Wheat Berries: Not a Berry at All

Wheat Berries: Not a Berry at All

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  1. If you’ve ever wandered over to the bulk section of Whole Foods, I’ll bet you’ve come across a few grains you had never thought of cooking before, including wheat berries. Versatile and nutritious, I can offer a few reasons why you should give this grain a try.

    What is a wheat berry?

    A wheat berry is simply the entire wheat kernel (except for the hull of course), this includes the bran (like in raisin bran), germ (like in wheat germ) and endosperm (the part usually ground into flour for bread). This is the same whole kernel that is used to make whole-wheat flour.

    The grains look like you would expect a wheat kernel to look like- reddish brown, oblong, and hard. Once cooked, they are a little chewy and a little nutty.

    Cooking instructions

    Like most grains, wheat berries are cooked very similarly to rice. One cup of wheat berries needs 2-1/2 cups of water. They are brought to a boil, then let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

    Nutritional value

    Aside from being a whole grain that provides a lot of fiber, wheat berries have plenty of other nutritional value to offer. A serving (about a half cup, cooked) provides 6.5 grams of protein, 6 grams of dietary fiber, and vitamins B1, B3, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese and selenium.


    Wheat berries can be eaten with milk and honey as a breakfast cereal, for lunch as part of a cold salad, or for dinner in a chili. I recently used them to make a vegan chili. This is a very simple way to add more to a vegan chili than lots of beans. I made mine with wheat berries, canned tomatoes, fresh onion and peppers, black beans, pinto beans, and all the usual spices. The combination of wheat berries and beans gives your vegan chili even more protein and vitamins.

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