Diana MirkinDiana Mirkin has taught thousands of people how to make healthful foods taste delicious. She is co-author of four books with her husband, Dr. Gabe Mirkin: The Healthy Heart Miracle; The Good Food Book; The 20/30 Fat and Fiber Diet Plan; and Fat Free, Flavor Full. Each of these books includes 100 or more of her recipes featuring whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits. For many years Diana co-hosted The Dr. Gabe Mirkin Show, a syndicated radio show taking call-in questions on health, nutrition and fitness. Although the show is not in production at this time, it is still widely aired via their web site, www.drmirkin.com . She co-writes their weekly newspaper column, eZine, and blog covering the same topics. Diana is a graduate of Vassar College and has an MBA from Loyola College. When she's not writing or inventing tasty new recipes, she's usually out riding her bicycle, gardening or exercising her dogs.
Diana Mirkin: I am Diana Mirkin talking today about cooking whole grains. Whole grains cook just the way you would cook pasta or white rice. They just take a little longer. Pasta and white rice are made out of flour or grains that have been milled, so that they cook quickly. Whole grains are like little palates, little rocks and they take a longtime to cook, but the process is just the same. You put your grains into a pot and you add some water. In this case, I am cooking a pound of whole grains which is two and a half cups and I put in six cups of water and thats pretty standard, but if you have more water you just drain it off at the end as if would drain your pasta. It doesnt have to be perfectly absorbed the way may be use to cooking white rice. Now, I am going to also add a little bit bouillon, just to add a little flavor boost. You dont have to do this, but if you are not putting bouillon granules or cubes or paste into your water, put in little bit of salt, it keeps the grains from tasting flat. Then you are going to bring the water to a boil and then you are going to the put lid on. When it boils, you turn the heat down to a simmer and then you let the grains cook for about 60 minutes or until they are soft, but not mushy. Its not a real precise amount of time because some grains take longer and some grains take a little less, but generally about an hour is what you can expect. Pasta, remember, takes about 10 minutes, white rice takes about 20 minutes. So, these whole grains do take significantly longer, but when they are nice and chewy, but soft, they are done, they are ready for you to eat, at that point you just drain off the water and they are ready to serve.
Now, I have a problem with standing in the kitchen for 60 minutes while my grains cook. So, in our next piece, I am going to show you a way to cook whole grains where you are not stuck in the kitchen for an hour.