We offer a full selection of organic grains and cereals - wherever possible, to Soil Association standard. We can provide many different bag sizes, with our 25kg sacks very popular for their great value.
We all know that eating wholegrains is a key part of a healthy diet: the wholegrain will contain the cereal germ, endosperm and the bran, providing you with a natural source of protein, as well as carbohydrates. At Naturally Good Food, our range of organic wholegrains is about as large as it is possible to get.
For those who want to sprout their grains, the wholegrain is important - white, refined grains will not generally sprout.
Included in our grains and cereals range are:
|Buckwheat||Oat groats||Rye||Wheat germ|
|Bulgar wheat||Polenta||Spelt||Oat bran|
Our full listing of grains is contained on this page: just scroll up for the product range and down for a quick guide to the grains. If you just want to see our bulk range of grains, flours and muesli, click here. We also have a separate section for our large rice selection.
Eating wholegrains has become mainstream now: it's even reached the Telegraph, who feature us as a supplier of wholegrains.
If you want to mill your own flour, either wheat-based or gluten-free, then you need a reliable source of grain. At Naturally Good Food, we stock a great range of organic grains, in a variety of sizes. If you buy a large sack, you could eat some as grain and make the rest into flour.
Organic grain - a quick guide
Below, you will find a review of individual grains, and how they can fit into your diet. Unlike conventional grains, the organic variety will not have been sprayed with pesticides.
Amaranth: humans have cultivated amaranth for centuries. It was part of the staple diet of the Inca and Aztec civilizations. Amaranth can be cooked as a cereal, ground into a flour, popped, sprouted or toasted. It is a gluten-free grain. Care should be taken when cooking amaranth, as it can go sticky, unlike other grains with a fluffier texture. To cook amaranth grain properly, use 1 part amaranth to 2-2.5 parts of water (or stock), and cook until tender - about 20 minutes. The taste of amarath may be enhanced by adding fresh herbs or ginger when cooking. It is possible to make an organic amaranth-type porridge for your breakfast, by increasing the water to 3 parts water to 1 part amaranth, and then sweetening with honey or brown rice syrup, and adding some dried fruit and nuts. Amaranth has a higher protein content than wheat; several studies have shown that it may be of benefit for those with hypertension and cardiovascular disease, with regular consumption reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while improving antioxidant status.
Barley: we stock a large range of organic barley-based products, including barley grain, flour and flakes, grain for sprouting, barley syrup, barley capsules, and of course, barleycup (a cereal drink). Whole barley grain is a high-fibre, high-protein grain, which, when cooked, has a chewy texture and a slightly nutty flavour. It can be used as a substitute for rice in a curry or stir-fry, and is cooked in a similar manner, with 1 part barley to 2 parts water or stock. Organic barley can be added to a winter soup to give some heart: pot barley goes particularly well with leek and potato soup. Barley also works well on its own as a side dish, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.
In addition to barley grain and pot barley, we stock barley for sprouting to produce organic barleygrass.
Buckwheat: buckwheat contains no gluten, so as you would expect, we stock a large range of buckwheat products. Buckwheat is not, in strict terms, a grain, but because of their culinary use, we have put the groats in this grain section. (In fact, what we might think of as the 'grain' is actually the fruit.) Buckwheat groats can be made into a porridge-like dish or used in salads and other dishes in place of rice. Buckwheat has a high protein content, and is also rich in B1 and B2 vitamins, potassium, magnesium, phosphate and iron. It also contains bioflavonoid (vitamin p) rutin. If buckwheat is a favourite in your house, why not try the larger organic bags, for the best savings.
Millet: in the UK, when we think of millet, many automatically think of birdfood! However, millet is great for humans too - rich in B vitamins, folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc, with a protein content close to that of wheat. Millet is gluten-free, so is suitable for coeliac sufferers. The flavour of millet is improved by lightly roasting the grains in a dry pan before cooking; stir constantly for approximately three minutes, or until a mild, nutty aroma is detected. If millet is pre-soaked, the cooking time can be shortened by five to ten minutes. Millet can be added to casseroles, breads, soups, stews, souffles, pilaf and stuffing. As a side dish, it can be served with sauteed vegetables or with beans, and can be popped like corn for use as a snack or breakfast cereal. This grain mixes well with any seasoning or herbs that are commonly used in rice dishes, and for interesting taste and texture variations, it may be combined with quinoa or brown or basmati rice. Millet may also be sprouted and added to salads and sandwiches. The millet grain we stock is organic, as are most of the grains we sell.
With around one-third of the world enjoying millet as part of its daily diet, perhaps it is now time for you to try organic millet!
Oat bran: oat bran is the outer part of the oat grain. It's a great way to get more fibre into your diet, as well as increasing your intake of B vitamins. It's been shown to decrease cholesterol levels, and is recommended by the American Heart Association. Its distinctive nutty taste makes it a delicious ingredient for muffin or wholegrain bread recipes, or as a topping for breakfast cereals. You can increase the shelf life of your oat bran by storing it in the fridge or freezer.
Oat groats: oat groats are whole oats with the absolute minimum of processing - a real wholefood! The inedible outer husk of the oat has been removed, leaving all the goodness of the wholegrain intact. Our organic oat groats make a great addition to soups and stews, giving a lovely wholesome taste. This is especially true in winter, when a bit of comfort food is generally needed!
Oat groats can be soaked and cooked to produce a porridge, or cooked and added to breads and other baked goods, to give a nutty flavour and boost the nutritional content of the finished product. You can also use oat groats in soups and stews, as our ancestors did.
Oat groats have a relatively bland flavour, so your enjoyment of them might be improved by adding various sweet or savoury ingredients.
