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Wheat Berries



A Wheat Berry is a wheat grain stripped of its outer hull to leave just the whole kernel. When cooked, they have a "tender to the bite" texture and a nutty taste.

The health-happies will order Wheat Berries in large quantities from mail-order suppliers and grind an amount up fresh each week to make their own whole-wheat flour.

You cook them as you would other grains used as side-dishes, such as rice, bulgur wheat, etc. Mixed with legumes (e.g. beans), you can make a complete protein dish for your vegetarian friends. In fact, you may wish to cook these lots for your vegetarian friends, boiling them down into a very nutritious gruel.

You can also use cooked Wheat Berries in salads, soups, meat loaves, or as added texture in breads.

Cooking Tips

Raw Wheat Berries really can't be consumed just as is, with no preparation, unless you are prepared to chew for days and risk cracking a tooth.

They must either be ground into flour, sprouted, or boiled.

To cook, boil Wheat Berries in 4 times as much water as berries (e.g. 1 cup Wheat Berries, 4 cups of water). Boil for 60 to 70 minutes, topping up with water as needed. You can reduce cooking time to 50 to 60 minutes if you pre-soak overnight; you can boil in the water you soaked them in. They are cooked when tender; then drain. You can speed up cooking time further by cooking in a pressure cooker (try 1 cup / 180g / 6 oz of Wheat Berries, 4 1/4 cups (34 oz / 1 litre) of water, 1 tbsp butter or oil; cook for 35 to 45 minutes, high pressure).

Whether you boil or pressure cook, you can try replacing the water with stock; some say that Wheat Berries don't absorb the liquid as well if there is salt in the water or stock, but if you find that's the case, you can probably get around that by just topping up with water and cooking a few more minutes.

To sprout, soak overnight in cool water. The next day, drain thoroughly, but leave the kernels moist. Spread out on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warmish place (but not hot, and not in sunlight, either.) The next day, rinse them, drain, and spread back out on a plate covered with plastic wrap in a warmish place. Repeat daily until they have sprouts about the length of the kernels. Then use as directed in recipe.

Substitutes

Bulgur Wheat; Brown Rice, Oat Groats

Nutrition

Same as for whole wheat.


Equivalents

Wheat berries will double in volume when cooked, so 1 part uncooked Wheat Berries will equal 2 parts cooked Wheat Berries

1 pound (450g) uncooked Wheat Berries = 2 1/2 cups uncooked = 5 cups cooked
1 cup uncooked Wheat Berries = 6 oz/ 180g

Storage Hints

Even though Wheat Berries contain the bran of the wheat, which by itself can go rancid quickly, Wheat Berries store very well until ground. You can cook a lot up at once and freeze batches for ready use.

See also:

Wheat

Alpha Amylase; Bulgur Wheat; Cracked Wheat; Durum Wheat; Emmer; Hard Wheat; Maslin; Plain Flour; Seitan; Soft Wheat; Spring Wheat; Wheat Berries; Wheat Bran; Wheat Flakes; Wheat Germ; Wheatena; Wheat; Winter Wheat

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Citation

Oulton, Randal. "Wheat Berries." CooksInfo.com. Published 07 September 2002; revised 21 September 2010. Web. Accessed 12/16/2017. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/wheat-berries>.

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