Cooking Tip Thursdays: The Toasted Grain

Cooking Tip Thursdays is dedicated to making time in the kitchen quicker, easier, and just plain better…

With winter officially around the corner, there’s a chilliness in the air that calls for a little warming up in the kitchen.  One way to add an easy, comforting touch to your basic routine: toast your whole grains.

Like toasting nuts and spices, toasting grains before cooking enhances the intensity and nutty depth of the grains, providing an extra aromatic layer of flavor.  Be it quinoa, barley, brown rice, oats, or millet, a few minutes of toasting will add a warm, cozy flavor to your favorite grain based meal.

To toast:

  • Oven-toasted grains: If cooking a large batch, you can toast grains in the oven. Spread them out on a sheet pan and toast at 350 degrees until aromatic, about 10 minutes.  Place on stovetop and add your liquid or cool and store in an airtight container for later use.
  • Skillet-toasted grains: Toast washed grains in a hot pan over medium heat and stir constantly, until they give off a nutty aroma.  Then proceed with regular cooking instructions.
  • Oil-toasted grains: You can toast grains with a dash of oil, as you would with a pilaf or risotto.  Cooking grains in hot oil before adding liquid helps the grain to absorb the liquids slowly without becoming soggy.



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