At the Whole Grains Council, we are always on the lookout for delicious new ways to incorporate whole grains into everyday foods, so we were particularly excited to hear that more and more people are drinking their grains. That’s right, drinking whole grains is all over the news this week!

One of our favorite grains, oats, is nutritious, delicious and versatile – and did you know that you can grind it up and add it to smoothies? Oats grind up beautifully, and when added to liquids, become creamy and flavorful, without becoming too thick or overpowering.   

The popular smoothie chain Jamba Juice is doing just that. Jamba Juice now offers “Whole Food Boost” offerings, including not just oats but other whole foods such as chia (not a whole grain, but still a cool seed). Candace Mueller-Medina, Senior Director of Communications for Quaker, described the Whole Grain Boost as “a convenient solution for people to add at least 16 grams of whole grains, the equivalent of one full serving, to their favorite Jamba Juice smoothie or juice. As people seek new ways to live healthier lives, the Quaker Whole Grains Boost makes it easier to optimize their diets by allowing them to have their whole grains and drink them, too.” According to Jamba’s website, “adding a hearty scoop of finely ground oats to your smoothie is pretty darn smart.” We’d have to agree! A serving of oats in combination with fresh fruits in the smoothie makes for a hearty, satisfying, fiber-full, not to mention tasty, snack or meal.

Of course we’ve been aware of this trend for awhile, since we started a beverage category for Whole Grain Stamp products back in 2008, when the first brown rice milks started to hit the market. If you’re not in the mood for fruit smoothies but you’re still looking to drink some whole grains, several companies offer dairy free, whole grain beverages. Check out the list on our website, and you’ll find some very new oat smoothies, along with a variety of brown rice milks, all of which sport the Whole Grain Stamp. The list (click here and pick the beverage category) is still small, but is part of a growing trend of whole grain beverages that are perfect for drinking alone, making your own smoothies at home or pouring over a bowl of whole grain cereal. Now that packs a serious whole grain punch! (How do we know it’s a trend? We even found a Pinterest board that features oats and smoothies.) 

You can even make your own oat smoothies (click here for an oatmeal fruit smoothie recipe on the Whole Grains Council website). Some people drop rolled oats directly into the blender, but we find they mix in better if you grind your oats first (in a blender, spice grinder, or food processor) or cook them for a few minutes in the microwave with a little water. Either way, you’ll access the sweet flavor of oats, always reminiscent of oatmeal cookies, and the health benefits, including their ability to lower cholesterol and blood sugar.

While we urge you to get your whole grains from all kinds of different foods such as breads, pasta, cereals, and especially intact grains as side dishes and grain salads, we also encourage you to get creative. Do you drink your whole grains? What other innovative ways do you incorporate whole grains into your every day diet? We love to hear your ideas! (Mallory)


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