I remember when my mom made the switch. Instead of buying sweet, white bread, she insisted on brown loaves — cardboard-like in comparison. "It's healthier," she would respond as she placed whole-wheat bread in our shopping cart. And, for the majority of age six, I was convinced I'd never enjoy a grilled cheese sandwich again.

Today, I can't get enough of nutty, whole-wheat flour. I use it in breads and cookies and crusts for an extra depth of flavor and bite. Baking with whole wheat just requires a little more thought than using plain ol' all-purpose. Whole-wheat flour is partly or entirely milled from whole or almost-whole wheat grains (not to be confused with whole grain, which can be made of any whole-grain kernel) and can make baked goods very dense. But instead of shying away from what you don't understand (like six-year-old me), experiment with robust recipes that can handle the extra weight. Here, we've gathered 16 cookies, breads, pies, and more that highlight wonderful whole wheat.

Breads and muffins

1. Spent grain and herb whole-wheat bread

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

2. Whole wheat persimmon ricotta scones

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

3. Date and walnut oatcakes

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

4. Seeded whole-wheat banana bread

(Julia Gartland/Courtesy Food52)

5. Carrot soda bread

(Courtesy Food52)

6. Whole wheat pita

(Linda Xiao/Courtesy Food52)

7. Dark chocolate and walnut zucchini bread

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

Pies, tarts, and crisps

8. Black pepper pear crisp with salted oat streusel

(Bobbi Lin/Courtesy Food52)

9. Rhubarb cherry hibiscus crumble

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

10. Whole wheat-crusted chicken pot pie with kale, butternut squash, and fresh herbs

(Bobbi Lin/Courtesy Food52)

11. Caramelized onion and butternut squash tart

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

12. Blueberry plumb crumble

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)


13. My newest chocolate chip cookies

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

14. Nutty cherry biscotti

(Rocky Luten/Courtesy Food52)

15. Quinoa cookies with coconut and chocolate chunks

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

16. Coconut chow mein butterscotch cookies

(Mark Weinberg/Courtesy Food52)

This story was originally published on Food52.com: Whole wheat flour is not boring and here are 16 reasons why.