Why You Should Eat More: Wheat Berries

Why You Should Eat More: Wheat Berries

Emma Christensen
Sep 10, 2012

You might be more familiar with wheat berries in their ground form, a.k.a. whole wheat flour, but we're talking the whole whole grain here! Cooked in simmering water until soft, wheat berries make a nutritious and mighty tasty addition to soups, salads, and side dishes. Have a favorite way of using wheat berries to share?

Wheat berries contain the bran, germ, and endosperm of the wheat kernel, which translates into maximum nutritional payload. There's lots of fiber and protein packed into these grains, along with a bounty of B Vitamins.

But it's not all about the health benefits here. Wheat berries have a sweet, nutty flavor that makes them incredibly appealing on the table. This flavor works just as well in savory meat and vegetable dishes as it does in sweeter puddings and breakfast dishes. They also hold their shape and chewy texture even after long cooking, which is a boon in winter soups.

Cook wheat berries just like most other grains: bring double the amount of water to grains (2:1 ratio of water to grains) to a boil in a small sauce pan, add the grains and salt, cover, and simmer over low heat until the grains are soft. Wheat berries generally cook in about 60 minutes, though soaking them overnight can help reduce the cooking time. You can make a big batch ahead of time, and then either refrigerate them for use during the week or freeze them in batches for quick meals later.

Here are a few recipes to try:

Winter Wheat Berry Salad with Figs & Red Onion
Wheat Berry Salad with Blood Oranges, Feta and Red Onion Vinaigrette
Wheat Berry Salad with Walnuts, Dates, and Celery from Whole Living
Wheat Berry Breakfast Bow from 101 Cookbooks
Wheat Berry and Black Bean Chili from Eating Well

How do you like to use wheat berries?

Related: Beyond Whole Wheat Flour: 3 Delicious Whole Grain Flours You Should Try Now

(Image: Whole Living)

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