Warning: I’ve fallen in love with soaking. I may never cook again.
Ok, that’s not true, but I don’t think it’s possible to find an easier grain to prep than wheat berries. First of all, they are so freakin’ cheap. How can you resist a meal that’s main component is under a dollar. Not to mention how good for you they are, too!
- Unlike refined wheat (a process in which the germ and bran layers are removed), wheat berries maintain all three of their parts (the germ/seed, the bran, and the endosperm).
- Because they are a whole unprocessed grain, the entire wheat kernel, with all it’s vitamins, minerals, protein, and FIBER is available.
- Consuming wheat berries in their whole state provides the body with higher concentrations of vitamins A, E, B1, B2, B3, magnesium, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, and iron.
- Vitamin B is a key nutrient for those with plant-based diets and Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects fat cells (i.e. cholesterol) from damage by free radicals. <— Precursor to heart disease!!
- They are also an excellent source of fiber (as opposed to milled [read: processed] wheat, in which the bran layer of the grain has been removed, leaving little to no fiber.
- Fiber from whole grains (like wheat berries) and fruit is also correlated with a reduced risk of breast cancers (I figured I should include this stat since it IS breast cancer awareness month after all…)
- Wheat berries also contain plant lignans which have enough health benefits to warrant an entire essay…they contribute create good flora in the GI tract and have been linked to a 29% reduction in cardiovascular disease, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
I could go on and on and on! I spy with my little eye…the start of an obsession?
Just like soaking nuts, the only requirements for these is water and time.
After a day and night soaking, I rinsed the wheat berries and they were ready for my lunch dish. This may seem obvious, but the grains expand in the water, so my 1/3 cup of dry grains ended up yielding approximately 1/2 cup post-soaking.
*After 12-16 hours of soaking, you may want to refrigerate the wheatberries if you aren’t going to use them, otherwise they will start to sprout (not that there’s anything wrong with sprouting the grain).
Wheatberry Wow Salad
- 1/2 cup (soaked) wheatberries (can be purchased in bulk bins as Hard Red Winter Wheat)
- 1/2 avocado, cubed
- 1/2 peach, cubed
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp OragnicVille stone ground mustard
- 1 tbsp Chobani plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp agave nectar
Combine salad ingredients in a bowl and then add dressing.
The nutty, chewy texture of the wheatberries was such a great contrast to the fruit and avocado. And the vinegar dressing had a nice acidity that complimented the salad’s ingredients.
Wow. Definitely a repeat-worthy dish.