As you do your holiday shopping, are you pondering what to get for Aunt Claire, or what to give your mail carrier? Not sure what’s the best gift for your aging parents, or your best friend? We have a whole grain gift idea for all of them — and more.

We love cookies as much as anyone, but there’s already plenty of that to go around this time of year. Your job, as a whole grains ambassador, is to share some of your favorite whole grain foods that go beyond simply sugar and spice – not just bake a batch of cookies.

Homemade Granola

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Make a big batch of granola, scoop it into pretty bags or a mason jar tied with a ribbon, and you have the perfect gift for everyone in the office, or to bring to a holiday party. Start with our basic recipe, which is a lot lower in sugar than your typical commercial granola, then add your favorite dried fruit as you bag it. Cranberries are especially pretty this time of year.

Whole Grains Sampler

It’s fun to introduce friends and family to new grains they may not have tried. Pick a theme and include 3 or 4 varieties of intact grains. Matching jars or clear containers make your homemade sampler look especially classy. A few ideas:

Rice is Nice: Black rice, Red Rice, Sprouted Brown rice
Ancient Grains: Quinoa, Farro, Kamut, Millet
Beyond Brown: Red Rice, Black Barley, Ivory Teff, Blue Popcorn

Can’t find a good selection of grains in your local stores? Check out the mail-order resources on our website.

A Whole Grain Cookbook


For any avid cooks, a whole grain cookbook is a great choice. Two of our recent favorites come from WGC culinary advisors: Maria Speck’s Simply Ancient Grains: Fresh and Flavorful Whole Grain Recipes for Living Well and Robin Asbell’s The Whole Grain Promise. A few other 2015 titles you may enjoy are Grains as Mains, by Jodi Moreno and Sarah Caron and Whole Grain Baking Made Easy, by Tabitha Alterman.

Move Over, Blue Apron

Meal kit services are a big trend, and you can start your own. Pick your favorite whole grain recipe, and wrap up everything they’ll need, in one box. Pick a good recipe with ingredients that can last out of the fridge for a few hours, like our favorite Spelt with Butternut Squash (shown below). For that recipe, you’d pack up a squash, a small bag of uncooked spelt, a baggie of spices, another baggie of pepitas, a few shallots, and some feta. Add the bunch of parsley at the last minute – and don’t forget a copy of the recipe!


Meals on Wheels

For some very special people, you may want to simply deliver your whole grains in ready-to-eat form.  Every year for Christmas I give my parents, now in their 90s, a gift certificate good for one home-cooked dinner per month. Basically I’m inviting them to dinner – but at their house, to save them the one-hour drive. Of course, me being me, every one of the dinners I serve up includes some sort of whole grain. 

Whole Grain Gift Basket

Everything looks lovely in a basket, on a bed of colored tissue paper. Often at this time of year I head to Goodwill to find attractive baskets for no money, crumple up some tissue paper, then roam the supermarket adding in my favorite whole grain goodies, like crackers, interesting pastas, a tin of steel-cut oats — whatever catches my eye. You’ve saved a bunch over the pricey gift baskets in the catalogs, and you’ve added your own personal touch.

Community Giving

One final thought. Since this is the season of giving, consider donating whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, or other shelf-stable whole grain food to your local food pantry, too. 

Are you giving anyone whole grains for the holidays? It’s a great way to share the gifts of good health and good taste, all in one. (Cynthia)


Best Student Ca...
Your Whole Grain ideas are best for healthy life. It provides a full energy and boost your body. it also helps in healthy living and improve immunity of your body. Your Whole Grain cookbook is the best idea, there are several recipe in the book, which can be use by anyone.
Thanks! We're always happy to meet other whole grain enthusiasts.

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