February 12, 2010

Wheat Berries…Wheat What?

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When I mention Wheat Berries, most people say, “Wheat what?!? I thought there was only strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.”

A wheatberry or wheat berry is the kernel of wheat. It's what gets ground up to make whole wheat flour. I could go into a long, boring definition for you, but I won't. A lot of people wonder what to do with their wheat storage, so I thought I would share some ideas!

This is a photo of the hard wheat kernals before they were soaked.
To make wheat berries soft and chewy, you soak the hard wheat kernel. Most people boil the wheat kernals for 1 hour to soften them. Some people soak the wheat kernals overnight. I cook them in my rice cooker just like do my rice, then soak them for a few hours. Wheat berries are also called “steamed wheat” in some recipes. The have sort of a nutty flavor and look like this:

Use about 2 1/2 cups of water for 1 cup of wheat berries. If you are boiling them, you may need to add water to prevent it from scorching. Then, rinse until the water runs clear.
Things you can do with Wheat Berries:
*Substitute them for rice in most recipes.
*Cook them in chicken broth or vegetable juice to make them more flavorful.
*Add cooked wheat berries to soups or even chili.
*Soak overnight and cook in the morning instead of oatmeal.
*Add a little water to wheat berries and you can grow your own wheat sprouts for salads or sandwiches.
*They taste great with fresh vegetables, raw or cooked.
*Add them to dried fruit such as cherries or cranberries.
Here are two really fun recipes I found for wheat berries.

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