Sure, we love digging into brown rice bowls and plumping up our vegetable soups with barley, but there’s an array of other (sometimes obscure) good-for-us whole grains — from spelt to farro — we should be eating on the regular. Don’t overlook these nutritious alternatives hiding in grocery store bulk bins.
Tracing its roots back to circa-5000 or 6000 BC Iran, tough-husked spelt is laden with protein and fiber. In flour form it makes an apt substitute for whole wheat, leading to delightfully fluffy loaves of bread. But in this recipe, the nutty kernels get the New Orleans treatment, mingling with the likes of Cajun seasoning, Canadian bacon, green bell pepper and garlic.
Bulgur, the parboiled and cracked Middle Eastern grain, most often stars in refreshing salads. In these chile powder, cumin and cayenne-spiked cakes, they acquire a falafel-like quality, melded with kidney beans, and, for a Mexican flourish, sour cream, shredded cheese and lime zest.