Grains are another foundation of any vegan pantry. Today we won’t talk about flours, since that deserves a post of its own.
This is just one installment of my building a vegan pantry series. Make sure to take a look at, Kitchen Basics: Building a Vegan Pantry with Pasta, Kitchen Basics: Building a Vegan Pantry with Dried Beans and Kitchen Basics: Building a Vegan Pantry with Cans, Bottles and Jars.
There are so many different kinds of grains that it can seem overwhelming. You want to make sure that you store your grains in jars with tight lids, like mason jars. You can read more about storing grains at TheKitchen.com and Bob’s Red Mill.
- Oats: rolled and steel-cut
- Rice: Long grain brown rice, short grain brown rice
- Bulgar (not if you are gluten-free)
- Grits and/or polenta
Family Pantry Tip
If your family is really resistant to trying whole foods try over cooking some brown rice to make it a little softer, or start by mixing in 1/3 part brown rice to 2/3 white rice.
You will still need to cook the brown rice separately from the white rice because the cooking times are so different. I would cook up large portions of both on Sunday. Then, you can heat them up all week long. You can also add more and more brown rice until you can move over to 100% whole grain!
You can also try bulking up your family’s morning oatmeal by adding a little quinoa. Or use cooked quinoa in recipes that call for couscous.
When to Stock Up
I’m finding more whole-grains in places like Costco and Sam’s Club. It’s always a great place to get large bags of organic brown rice, but I’ve bought forbidden rice, quinoa and barley there as well.
If you aren’t near a large grocery, you can even order more unusual grains by the case from Amazon.
You can add in new-to-you grains when they’re on sale or when you have a few extra dollars in that week’s shopping budget.
The best way to try a new grain is to shop in the bulk section of your local co-op or Whole Foods. That way you can buy 1/2 cup at a time instead of investing more in something that you may not want to have again.
While it’s not on most people’s must-have list, black forbidden rice is on mine. It’s a whole grain rice and is full of antioxidants. But for me it always plays a starring role in my annual Gothic dinner party.
Here are other intermediate grains that you might want to give a go:
Pitfall: Gluten-free Grains
If you have celiac disease or an allergy to gluten, it’s important to be sure to only buy grains that are labeled gluten-free.
Why? Some grains are actually cross-contaminated with wheat when they are picked in the fields or even when the grain is processed in the factory.
Many brands, like Bob’s Red Mill, actually have 2 plants. One they use exclusively for ensuring that those grains never come into contact with gluten.
HSC Grain Recipes (click the photo to go to the full recipe)