Essex Spice Shop: Getting the Most for Your Grains

Posted by World of Spice 12/10/2023

Essex spice shop exploring different types of grains,

Here at our Essex spice shop, the team at World of Spice have been looking at wholefoods and their benefits! In this week’s edition, we discuss all things grains – what they are, grain gains and our favourite herbs and spices that instantly transforms any grain-based dish!  

What Are Grains?

Grains may be small, but they are mighty and fundamental to our wellbeing! In fact, they make up over 50% of the world’s nutrition! Grains are harvested from grassy plants called cereals. They include everyday staples like oats, wheat, maize, rice, millet, barley and rye. In the same family are the pseudocereals, quinoa, chia and buckwheat. Although they are prepared and eaten like grains, they aren’t technically part of the same family, as they don’t come from cereals.

How Do We Eat Them?

Grains can be used as an ingredient in cooking or turned into products like rye bread or wheat biscuits. They also form the base of many foods including bread, pasta, cereal, cakes and even beer! The different varieties include:

Oats: Not just for porridge, oats can be baked into cookies, cakes, granola bars and scones.

Maize: This versatile grain is also called corn! Different varieties create foods like popcorn, sweetcorn and cornflour.

Wheat: The foundation of many of the foods we eat day to day!

Rice: One of the most familiar grains, with many uses across the world.

Rye: A dense, dark grain used for flour, rye bread and crispbread.

Bulgar: A wheat grain that is partially precooked to reduce prep time. It’s used frequently in Middle Eastern cooking for tabbouleh and pilaf.

Barley: Known as pearl barley when milled, barley has a nutty taste and chewy texture. It’s often used in stews and casserole for texture and thickening.

Whole Grain Vs Refined Grain

Grains can be classified as either whole or refined; however, they all start as wholegrains. A whole grain consists of Bran (outer layer), Germ (nutrient-rich core) and Endosperm (the biggest part of the grain, it contains mostly carbs in the form of starch and protein). A refined grain has the bran and germ removed, leaving just the endosperm. As a result, refined grains have less fibre and fewer nutrients than whole grains. Refined grains are often the popular choice for use in biscuits, cakes and crackers because they are easier to cook and for the consumer to chew.

Should I Choose Whole Grain?

Our Essex spice shop can confirm it’s true; whole grains have more health benefits to their name than those that are refined. They’re a good source of energy, calcium, iron and B vitamins and they contain fewer than half the calories of fat gram for gram. When refined grains are milled, they lose nutrients. Some of these are reintroduced but fibre usually isn’t, so it’s wise to pick wholegrain where you can to keep your digestive system healthy! 

Spicing Up Your Grains

Whether it’s porridge, pasta or corn on the cob, herbs and spices from our Essex spice shop can give your grains the edge! Remember to cook with them and add to warm dishes so that all of the delicious aromatic oils infuse your dish! Here are our top seasonings for grains:

Get in Touch 

At World of Spice Essex spice shop, we understand the importance of authentic and traditional tasting cuisine. From grains to Greek food, our seasonings, herbs and spices are known for their purity and potency, full of delicious flavour to give your food the edge. Our service is cost-effective and reliable; we go above and beyond for each of our customers to ensure that you get the produce you need for business.

From bespoke blends to a choice of packaging, complete with custom labelling, our comprehensive service can help you achieve your culinary goals. For more information about our services and what we can offer you, please contact us at, or feel free to call our team on 01277 633303. We look forward to hearing from you.

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