How To Eat Whole Food Carbohydrates

The last part of this series on carbohydrates finally gets to the food and all the amazing ways to easily use carbohydrates in your meals. We all know how to eat carbohydrates, as most people who eat in America overeat carbohydrates, just the “wrong” kinds. I wanted to shine the light on some unfamiliar carbohydrates so you can start to easily incorporate them into your diet.

Here’s how to easily incorporate whole food carbohydrates into your day:

Whole Food Carbohydrates


Whether it’s smoothies, fruit salads, pancakes, or porridges all of these dishes can easily be full of good sources of carbohydrates. Here are few of the yummy examples from my blog below:

  • Porridges: try using grains like millet, amaranth, quinoa, oats, barely, faro, and even rice for an alternative on plain oatmeal. Here are some recipes to get you started Ancient Grains Pear Porridge, Chewy Date Oatmeal & Whipped Almond Butter, Cinnamon Apple & Pear Amaranth Porridge Goji Banana Mango Oats, and my most recent and favorite Mulberry Soaked Oat Porridge
  • Pancakes: you can easily add fruit to any pancake batter and the grain/flour of the batter can be homemade. Try using oat flour, quinoa flour, coconut flour, or even buckwheat flour for an alternative to basic whole-wheat flour mixes. Try out some of these easy to make recipes, Savory Oat Pancakes, Simply Oat Pancakes with Berry Compote, Carrot Cake Tahini Pancakes {vegan}
  • Fruit salad: simply cut any of your favorite fruits up, sprinkle with cinnamon and maybe a splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice and you’re set. One of my favorite spring and summer fruit salads is the Watermelon, Grapefruit, & Blackberry Salad with Honey Mint Drizzle. The possibilities with fruit salads are endless!
  • Smoothies: these are a great way to sneak veggies and fruits into your diet, especially those who are on the go. We’ve talked about smoothies here before on the Body Book blog. Check here for more recipe ideas!
  • Granola/muesli: this is a great way to use ancient grains and other grains besides oatmeal that most of us are familiar with. Gluten-free grains that are rich in protein, fiber, and minerals are great to use combined with dried fruits, nuts, and seeds. My favorite muesli recipe is one that I have almost daily, Nourishing Muesli.
  • Think outside of the box with breakfast too, some people enjoy having more savory options like egg omelets with sweet potatoes, beans, rice, etc.


  • Grains: quinoa, millet, barely, oats, amaranth, rice, etc.; all make great side dishes or parts of the main course.
  • Starchy vegetables: sweet potatoes, gold/red potatoes, peas, squash, etc.; roast these vegetables for a side dish or pop them on top of a big green salad for added nutrition.
  • Non-whole food (i.e. some processing): whole wheat or gluten free breads, tortillas, crackers, pasta, etc.; use these in a limited amount and opt for organic varieties as much as possible.
  • Recipe inspiration for both lunch and dinners, check here in the “mains” section.


  • Yogurt with fresh fruit
  • Banana ice cream
  • Baked plantains (bananas super starchy relative)
  • Toast with almond butter and fruit slices
  • And much more!

Whole Food Carbohydrates

I hope this guide provided you all with some whole food sources of carbohydrates that can easily be used instead of relying on heavily processed and refined carbohydrates. Remember, carbs aren’t the enemy! It’s all about finding the balance for your body, goals, and working with someone who knows how to help you find that balance.

Carbohydrates 101

What is Fiber, Anyway?

Eat well, live well, Be well,


McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN is the creator of Nutrition Stripped, a plant-based whole foods blog focusing on nourishing recipes. McKel offers one-on-one nutrition coaching in the US and internationally.

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