Grain to Know: Wheat Berries

Don’t be fooled by the name. Wheat berries don’t have an ounce of berry in them. The brown rice-esque grains are whole wheat kernels. The industrious folk grind the thick, shirt grains into the whole wheat flour you buy on the baking aisle. So likely you have known this true whole grain for years, just in a different form.

When wheat berries are cooked they have a chewy texture and a subtle nutty and earthy flavor. They are versatile and sturdy enough to be an ingredient in a bold dish while also being delicate enough to pair well with light flavors.

Since wheat berries are unprocessed they retain all of the nutrients. One cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with hunger-busting fiber, protein and iron. The filling wheat berries are also loaded with vitamin E and magnesium, both of which are good for healthy bones and muscles. A bonus, whole grains like wheat berries are good for weight control because the high fiber content helps you feel sated longer.

If you find the reddish-brown grain in your health food store (check the natural food section), you are in for a real foodie treat. The whole grain goodness can be prepared in boiling water just like any other grain so you don’t have to learn a new chef skill to enjoy them. Start rethinking the whole grain with these wheat berry recipes:

Have you ever tried the pure whole grain? What are your favorite wheat berry recipes?

photo credit: Chiot’s Run via photopin cc



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