Healthy Winter Grains We Should All Eat

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The Delaware 4-H Program joins in partnership with GOLO, the pioneering wellness solutions company, to promote and provide important information on winter grains we should all eat to be healthier. We appreciate the monetary support of GOLO to our 4-H program around the initiative of Healthy Living, and their interest in the health and well-being of our 4-H youth. This is a special issue of information we are sharing with all our audiences. 

Please take time to review this information and include more winter grains in your normal daily diets. Look for additional information we will be sharing on a quarterly basis.


• Commonly used in oatmeal, flour, and dairy alternatives such as milk, yogurt, ice cream
• High protein and antioxidant contents
• Introduced to North America in 1602 by Scottish Settlers
• Help to reduce cholesterol, blood sugar
• Increases growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract
• Used to soothe skin conditions such as eczema and heat rashes
• Typically grown in the Midwest and other northern regions
• There are two kinds of oats – husked and naked
• Oat straw is used by farmers as bedding for cattle and horses due to its soft nature
• Involved in industrial purposes such as glue extender and cosmetic products
• Farmers use a combine harvester to harvest the grains, which are then stored in silos

Winter Barley

• One of the most cultivated crops in the world
• Barley is resistant to drought, germinates quickly and has short growing season
• Contains 8 essential amino acids, vitamins of the B group, and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc
• Has high nutritional value which is important in human diet
• Greatest quantity of produced barely is used as animal food
• Barley is used for malt production and the manufacture of vinegar
• Ancient Egyptians used barley to produce bread
• Barley straw can be placed in mesh bags and float in fishponds to reduce algal growth without pond harm


• Wheat is used for white bread, pastries, pasta, and pizza
• Good source of manganese, phosphorus, and selenium
• Rich in vitamin B, vitamin E, and vitamin K
• Low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium
• Principal cereal crop since the 18th century
• Introduced by the first English colonists and became the main cash crop of farmers
• Wheat is the primary grain used in U.S. grain products
• Grown in 42 states in the United States
• There are 6 varieties of wheat – hard red winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, hard white, soft white, and durum

Cereal Rye

• Good source of fiber, vitamin E, calcium, iron, and potassium
• Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, and diabetes
• Carb-rich grain which helps to make you feel full
• Incorporated in many baked goods, crackers, and breads
• Once known as “poverty grain” because it grows well in poor soils
• Rye is used as a winter cover crop to capture nutrients and enhance soil health
• Russia is the biggest producer and consumer of rye
• Most often gets processed into flour for bread or fed to livestock
• Whole rye berries can be boiled and consumed, which provide a sweet and nutty taste


• Quinoa seeds are flat, oval, and usually pale yellow, and taste varies from bitter to sweet
• Has a crunchy and nutty flavor and is gluten-free
• Consists of high amounts of water, and carbohydrates and low in protein and fat
• Reduces risk of obesity and various diseases and diabetes
• Excellent source of fiber and antioxidants
• Contains several minerals including manganese, phosphorus, copper, folate, and iron
• Quinoa helps with metabolism, growth, and development
• Usually boiled and added to salads, used to thicken soups, or eaten as a side dish or breakfast porridge
• Seeds can be sprouted, ground, and used as flour or popped like popcorn