When researching food and nutrition trends for 2018, one trend kept popping up again and again: simple, recognizable ingredients. People want to eat (and feed their families) back-to-basics, nourishing food— Not surprisingly, I’m 100% on board with this trend. For me, feeding my kids whole and minimally processed foods such as fruits, veggies, cheese, yogurt and quinoa (vs. ultra-processed foods such as chips and candy) has always been a priority (most of the time anyways). And having my kids help in the kitchen and literally create those foods and dishes with me – dumping, whisking, mixing, baking—is the best nutrition lesson they could get (without even talking about nutrition!). And it helps a lot when the recipe is super easy and quick, like this one!

I love this whole grain soda bread recipe, not only because it’s super easy to throw together, but also because it’s delicious and comforting. In fact, I have memories of my grandmother serving it to me, with a hot bowl of her homemade soup, or with peanut butter and banana on top. Little did I know back then—when all I really cared about was how amazing it tasted—how wholesome and nutritious it was. Now, as a Mom (and Dietitian), I love this bread even more, not only because of how incredibly nutrient-packed it is, but also because my kids love it too!

Made with very simple ingredients—essentially, whole grains and buttermilk—bread is rich in fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals, as well as healthy fats. The only “wet” ingredient (buttermilk!) adds calcium, potassium, phosphorous, protein and many other nutrients.

Buttermilk, traditionally, is the the liquid remaining after butter has been separated from milk or cream. Commercially, buttermilk is made by adding a bacterial culture to pasteurized milk, and then letting it ferment. It’s thicker in texture to regular milk, and much more sour (because it’s acidic), hence why it makes a great addition to baked goods like scones and soda bread (like this recipe!).

I hope your family enjoys this bread as much as we do!

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Written by a Registered Dietitian.

Easy One-Bowl Whole Grain Soda Bread
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes


4 cups (1 L) all-purpose flour
2 cups (500 ml) whole wheat flour
1 cup (250 ml) uncooked whole grain porridge cereal (e.g. Red River Cereal)
1/2 cup (125 ml) wheat germ or ground flax
1/4 cup (60 ml) brown sugar
1 tbsp (15 ml) kosher salt
1 tbsp (15 ml) baking soda
4 cups (1 L) buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and grease (with butter) 2 large bread pans (12" x 4 1/2" x 2 1/2"- 30 cm x 11 cm x 6 cm).
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cereal, wheat germ or ground flax, brown sugar and salt, and whisk well.
  3. Pour the buttermilk into a large liquid measuring cup and add the baking soda- the soda will react wih the buttermilk and start to bubble.
  4. Form a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk/soda combination. Mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Do not over-mix.
  5. Divide the bread dough into 2 large butters bread pans.
  6. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Test with a sharp knife- if it comes out clean- it's done. Let rest for 10 minutes on cooling racks and then remove from the pan to finish cooling on rack.

    This bread is perfect for open-faced toasted sandwiches, or as part of your breakfast with peanut butter or eggs (or even better- made into French toast!).