Polenta: popular in Italian cooking, polenta is a golden-yellow cornmeal made from dried and ground maize (corn). Polenta is also the name given to a savoury porridge made with cornmeal and water that is simmered and stirred until it thickens. Polenta can be coarse- or fine-ground: it can also be mixed with buckwheat flour to make 'polenta taragna'.
There are numerous ways to serve polenta. If hot, it is known as 'wet' polenta. If left to cool and set after cooking, it can be cut into slices and fried or grilled. Wet polenta can be bland, so tends to be mixed with richly flavoured ingredients such as butter, cheese or fried mushrooms, or served as a side dish to accompany meat dishes, stews or casseroles. Fried or grilled polenta slices are good topped with cheese and grilled. Dried ground polenta can be used in baking; it is often added to pastry and is a key ingredient of cornbread.
Popcorn: the classic film snack! With an organic option, you can sit down and enjoy a good film and a healthy treat at the same time. Crazy Jack organic popcorn is great fun to make: if your children have never experienced making popcorn before, you'll all really enjoy the show!
Making fresh organic popcorn at home is easy, and great fun for children of all ages. Heat a small amount of oil in a saucepan until quite hot. Cover the bottom of the pan with popcorn and put the lid on firmly. If your lid is transparent, it's good fun to see what happens - if not, it simply adds to the drama, as the popping begins. When the popping dies down, shake the pan occasionally until it stops altogether. You will be surprised at just how much popcorn you get (and the second thing you will think is why on earth it's so expensive in the cinema, when they offer such an inferior product!).
Did you know: the reason popcorn 'pops' is because, unlike other grains, its kernels have a hard, moisture-sealed exterior and a dense starchy filling. This allows pressure to build inside the kernel until an explosive 'pop' results.
Quinoa: qunioa is a recently 'rediscovered' grain from South America. It is nutritionally 'complete', being the only cereal, grain or seed to contain all seven essential amino acids that the body needs. For vegetarians, it is an exceptional source of protein. Quinoa has a bitter coating of saponin that makes the grain unappealing to birds and insects, and thus helps the yield considerably. Our organic quinoa has had the saponin removed and is thus ready to eat. (Agronomists have developed quinoa with a lower level of saponin, but this was quickly rejected by farmers, as they lost their whole crop to birds and insects.)
The organic quinoa we sell is the Crazy Jack Fairtrade organic quinoa, which comes from a project in Ecuador. It has a strong flavour.
In addition to quinoa grain, we stock quinoa flour, quinoa flakes and quinoa with pasta.
Rye: rye is a member of the wheat family (triticeae) and is also closely related to barley. It is naturally lower in gluten than wheat, producing close-textured breads with a pleasing continental flavour. Originating in Turkey, it was extensively used during the time of the Roman Empire to make rye bread.
Rye can be used in stews or soup, as an alternative to rice, or ground into flour. Rye has a good protein content and is a fine source of dietary fibre.
Rye grain is a dark and earthy flavoured grain. It can also be used in muesli and in biscuit- and bread-baking.
Spelt: spelt is an ancient species of wheat that has not been bred for its starch or gluten properties. Spelt is closely related to the common form of wheat and as such is not suitable for people with coeliac disease. However, some people with an allergy or intolerance to common wheat can tolerate spelt. At Naturally Good Food we stock a number of products featuring spelt, including crispbreads, crackers, pasta, breakfast cereals, flour and grain (both for sprouting and other uses).
Bulgar wheat: bulgar wheat is whole wheat that has been partially cooked, dried and cracked. The advantage of this is that it cooks quite quickly. It can be added to many dishes to thicken them and to provide texture and flavour, or can be cooked in stock and served as an alternative to rice, pasta or potatoes. Bulgar wheat is the main ingredient in tabbouleh (see recipe section). Its high nutritional value makes it a good substitute for rice or couscous.
Couscous: we stock a variety of different organic couscous products, all of which are easy to cook. Our white couscous is made from durum wheat, which has been partially cooked under steam and then sieved to the required size. Our organic wholewheat couscous is made from the entire wheat germ, giving all the goodness of the wholegrain. The wholewheat couscous has a nuttier flavour and a firmer texture. Our spelt couscous is high in fibre and although not gluten-free, may be tolerated by some people with wheat allergies.
Semolina: semolina is a coarse, pale-yellow flour produced from hard durum wheat. It is a traditional ingredient of pasta and can also be used to make pizza, bread and biscuit doughs, and gnocchi.
Organic grain: hints and tips
Here are a few tips and hints on organic grains!
There are three basic methods for cooking grains: boiling in hot liquid, absorption and steaming. The method used may depend on the grain and the type of effect you want. Some grains will require soaking before cooking, as cooking alone may not produce the best results. It is usually a good idea to rinse grains well before cooking.
Cooking organic grains pilaf-style
Most of us typically think of rice when we look to cook pilaf, but you could in fact choose a different grain and use the same style of cooking. In the pilaf method, organic grains are lightly toasted in oil or butter with vegetables and seasoning before being simmered in stock or wine. A really good stock can be quickly produced using Marigold bouillon.
A few notes on cooking individual organic grains:
If you want to cook your grains more quickly, try soaking them in water for a couple of hours before cooking. Take care not to let them stand too long and make sure you cook them well.
We stock a number of organic grains that are designed for sprouting. We also have a great range of pulses that are widely sprouted, as well as the necessary sprouting trays and guidebooks on how to sprout.
So if you are new to sprouting, and want to have a go at sprouting some organic grains, we have all you need!
Organic grain recipes
Below, you will find some of our favourite grain recipes. If you would like to share yours, please let us know.
Signup here to get our Newsletter, special offers and vouchers.