The holidays are coming! They are loaded with food, friends, family and… did I mention food? Butter, flour, sugar and salt. Cranberries, apples, gravy and carbs. All things I love. I’m just wondering if we can “healthify” it just a little? I love me some white flour, but I also love the nutty chewy of a good whole grain roll. 

I’ve been looking at some whole grain cookbooks lately and I spy some recipes that would be perfect for this time of year!

Here’s some whole grain cookbook suggestions: 

Everyday Whole Grains by Ann Taylor Pittman. This book is a great addition to a cookbook collection and it has tons of ideas for whole grains to use in (duh) everyday meals. I also love the graphic design of this book. Some of the recipes that stood out especially for the Thanksgiving table are the green bean casserole with crunchy millet topping, the cheesy sausage balls (SO brilliant for a holiday party or appetizers on T-Day!), bulger salad with pomegranate and orange and mint (very pretty and a reprieve from all the rich foods on the plate), all the grain stuffing recipes, rolls recipes, and the apple pie with a cheddar crust (and whole wheat pastry flour) looks like the perfect ending to an all-day eat fest. 

Whole Grains for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff, Rinne Allen. Shaved brussel salad with bacon and farro. GIMME. The cardamon apple crisp sounds pretty good too. 

Whole Grains Everyday Everyway by Lorna Sass. The any-grain and honeyed squash casserole with hazelnuts is so versatile, you could utilize dinner leftovers from Wednesday night. Double batch a pot of wheat berries, short grain brown rice, or barley and you are ready to make this dish. I also love the idea of doing a cooked green instead of a salad, like the bulger with swiss chard and toasted hazelnuts (some dried cherries would be lovely sprinkled on top too). And of course, the pumpkin pie with pumpkin seed (and spelt flour) sounds like it will satisfy those die hard pumpkin pie fans. 

If you have some of your own recipes and just want to create a new twist of them with whole grains, here’s some tips for you. 

3 Ways to Eat Whole Grains This Holiday Season: 

  1. Make one switch at a time: If you have a classic dinner roll recipe you use every year, don’t leave it in the dust. Just use whole wheat flour instead of white flour, or even a mixture of both. If you usually make a bread stuffing, try a cornbread stuffing (made with whole grain cornmeal!) or a whole wheat bread. 
  2. Make it easy on yourself: Some recipes just lend themselves to whole grains better then others. Crisps (apple and pear!) or crumbles make it easy by already including oatmeal in the recipe! Pie crusts can also be modified to use a blend of whole wheat flour, or another whole grain flour. 
  3. Mix familiar favorites with new flavors: How about a stuffing recipe that has wild rice, but also that familiar sausage and celery mixture? Or a green bean casserole with a crunchy millet topping? Keeping somethings the same will ensure you get your fix of all the flavors of the season, but with that whole grain goodness! 
  4. Keep it simple for picky eaters: I don’t recommend using amaranth flour when cooking for a crowd. It can have a grassier flavor and take a little experience with whole grains to get used to. Start with grains that are more familiar, like brown or wild rice, quinoa, oats, whole wheat or whole grain corn or cornmeal. All of these easy-going grains are sure to get rave reviews from eaters new to whole grains. 

I hope you are enjoying the countdown to Thanksgiving and that I gave you some ideas and new books to check out. Let’s get those grains on the table!