We’ve already established that figuring out what constitutes a whole grain can be tricky (honestly, if they were a category on Jeopardy!, I might not take home the grand prize). What I’ve been noticing increasingly, however, is the overall attitude about whole grains is shifting to one of pride.

Whole grains are no longer necessarily something that has to be snuck into your family’s food (when we first started talking about them, I felt like I was supposed to just dim the lights and hope that my dining companions didn’t notice their normally boring white rice was suddenly a nice shade of brown). We knew from the start of the whole grain craze that they are good for us, but now we know they can taste really good—whole grains add a nutty, toasty, complex note that I’ve come to love and crave.

Old school pantry staples like the aforementioned white rice or plain pasta feel like a boring waste of my calorie budget now. I love this month’s featured recipes because they shine a proud spotlight on whole grains. If you’re still getting to know your friendly whole grain, there are options in there for you, too. Check out our collection of Whole-Grain Recipes. 

My favorite tip from this month’s Healthy Habits challenge was to cook in bulk. A good base like plain cooked bulgur, brown rice, or quinoa can easily transform into a different side dish each night with a few different stir-ins (edamame, cherry tomatoes, a handful of fresh herbs, or whatever else my garden has decided to provide).