Celebrate Whole Grains Month in September
September is whole grains month and every year the Whole Grains Council celebrates with special events and promotions all month.
In 2014, our theme was "Make the Switch." Throughout the month of September, we showcased a mouth-watering group of recipes created by some of our favorite food bloggers and dietitians. Each recipe creator started with an old recipe made with refined grains, and transformed the dish into one featuring whole grains -- all in an effort to make it impossible for people everywhere to resist "making the switch" to more whole grains.
People across the USA checked out all the recipes and voted for their favorites. The top five recipes, according to votes, went to our final judging on October 8. Here's a look at our 5 finalists -- and a link to information about our winners!
We couldn't have chosen these finalists without the help of all our voters. Thanks to everyone who took the time to make some of our recipes (or to merely drool over their deliciousness!) and to vote. Danielle L. of Oxford, OH was picked randomly from all our voters to win $500 plus a Virtual Gift Basket of great whole grain prizes. Yes, Danielle got the Big Prize -- but you're all winners if you switch to whole grains!
We cooked up the top five recipes and judged them in early October to pick our three prize recipe-creator winners. For the judging, Oldways' Cynthia Harriman and Kyle Potvin were joined by three celebrity judges:
A big thanks to all our wonderful participating bloggers. Check out their blogs, and read their special Make the Switch posts:
Chocolate & Carrots Caroline Edwards - Apple Pie Smoothie for One
Ellen Kanner Ellen Kanner - Curried Spelt
Tiny Farmhouse Amy McCoy - Wild Rice and Fall Fruit Salad
We are Not Martha Sues Anderson - Popped Amaranth Frozen Yogurt Sandwiches
Peanut Butter and Peppers Jennifer Drummond - Corn Chowder with Wild Rice
Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen Bobbi Burleson - Grilled Ratatouille Quinoa
The Lean Green Bean Lindsay Livingston - Buckwheat Pumpkin Porridge
Cooking with Books Marnely Rodriguez-Murray - Amaranth Crab Cakes
Real Mom Nutrition Sally Kuzemchak - Spiced Johnnycakes with Apple Compote
The Nifty Foodie Amy Singleton - Chewy Quinoa Monster Cookies
Mountain Mama Cooks Kelley Epstein - Barley Risotto with Kale & Butternut Squash
Healthy Seasonal Recipes Katie Price Webster - Millet & Lamb Tagine
The Nutrition Twins Lyssie Lakatos, Tammy Lakatos - Spiced Ginger Citrus Millet
Poet in the Pantry Carrie Vibert - Baked Spelt Rotini
Girlichef Healther Schmitt-Gonzalez - Chicken and Farro Whole Grain Empanadas
Want even more inspiration? Try a recipe on our website, or click on our Make the Switch contest sponsors' logos below, to check out some great recipes on their sites.
A big thanks also to companies donating food prizes for our random drawing, including Ana Sortun Chef Sets, Arrowhead Mills, Crunchmaster, Hodgson Mill, Mestemacher, Quinn Popcorn, Rhythm Superfoods, TeeChia, Wheat Montana Farms.
Download graphics for whole grains Month
Are you celebrating Whole Grains this month or anytime in your company, on your Facebook page, in your school or elsewhere? Here's where you can download graphics to make it official!
Whole Grains Month in Years Past
Life is too short to do the same thing each year, and we enjoy coming up with new and innovative ways to salute whole grains. Check out the details on our past efforts:
2013 – Good Grains for a Good Cause
We spotlighted the charitable efforts of WGC member companies, and invited people across the country to nominate their favorite food-related charity to receive cases and cases of whole grain foods donated by food manufacturers. We also launched a new partnership with Healthy Dining Finder to help people find whole grains in restaurants.
2012 – Deal of the Day
Throughout September, we featured a new "Deal of the Day" with special discounts and also partnered with EatingWell magazine on a recipe contest.
2011 – The Whole Grain Stampede Sweepstakes
Whole grain lovers sent us information about their favorite Whole Grain Stamp products for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. We picked two entries at random; the top winner got $5,000 of grocery money and a year's worth of whole grain products (courtesy of Quaker) and the runner-up got an iPad (courtesy of UltraGrain/ConAgra Mills).
What can you do for Whole Grains Month?
Whole Grains Month is a great time for everyone to get on the whole grains bandwagon. Eating better is not an all-or-nothing choice; every little improvement you make in your food helps – in every month.
Post this list of "baby-steps" on your fridge, and try as many as possible this month:
I'll buy three different loaves of whole-grain bread and taste all of them to see which one we like best.
I'll serve bulgur or brown rice instead of potatoes with dinner one night this month.
I'll look for the Whole Grain Stamp every time I shop.
I'll try a new breakfast cereal with at least 16 grams of whole grain per serving.
I'll buy some whole-wheat pasta and try it.
I’ll visit the health food store or a major grocery and look at all the different grains in bins.
I'll make my favorite whole grain recipe for a friend.
On the weekend, I’ll try cooking a pot of steel-cut oatmeal.
I’ll make pizza for the kids with whole wheat pita as the crust.
I’ll make our favorite cookies with whole wheat flour next time instead of white.
I’ll serve hamburgers with whole wheat buns this week.
I'll try all of the WGC's Dozen Easy Family Whole Grain Recipes.
What else does the Whole Grains Council do?
Here are a few more ways the WGC celebrates Whole Grains Month every year:
Support for Health Professionals. Teachers, RDs, doctors, and nurses are helping us spread the word about the health benefits of whole grains. And we're supporting them with educational materials, "Just Ask for Whole Grains" buttons and stickers, and posters, through our "Just Ask for Whole Grains" campaign. If you're an educator, order your free educational materials ahead of time, so you'll be ready for Whole Grains Month.
Sampling and Coupons. Members of the Whole Grains Council offer special consumer promotions, including discount coupons, new product introductions and instore sampling.
The Whole Grains Store Tour. We've designed a great resource for supermarkets – or community health professionals – who want to introduce the public to whole grains. Click here to learn more about this kit, which can be downloaded from the Resources section of this website. It's now available in both English and Spanish. You'll also want to check out the whole grain resources on the website of our sister program, The Oldways Nutrition Exchange.