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Add more whole grains to your diet with these 3 healthy plant-based recipes

Add more whole grains to your diet with these 3 healthy plant-based recipes MAIN

Full of nutrients and are a great addition to any recipe, add more whole grains into your diet with these three healthy plant-based recipes 

Pasta, rice, oats, quinoa – these are what usually come to mind when whole grains are mentioned.

As more of us become conscious of our health, adopting a healthier diet seems a good place to start.

The standard western diet includes grains such as the ones mentioned above, but many are generally highly processed and don’t contain a lot of nutrients.

whole unprocessed grains contain many more nutrients

As we seek out more nutrient dense foods for a healthier diet, whole grains have surged in popularity, especially due to the increase in demand for vegan and plant-based eating.

These whole unprocessed grains contain many more nutrients than their processed counterparts, including protein, fibre, B vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.

And boy are there plenty of whole grain choices to choose from, including barley, brown rice, wild rice, teff, buckwheat, bulgur (cracked wheat), millet, spelt, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, pasta and crackers, and even popcorn.

Whole vs refined grains

Whole grains are either found in their whole form or ground into a flour, while retaining all parts of the seed (bran, germ and endosperm). Whereas refined grains such as white rice, white bread, white flour, cereals and pastries are milled to have had the mill and bran removed.

This gives them a finer texture and extends their shelf life, however the refining process removes many of the nutrients.

That’s why whole grains are considered the healthier option, as they don’t go through this refining process and are therefore a better source of fibre and other nutrients such as iron, folate, magnesium, potassium and B vitamins.

Carbohydrates made healthy

Many would agree that there is nothing more wholesome and delicious than a carbohydrate packed dinner after a long, cold walk, a big bowl of pasta at your favourite Italian and multiple slices of toast when nursing a hangover.

Humans seem to have a craving for carbohydrates, but we’re often made to feel guilty about it – ‘no carbs before Marbs’ and ‘no pizza before Ibiza’ springs to mind.

Remember though we need all three food groups, protein, fats and carbohydrates in order to function properly. In fact carbs are our main source of energy, so a necessary part of our diet.

So, how then can we eat a satisfying and nutritious carbohydrate packed meal but in a healthier way? The answer is whole grains.

carbs are our main source of energy, so a necessary part of our diet

Whole grains are a great way of getting your carb hit, while ensuring you are eating all the necessary nutrients.

These scrummy whole grains can be added to salads, can bulk out meat dishes and are perfect for vegans and those in need of some plant-based recipe inspiration.

Healthista asked vegan married couple Eduardo and Ariana to share some plant-based recipes to help us include more whole grains into our diet.

Together, Eduardo and Ariana founded EATogether, a vegan company that shares recipes, cooking tips, private cooking classes, and more.

Here are three plant-based recipes featuring delicious whole grains…

#1 Creamy Pea & Basil Barley

pea barley whole grain recipe plant based recipes

Serves 2

To make the Barley


  • 1 cup | 189g barley, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
  • 3 1⁄2 cups | 700ml kombu broth or water
  • 1 tsp | 4g sea salt


1. Place all ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a boil.

2. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook for 20-25 minutes.

3. Drain any remaining liquid and reserve to use for the pea sauce.

For the Peas


  • 1 tbsp | 10ml olive oil
  • 1⁄4 cup | 30g celery, diced small
  • 1 tbsp | 10g ginger, minced
  • 1 cup | 170g frozen peas Sea salt, to taste
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Juice from 1 lemon


1. Heat olive oil in a medium pan and add celery, ginger, and peas.

2. Cook on medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, or until everything is slightly golden.

3. Remove from heat and season with salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

To make the Pea Sauce


  • 1 packed cup | 90g leek tops, sliced
  • 4 cloves | 13g garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 1⁄3 cup | 50g raw cashews
  • 1⁄2 cup | 100ml white wine
  • 1 cup | 200ml remaining kombu broth or water
  • 1 cup | 200g green peas
  • 3 tbsp | 30ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp | 16g dijon mustard
  • 1⁄4 cup | 8g fresh parsley, leaves picked
  • 1⁄8 cup | 4g fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tsp | 4g sea salt


1. Heat olive oil in a medium pan on medium heat.

2. Add leeks, garlic, thyme, and cashews.

3. Sweat until cashews are golden brown.

4. Add wine and reduce to half, then add broth and peas.

5. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

6. Transfer mixture to a high-speed blender and add oil, mustard, parsley, and basil.

7. Blend on high until completely smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary.

8. Season with salt. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

  • Pea sauce
  • Barley
  • Peas
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp | 10g pumpkin seeds, toasted

In a medium pan on low heat, heat some of the pea sauce and add barley. Note that if you heat the pea sauce too much, it’ll lose its color. Mix to combine. Transfer to a plate and top with peas, basil, and pumpkin seeds.

