This is recipe number three on my quest to broaden my horizons with new and exciting foods this year. So far, Im doing great (see how well non-resolutions work?). If you’ve been following along, so far I cooked with Quinoa, Miso Paste and this week, I tackled wheat berries! tackled wheat berries. All my vegetarians, HOLLA, cause this one is definitely for you (and the vegans too!) Never hear of ‘em? Let’s dive into this exciting and tasty grain together, shall we.
What’s a Wheatberry?
The term wheatberry or wheat berry refers to most of the wheat kernel (except for the hull) which consists of bran, germ and endosperm. They are tan or slightly red in color and look similar to short grain brown rice and may be purchased as a hard or soft (more processed) grain. Nutty in flavor with a slight chew to their texture, this tasty grain add a nice crunch to salads and even baked goods.
Why Are Wheatberries Good For Me?
Wheatberries are considered a true “whole grain” because the entire wheat kernel is left in tact and therefore, none of the nutrients are stripped away. Just one cup of wheatberries has 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron. They are also loaded with vitaminE and magnesium.
How do I prepare Wheat Berries And Where Can I Find Them?
They are super easy to prepare. You boil them ins salted water, similarly to the way you would any other grain like brown rice. Once they are cooked you can feel free to use them the same way you’d use any other grain. I like to serve them au natural as a side dish in lieu of brown rice, tossed with a vinaigrette as their own yummy salad or even steeped with some cinnamon and honey spiked milk for a warm and comforting alternative to oatmeal in the morning. They are even delicious stirred into yogurt for a nice chewy contrast to the creaminess of the yogurt.
Wheat Berries can be found in any health-food store or in the natural foods section of your supermarket. I found mine at Shoprite! Look for the kind that cooks quickly, it will save you a ton of time.
Sweet And Tangy Wheat Berry Salad
1 cup wheat berries (the kind that cooks in 15 minutes)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large stalk celery, finely diced
2 large scallions, finely diced
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 apple, peeled and diced small
1. Bring 3 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to a boil in a medium sized pot. Stir in 1 cup of wheat berries. Stir, turn heat down to low and cover the pot. Coo for 15-18 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed and the wheat berries are slightly soft (they will be much chewier than your average brown rice, this is the correct texture). Remove the grains to a bowl and allow to cool while you make the dressing.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon, salt, pepper and honey. Continue to whisk and stream in olive oil until dressing is emulsified and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients to the wheat berries and toss. Stir in vinaigrette and toss to coat. Salad can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Enjoy!