Thursday, July 23, 2009

Try Something New: Wheat Berries

I found myself pottering around the house and came upon a container of organic wheat berries that I had purchased at Whole Foods in the spring. I thought today would be a good opportunity to try something with them.

Wheat berries are a whole grain, in fact, it's the entire wheat kernel. An excellent source of fiber, wheat berries have a nice, chewy texture, mellow, nutty flavor and have breakfast, side dish and salad applications. Wheat gets a bad rap because its presence in so many highly processed foods, but in its whole form wheat has a number of great health benefits.

First you have to cook the wheat berries. I followed the method from Eating Well magazine. I reserved 1 1/2 cups for a breakfast dish and froze the rest for Wheat Berry Salad with Goat Cheese which I'll serve with grilled whole wheat pita on meatless Monday.

This breakfast dish from Eating Well caught my eye, but I made my own tweaks. Here is my adaptation.


Ginger Wheat Berry Porridge

1 1/2 cups whole rolled oats
2 1/2 cups So Delicious vanilla coconut milk drink
1 1/2 cups cooked wheat berries
1/4 cup golden berry blend (dried cranberries, blueberries and golden raisins)
1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Bring milk to boil and add oats, dried fruit and ginger. Stir well, bring back to boil then lower heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Add cinnamon and wheat berries, stir well and simmer an additional 2 minutes until nice and thick. Makes five 3/4 cup servings.

It came out really delicious, plenty sweet from the coconut milk and candied ginger, no additional sugar was needed. I'll add a handful of nuts before eating. I divided it up into 5 containers to enjoy as a quick and hearty breakfast before working out. I thought it would be a nice diversion from the usual Larabar I have on the way out the door especially on mornings when Rob and I walk the mountain or when I walk the neighborhood.

I'll let you know how the wheat berry salad turns out.

2 comments:

  1. What is it, like oatmeal? I have read about these wheat berries before, but never tried them.

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  2. Kathleen~ More like barley than oatmeal, wheat berries are really good in savory dishes as well as slightly sweet breakfast dishes. I had the ginger porridge this morning and it was wonderful. So much more textural than plain oatmeal. Try it out!

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