Health & Food

Wheat Berries, A New Favorite Whole Grain!

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On my low FODMAPs diet, I am not really supposed to eat wheat, but I’ve found that I can handle wheat in the form of beer (thank goodness!), or in very unrefined forms, such as wheat berries.Wheat Berries, A New Favorite Whole Grain! 1

So what exactly is a wheat berry? Wikipedia explains it well (as always);

The term wheatberry or wheat berry refers to the entire wheat kernel (except for the hull), comprising the bran, germ, and endosperm. Wheatberries have a tan to reddish-brown color and are available as either a hard or soft processed grain. They are often added to salads or baked into bread to add a crunchy texture; as a whole grain, they also provide nutritional benefits since they are an excellent source of dietary fiber.

So like I said above, they are unrefined and they are the quintessential whole grain. As far as nutrition is concerned, they provide about 6 grams of fiber and protein per one-fourth cup (uncooked) and about 150 calories. They also contain about 8 percent of the daily value for iron, per one-fourth cup. Before you make a dish with wheat berries, be sure to plan ahead, as they take about an hour to cook. They are very similar to rice in that they do expand, but not a whole lot (I consider quinoa grain that expands a lot). So the one-fourth cup uncooked is more like one-fourth cup, and a couple of tablespoons, cooked.

This is what they look like before they are cooked (you have to rinse them first).Wheat Berries, A New Favorite Whole Grain! 2

After cooking, they look like this (very similar)Wheat Berries, A New Favorite Whole Grain! 3

I had never heard of wheat berries until this year, actually, and it took me this long to finally buy some and use them in a recipe. We recently had guests over for dinner and I made this recipe from FoodDoodles.com. As always, I made a couple of small modifications;

Summer Vegetable Wheat Berry Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C cooked and cooled wheat berries
  • 1 C snap peas, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium Roma tomato(I used cherry tomatoes)
  • a small handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 C cucumber cut into bite-sized pieces

Dressing

  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar (I used blueberry balsamic!)
  • pinch sea salt and pepper

Directions

Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Chop all veggies to small bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl with the wheat berries and parsley and then mix in the dressing. Then store in the fridge until ready to eat, or serve right away.Wheat Berries, A New Favorite Whole Grain! 4

The salad was pretty good, but not amazing. I think it needed a bit more salt and pepper. Also, the snap peas I used were not very fresh, which was my fault. I will definitely make this again, but next time I will add a bit more salt, a lot more pepper, and I’ll use our home-grown tomatoes!

Nutrition Facts
1/2 cup serving
(source: caloriecount.com)

QUESTION: Have you ever tried wheat berries?

I want to give a quick shout out to Chava of Food for Laughter. I had a great time with you yesterday! I’m happy to say my second blogger meet-up was quite a success

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