#2 ‘Crunchy Bottom’ Wild Rice with Broccoli & Sesame-Miso Dressing

whole grains wild rice and broccoli plant based recipes

Serves 2

To make the Wild Rice


  • 1 cup | 170g wild rice, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
  • 2 3⁄4 cups | 350ml kombu broth or water
  • 1 tsp | 4g sea salt
  • 2 pinches ground fennel


1. Place all ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat.

2. Lower heat, cover, and cook on low for 20 minutes.

3. Drain any remaining liquid and set aside.

For the Grilled Broccoli


  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 tbsp | 20ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Heat a cast-iron pan on high heat and add broccoli florets.

2. Cook until slightly charred, moving around every so often with a wooden spoon.

3. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.

4. Add oil, salt, and pepper. Combine and set aside.

To make the Rice Mix
  • 4 cloves| 12g garlic, sliced
  • 1 cup| 100g red onion, diced small
  • 1 cup | 110g red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄4 cup | 40g sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp | 60ml coconut oil
  • Cooked wild rice
  • Sea salt, to taste


1. In the same cast iron pan on low heat, add coconut oil, garlic, red onion, red pepper, and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes.

2. Add wild rice and salt, mixing to combine.

3. Add broccoli on top of rice and cook for 5-10 minutes on low heat until rice forms a crust on the bottom. Note that high temperature will burn the rice. That’s why cooking on low heat for longer is ideal to achieve the desired caramelization without burning it.

To make the Sesame Miso Dressing


  • 5 tbsp | 60g tahini
  • 2 tbsp | 36g white miso
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp | 30ml lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
  • 5 tbsp | 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Vegetable broth or water, to thin


1. Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

To Garnish


  • 1. 3/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp | 4g sea salt
  • Rice mix
  • Sesame miso dressing
  • 13 leaves fresh mint, chopped
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle


1. Add onion and salt to a small bowl. Use your hands to massage the onion for about 30 seconds, causing the onion to release water.

2. Add lime juice and mix to combine. Add as a topping to the rice mix.

3. Top rice mix with onion, miso dressing, mint, and a drizzle of oil.

4. To serve, it’s nice to present the cast iron in the middle of the table. When plating, use a spatula to scrape the bottom so that everyone can get crunchy bits.

#3 Teff Crackers with Flax and Pistachio

whole grain teff crackers plant based recipes

Makes 1 14” X 9” baking sheet

To make the Teff


  • 1⁄2 cup | 100g teff, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
  • 2 cups | 400ml water
  • 1 tsp | 4g sea salt


1. Place all ingredients in a small pot and cook for 10 minutes on low heat.

2. Drain any remaining water and set aside.

For the Dough


  • Cooked teff
  • 1⁄2 cup | 70g ground flax seeds
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup | 140g pistachios, toasted and finely chopped
  • Preheat oven to 300°F.


1. In a medium bowl, add cooked teff, flax seeds, spices, and pistachios. Use a large spoon to mix well.

2. Lay a large piece of parchment paper out and spread the mixture onto it. Lay another large piece of parchment paper on top and use a rolling pin to flatten and spread it out evenly.

3. Transfer to a baking sheet and peel off the top piece of paper.

4. Transfer to oven and bake for 2 hours, rotating every 30 minutes for the first hour, then removing from the oven and flipping it to bake for the last hour (you can do this by covering with parchment paper used before, flipping it upside down, and peeling off the sheet now on top).

5. Remove from oven when completely dried out; any moisture in the crackers will cause them to go bad sooner.

6. Let cool completely before cutting or breaking up into smaller pieces. Store in an airtight glass container in a cool, dry place for up to 30 days. You can also buy food- safe packets of silica gel to absorb moisture and maintain your crackers as dry as possible so that they last longer and don’t go stale. Just add a packet into the container you store them in.

eduardo and arianna

Eduardo and Ariana are the married couple behind EATogether, a vegan company that shares recipes, cooking tips, private cooking classes, and more.

They have worked in some of NYC’s best restaurants and now share their knowledge with others to gain confidence in the kitchen.

Whole grains Ebook

Vegans themselves, they hope to create a big impact in people’s and the planet’s health through sharing their joy and love of cooking.

Download their EBook Whole Grains: The Plant-Based Guide To Discovering, Cooking, And Eating Grains HERE!

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