Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let's Cook Some Grain...!

As Preppers, many of our stores should consist of grains. However, there's no use in storing something unless you are familiar with the best way to cook or prepare it!

This list from Farmer's Almanac may be a help in that regard!

To cook the grains listed below, use a heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Rinse the grains thoroughly. Bring the water to a boil, add the grain, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for the indicated time. Once all the water is absorbed, fluff the grain with a fork, replace the cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for about 15 minutes. When cooking grains for salads, reduce the cooking times slightly so they retain a chewy texture.


Caution: This grain becomes sticky when cooked. Mix it with corn, scallions, and cooked pinto beans. Do not salt until thoroughly cooked.

1 cup amaranth to 3 cups water; simmer 25 to 30 minutes.

Barley, pearled (pot)

Lightly milled to retain all of the germ and at least 2/3 of the bran, barley can be used in salads with red onions, cucumber, and feta and in soups, stews, and chilies. Try barley as a stuffing for peppers, tomatoes, or poultry and in low-fat "meat" loaf

1 cup barley to 3–1/2 cups water; simmer 45 to 60 minutes.

Buckwheat groats (kasha)

Not part of the wheat family, buckwheat can be eaten by many on a wheat-free diet. It can be roasted in a skillet with an egg for extra flavor. Cook with noodles as a stuffing for cabbage, or serve with squash.

1 cup groats to 2 cups water; simmer 20 minutes.

Bulgur (quick-cooking)

This is cracked wheat that has been partially cooked and dehydrated. It is most often combined with olive oil, garlic, mint, parsley, paprika, and lemon to make tabbouleh. Try it with pine nuts, cinnamon, and lemon as a stuffing for tomatoes or green peppers.

1 cup bulgur to 2 cups water; simmer 5 minutes. Or combine 1 cup bulgur with 1-1/2 cups boiling water and let stand for 20 minutes.


These quick-cooking wheat berries have been ground, steamed, and dried to form tiny pellets. Use as a light bed for spicy vegetables and stews or in a risotto with curried vegetables.

1 cup couscous to 1–1/2 cups water; simmer 5 minutes.


This is a mild, digestible grain often used by people on wheat-free diets. Serve as a bed for sauteed vegetables and chickpeas, as a stuffing with applesauce, or sprinkled into soups, stews, or risotto.

1 cup millet to 3 cups water; simmer 20 to 25 minutes.

Oats, rolled

Eat as cereal (try adding currants and toasted nuts), or use in grain burgers, in cookies and quick breads, and as a thickener in soups.

1 cup oats to 3 cups water; simmer 10 to 15 minutes.


Light, nutty flavor and higher in protein than other grains, quinoa (actually the fruit of an herb) is excellent in grain salads, as a stuffing for zucchini or tomatoes, or in enchiladas or fajitas. It is also great with salsas and chutneys.

1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water; rinse several times before cooking; simmer 20 minutes.


Rice is a wonderfully versatile grain, good plain, added to vegetable casseroles, and used to stuff peppers and tomatoes. Use short-grain, which is sticky, for puddings and layered vegetable dishes; use medium-grain as a side dish and in Korean, Japanese, and Italian dishes; use long-grain for stews, curries, paellas, and salads.

1 cup rice to 2 cups water; simmer 15 to 20 minutes for white rice; 40 to 60 minutes for brown rice.

Rice, wild

This seed of aquatic grass is high in B vitamins. Combine with other grains, use with smoked turkey as a salad, or serve with apples and squash.

1 cup wild rice to 3-1/2 cups water; simmer 60 minutes.

Wheat berries

Combine cooked, hard red winter wheat berries with bean sprouts, carrots, tamari, sesame oil, and scallions for salad; or blend into stuffings with celery, mushrooms, thyme, and sage; or serve as a side dish with butter, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh parsley

1 cup wheat berries to 3 cups water; simmer 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Do not salt.

Now, I might suggest here that the time to try and get used to cooking whole grains and using them in recipes, is now before you have to. It's also a good idea to get the family used to having different grains in their diet by introducing them slowly. Whole grains can play havoc with the digestion if not worked in a little at a time.

Now, my friends, let's have our coffee on the patio and enjoy the cooler weather, OK?


Ken said...

...mornin'Jim,great tips !...thanx Brother,as long as we got you,i won't need to buy an

HermitJim said...

Hey Ken...
Guess I do sort of over use the Almanac for some of my post! It's so hard NOT to post some of the things that could be of use to us, that I can't help wanting to share them!

The Almanac sure does make good reading, though!

Thanks for coming by, buddy...

Catman said...

Where's the sprouted corn and copper kettle?

HermitJim said...

Hey Catman...
I haven't got to the malting of the corn yet! I should at least post something about making some pure old "corn whisky", shouldn't I?

Maybe the post about home made peach brandy is in order...!

Thanks for the visit, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Amen. We started real wheat bread last year and it does take a toll on digestion. Add in rice and beans and you really need the air freshner. But so much better for us than the other stuff we were eating.

Thanks for the info, Enjoy the coffee and the rain.

HermitJim said...

Hey Kris...
I hear ya on the air freshner...! All in getting the body used to it, I guess!

Hey, thanks for coming by today, my friend!

Kyddryn said...

Heh...I've et many of those grains, Mister Hermit, sir.

I adore beef-barley soup. Good stuff, especially in the winter!

Rice is a staple here at Casa de Crazy. I've recently switched to brown rice, which takes a wee longer to cook, but it's worth the time.

I can't seem to like Quinoa. I've tried, really...but there's something about it that my mouth doesn't like. I guess I haven't been hungry enough.

I do enjoy oats - oatmeal is so easy to make (and burn...whoopsie), and I even throw oats into the banana bread to add a little more healthy to the loaf.

As for corn squeezin's and peach brandy....hmm...I know a fella who double distills his corn juice...whew! It's...erm...potent. I won't drink it - just walking past a jar of it's enough to make my head spin! And...I might know where to find some top-notch peaches...I think they grown around here somewhere...

Shade and Sweetwater,

HermitJim said...

Hey K...
I know what you mean about the "home made hooch" and the double distilling! It was hit and miss the first time I made any, but it did the job! Just took a lot more corn than I would have thought!

What I made was pure corn...meaning no sugar was used...

The peach brandy was pretty fair as well!

As far as peaches growing there in Georgia, seems like I heard that somewhere before! You might want to check that out!

Hey, I appreciate you coming by today!

Mayberry said...

Good stuff Hermit. And I second the homebrew post ; )

HermitJim said...

Hey Mayberry...
Glad you liked it. I'll see if I can find all the recipes and post 'em here!

Pretty simple, really! And effective as well...!

Thanks for coming by!

Anonymous said...

I will be experimenting with grains that sprout easy indoors once I make the move. I just want greens that you dont have to work too hard to get in a desert enviroment.

gtcu jim

HermitJim said...

Hey OGT...
I hear ya on that! I hear that wheat is a good grain for sprouting, but don't quote me on that. I don't know enough about sprouting to be much help!

Thanks for coming by today, buddy!

Lille Diane said...

YUMMMMMMM! I love whole grain cereals. Have you ever had Red River whole grain cereal? It is delicious! Thank you for all your wonderful tips, and info about grains~