01/02/2012 10:50 am ET Updated Mar 03, 2012

The Best Whole Wheat Foods the Whole Family Will Love

I know lots of people who kind of want to make the change to eating whole wheat and whole grains but are afraid it will taste bad, or worse, that their families won't eat anything. I confess, there are whole wheat products out there that taste worse than cardboard! Which is why I'm going to share my list of brands and products that really do taste good and that, at the very least, MY family will eat.
  • PASTAS My favorite brands are Bionaturae and Delallo. I have tasted some whole wheat pastas that are almost inedible, but these taste awesome and my kids love them. Unfortunately, I still can't get some of our favorite shapes (ring noodles, please!), but that will come over time the more we all buy. If you want a quick and easy homemade option, try my Speatzle from Scratch recipe. It will be cooked and eaten before you could even get to a store and back.
  • BREADS If you are lucky to have a supermarket or bakery that makes fresh whole grain organic bread, by all means enjoy that. I also buy Vermont Bread Company organic sandwich breads and Ezekiel English muffins that come in the freezer section at my supermarket.  Here's a secret tip: Sometimes these breads don't taste quite like what we are used to, and there is one thing that changes that instantly--a pinch of salt! We also eat a lot of whole wheat tortillas (to make quesadillas, tacos, huevos rancheros...yum!) My favorite brand is Maria and Ricardo's. Whole wheat pita bread is good, too, and makes a great base for quick pizzas!
  • RICE Lundberg makes a great organic brown rice. But I can't always find it in my supermarket, so I've also used another brand, Village Harvest. You'll need to experiment with some of your favorite recipes to balance out the flavor properly, but it's nothing a little extra seasoning (or butter) can't fix. If your family members are hungry, they'll eat it, and before long, the white stuff will taste weird and slimy. REALLY, it will!!!!
  • FLOUR The best flour (available at my local Wegmans!) is King Arthur White Whole Wheat. I don't exactly know what they do to it, but it is real whole wheat flour without the heavy, musty graininess. I use it in everything. I also use the Rodale Institute Organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, which is totally delicious--and local, too!
  • CRACKERS My favorite crackers are still the ones I make myself. Truth is, we are not big cracker eaters. Actually, we mostly eat pretzels, and the brand that makes a good whole grain one is Unique Splits Sprouted Whole Grain:  Yum!
Also, anything by Nature's Path tastes great. They are one of my favorite brands--especially for its cereals and cereal bars, most of which are filled with whole grain goodness!

Look, I haven't banished white stuff from my house forever...that's not going to solve anything. I still keep a bag of white flour in my fridge to make things like homemade gravy and fried chicken and birthday cakes, which only happens every so often. But once you can recognize that burning craving feeling for what it is (white stuff withdrawal) and not what it isn't (it's not hunger!), this whole grain stuff will taste really, really awesome!

Good luck! And let me know if you find any other brands I should know about!

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