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Maria

Wheat Berries

by Maria on April 2, 2012

Stuck in a pasta, rice, and bread rut? Trying new grains is a great way to liven up your cooking and expose your family to new tastes. But with so many different grains available these days it can be hard to keep them all straight. 

Over the next several weeks I will be exploring different grains and ways of using them. First up: wheat berries.

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So what is a wheat berry? A wheat berry is the entire wheat kernel, minus the hull. Wheat berries are high in protein and have quite a bit of chewiness to them.

Most sources will tell you to soak wheat berries overnight and then simmer them in new water for about 50-60 minutes. But according to a recipe on Eating Well, you just need to boil them for an hour. For two cups of wheat berries use 7 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt. My sister and I both tried this method and thought it worked well. 

You can use cooked wheat berries in a variety of ways, including as you would rice, in salads, or as a cereal. 

I came across a recipe for Wild Wheat Berry Salad on one of my favorite cooking sites, Weelicious.com. Just seeing the picture of the salad drew me in. All those colors, and the exciting combination of ingredients. Here is a picture of my final product:

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I subsituted mangoes for the peaches because they were on sale at my local market. It does have peanuts and peanut oil, but if you are allergic or bringing it to a potluck you could easily subsitute olive oil and subsitute a different nut. Delicious! I also tried this recipe using quinoa, and it was also wonderful. (More on quinoa next week).

Another wheat berry salad recipe that I'm going to try is this one by Ellie Krieger, one of my favorite healthy cooks. 

Do you have any favorite wheat berry recipes or ways of using them? Let the Recipe Mamas know!

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