seen as a main ingredient in veggie burgers ... and used for salads.

GROATS - Oats with outer layer removed, not rolled out. High in fiber, long cooking or soaking time. They make a good porridge or morning cereal once cooked. Good for baking. I tried these once and start cooking them pre run so that they are waiting for me when I'm done. Heather over at HEAB has a great bread recipe posted using these that I plan to try at some point soon!

OATS - rolled out groats. These seem like a staple now, but might have been causing me some stomach trouble. They are in my tempo bars and many recipes. Nick eats oats or millet every day for breakfast (Super porridge!)

QUINOA - seed from south america, related to the spinach family - high protein and calcium. Contains all 9 essential amino acids and great minerals. Gluten free. Quick cooking. Love the protein factor.

I've soaked this for 2 hours and had it with my oatmeal in the morning. Also, I've made muffins with soaked quinoa and had it with dinner. I prefer it with the oatmeal and muffins! I find it to need alot of salt and/or butter if eaten with dinner.

MILLET - Easy to digest. B vitamins and protein. Gluten free.
Heather made bread out of it - check that out. I saw that I could give this to Nick so I tried it and find it tasty. Nick enjoys it too!

BARLEY - Selenium, B vitamins, Vitamin E, folic acid. Nick does not like this at all! I find it tasty for a warm salad tossed with veggies, and I've seen it in soups.

Amaranth - I have not tried this... high protein, vitamin E, calcium. Seems like it is versatile similar to quinoa - sweet or salty, it can go either way. Have you tried it?

What did I leave out?

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GRAIN (or seed)? What is your favorite recipe in which you use one of the above - or a different one?

I'm starting to think I should buy some Bob's Red Mill stock!

What is stevia? Why should I try it?

What a perfect running day! I ran my 16 on a new course around conshohocken for the locals - starting on the tow path and running on ridge pike. It was a great day and fantastic run with a new running buddy!


  1. Thanks for the info on grains! I'll have to start trying some.

    I love stevia, it's a natural low cal sweetener. It does have a little after taste, but you get over it. I prefer it over using something like splenda or sweet n low.

  2. Yay! I was thinking about you this morning - so glad to hear that the long run went well! You're back :)

  3. can you post a recipe for baked good (preferably a sweet one!) with groats or quinoa?? maybe i would eat more of them!

  4. Stevia is just stevia. It's dried extract from the stevia plant. We used to sell it at the health food store by the ounce. I wonder how they quantify it, but it's supposed to be 100x sweeter than sugar so if you buy it in it's raw state (ie: not mixed w/ anything else) you would seriously use a 10th of a teaspoon to sweeten a cup of coffee/tea. It doesn't affect your glycemic level, so you don't get sugar crashes. It's great. It does have a slight after taste, but you know, it's nice knowing it's a natural after taste and not caused by some chemicals that can also be used as a pesticide. :)

    So, if you buy Truvia, that's what it is. And they have a product that is sugar/stevia mixed. In the Tropicana orange juice that's called 50 or whatever, it's sweetened w/ stevia too.

  5. Thanks for the run-down on all of those grains. I am always overwhelmed at the selection, which leads me to stick with plain old pasta/rice.

  6. I thought barley was only good for making beer ;)

  7. LOVE the post!!! I love trying new grains. I have a cook book that is all about grains and how to do different things with them. I'll have to email you the title.

    I like the quick barley but can't find it anymore. I can only find the medium and it takes too long to cook after a day at work.

  8. I have tried Truvia and it's pretty good. BUT I am trying to really decide if it's worth it, ya know? It's still a product that requires some engineering and so I don't know if it's necessarily safe. Say you only have it once a day..(it being sugar)...is it that bad to use a couple teaspoons of it? I use sugar in the raw, honey or agave nector. Just depends what I'm eating.

    Thanks for the rundown on the grains....and glad you had a great run!!!

  9. You are becoming quite the cook! You are soo food-venturous too! :) I love it!

  10. I like quinoa and barley, although barley sometimes is too strong for me if I don't mix it w/lots of flavorful veggies. I haven't tried bulger - going to - great idea for breakfast!

    If you can find stevia cold pressed it does not have that bitter after taste, but all I can find is Truvia and that is not cold pressed / has a funky taste (to me). Still, way healthier than artificial c***.