As I start exploring new and different whole grains, I have found a friend: wheat berries! I just tried them Friday at Earth Fare in a wheat berry salad, which I’m making today. Yummy and versatile! Here are some of the things I learned about wheat berries:
- Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels. They look like thick, short grains — similar to brown rice.
- When boiled, cooked wheat berries have a chewy bite and subtle nutty, earthy flavor.
- Since the wheat kernel is left intact, virtually none of the nutrients are stripped away. A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron. Tasty sprouts are loaded with vitamin E, a cell-protecting antioxidant, and magnesium, which is good for healthy bones and muscles.
- Prepare wheat berries in salted boiling water — just like other grains. Add cooked wheat berries to soups or even chili. Serve hot as a side dish with hearty mushrooms or cold for a satisfying salad full of flavor and whole grain goodness. Wheat berries have nutty flavor so they’re great with fresh vegetables and dried fruit such as cherries or cranberries.
I’m making these two recipes this afternoon: