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Nutrition

Whole Grains: Nutrition Benefits & How to Include More in Your Diet

how to add more whole grains to your diet

Chances are you’ve heard it’s important to incorporate more whole grains into your diet, but what exactly is a whole grain?! What makes them different? Explore this post to learn more about the benefits of whole grains, learn what foods contain whole grains, what makes them nutritious and how to incorporate more into your diet. 

This post was created in partnership with The Quaker Oats Company. As always, all opinions are my own and I appreciate your support!

What makes whole grains different from refined grains is the fact that whole grains contain all three parts of the grain — the germ, the endosperm and the bran. We want all of these to be present in order to get the nutrients of each grain. 

Examples of whole grains: 

  • Whole or rolled oats (regular, quick, or instant)
  • Brown or wild rice
  • Whole wheat
  • Whole grain corn
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • Quinoa
  • Barely 

Ways to add more whole grains into your diet

  • Swap regular pasta for whole grain pasta
  • Choose whole grain, high fiber cereals for breakfast, like oatmeal. 
  • Try substituting whole wheat or oat flour for up to half the flour in flour-based recipes.
  • Instead of white bread, opt for whole grain bread 
  • Toast oats and grains as a crunchy topping for  your salad or yogurt.
  • Add quinoa or wild rice in your favorite soups and grain bowl recipes. 

Today I want to spotlight oats as a whole grain you can easily incorporate into your diet in a variety of ways. I always have a canister of Quaker oats in my pantry because the possibilities of what you can do with oats are truly incredible! From breakfast time to dinnertime, oats are highly versatile, offering countless possibilities to get more taste and nutrition out of what we eat each day.

You can feel good knowing the oats used in each variety of Quaker Oats – Instant, Quick, Old Fashioned and Steel Cut – are 100% whole grain, and ounce per ounce, they all provide similar amounts of fiber, vitamins and minerals. 

dairy-free-almond-butter-and-jelly-overnight-oats

UNIQUE WAYS TO USE OATS

  1. Start your morning with oats. Oats have a unique nutrition profile with a balance of both insoluble and soluble fiber (2 grams soluble fiber per ½ cup serving). They also are a good source of the essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need, including vitamin B1, magnesium and phosphorus., According to the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, more than 90 percent of women and 97 percent of men do not meet recommended intakes for dietary fiber, so opting for oatmeal, overnight oats, or baked oatmeal for breakfast time is a great way to start your morning. 
  2. Bake with oats. Oats add an incredible texture to a variety of baked goods. Grab that canister of Quaker Oats and add them to cookies, bars, breads, muffins and more for nutrition and texture. 
  3. Make oat flour. Baked goods with oat flour are super popular these days and for a good reason. Oat flour adds an amazing texture to everything from pancakes to muffins and everything in between. You can make your own oat flour at home by pulsing Quaker Old Fashioned Oats in a blender or food processor until it’s a fine flour. 
  4. Explore the savory side of oats. Oats are highly versatile and can add great taste, texture and nutrition to savory dishes as well as sweet. A ½ cup serving of rolled oats is a good source of fiber and may help support a healthy digestive system. Experts recommend we get 25-34 grams of fiber per day, and unfortunately most of us are not getting enough. A diet rich in whole grains like oats, fruits and vegetables can help us meet our fiber goals for the day.

Check out some of my favorite oat recipes here! Each of these recipes is made simple with the goodness of oats! 

birthday cake oat pancakes

Breakfast Recipes with Oats

Savory Oat Recipes

Treat Recipes with Oats

Breakfast Recipes

Birthday Cake Oatmeal Pancakes

Birthday cake oatmeal pancakes are fluffy, and made with just 8 simple ingredients in a blender. Perfect for a celebratory brunch, they can also be made gluten free.

This post was created in partnership with The Quaker Oats Company. As always all opinions are my own and I appreciate your support!

birthday cake oat pancakes

These birthday cake oatmeal pancakes are made with 7 ingredients that I’m betting are in your fridge and pantry at this very moment. Great when you want to celebrate a birthday or any moment in life that deserves a little bit of celebrating! 

Fluffy and festive thanks to sprinkles , these birthday cake pancakes are made with oat flour made from Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats, and can also be made gluten free by using specially marked Quaker Gluten Free Oats and all gluten-free ingredients.

From savory to sweet, hot to cold, oats can provide goodness any time of day. I like to think of them like a blank canvas to inspire culinary creativity, which is exactly how I hope you feel about all of these unique, and delicious recipes that use oats! 

For over 140 years, Quaker has been the leading expert in oats, committed to combining science, scale, passion and expertise, and dedicated to researching all that this powerful grain has to offer. Their  nourishing oats are produced with high standards of quality, taste and safety. 

The oats used in each variety of Quaker Oats – instant, quick, old fashioned and steel cut – are 100% whole grain, and ounce per ounce, they all provide similar amounts of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

You definitely can’t go wrong with a bowl of oatmeal topped with seasonal fruit and nuts or seeds, but I also challenge you to think outside the oat bowl and use oats in these birthday cake oatmeal pancakes recipe below that are fun, nutritious and easy to make! 

Now let’s make birthday cake pancakes with oats!

cake batter pancakes with sprinkles

Ingredients for birthday cake oatmeal pancakes:

  • Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats
  • Egg
  • Yogurt
  • Honey
  • Vanilla extract
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Sprinkles
  • Butter or cooking oil to coat the pan

equipment/ utensils

  • Pancake griddle or saute pan
  • Spatula
  • Mixing bowl
  • Blender – the cool thing about this pancakes recipe is that you make the batter in a blender!
birthday cake protein pancakes with bananas, blueberries and sprinkles
birthday cake oat pancakes

Birthday Cake Oatmeal Pancakes

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
Birthday cake oatmeal pancakes are fluffy, and made with just 8 simple ingredients in a blender. Perfect for a celebratory brunch, they can also be made gluten free.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Servings 4 pancakes

Ingredients
  

  •  
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 egg or 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. sprinkles + fruit on top of the pancakes

Instructions
 

  • Add all of the ingredients to a blender except for the sprinkles.
  • Pulse until batter forms, then stir in the sprinkles.
  • Heat a skillet or a griddle and add cooking oil or butter to the surface. 
  • Use a ¼ cup to portion out the pancakes batter onto the griddle. Once the edges puff up and bubble, flip to the other side. Repeat with remaining batter. 
  • Top pancakes with fruit and more sprinkles if desired. Enjoy!

more oat recipes you’re sure to love:

pin this recipe for later!

blender birthday cake pancakes