These starchy favorites provide us with much of our flavor bases when creating a dish. Whether you enjoy a bowl of pasta or combine them to modify for a vegetarian feast, grains and legumes are staples of our everyday diet.

In addition to washing and storing techniques, you'll learn about the benefits of soaking certain grains, how to get cooking right now, and more.

Before you begin

Many grains and legumes can be treated in the same manner when washing and storing. Learn about the techniques below that will help save you time and prepare with poise.


Place food in a strainer with holes of the appropriate size so nothing falls through. Then place the strainer in a large bowl.

Pick over to remove any small rocks or other debris.

Run water over food. While the water runs, move your hands through the particles to clean. The bowl will begin to fill, so watch it carefully to prevent the food from overflowing.

Drain by lifting the strainer out of the water and shaking it gently. Empty the water from the bowl, and place the strainer back in it. Repeat until the bowl’s water drains clear.


Dry, Uncooked

Store dry grains and legumes in closed containers in a cool, dry place like your pantry. They should last about one year if kept free of moisture and insects. Some can even last for multiple years.


All cooked grains and legumes should be stored in closed containers and refrigerated. They should last about a week, but always check for freshness.