* Wheat Berry

August 10, 2007

 

I recently tried the wheat berry salad in Whole Food store. It was made from wheat berries, raisin, honey, almond chips and a little bit of parsley and honey. It reminded me the salad which we had back in Ukraine for Orthodox Easter. Just we had it with crashed poppy seeds and a little bit of cream.What are wheat berries?A wheat berry is actually the unprocessed wheat seed, also known as the kernel. Wheat berries contain the whole grain — endosperm, bran and germ — and that’s what makes them so healthful. They contain all of the fiber, protein, carbohydrates, iron as well as many B-complex, minerals, and phytonutrients that are removed during the refinement.
The bran makes up nearly 15 percent of the wheat berry. It’s included in whole-wheat flour, but not regular flour. You can find wheat berries in health-food stores.
Some guidelines for cooking wheat berries call for soaking them overnight, but often you can just cook them for an hour or two to get the same result. The more they’re cooked, the softer they get,
personally I like a nutty, crunchy texture.
Recipes with wheat berries you can always find on the Internet; you might find the wheat berry salad I recently enjoyed, as well
as other salads and ideas.If you have gluten tolerance, you probably can not enjoy the Wheat Berries dishes. Wheat allergy occurs when there is an allergic reaction to gluten (the protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats). Gluten refers to a group of proteins that are difficult for humans to digest.

For these who want to try the salad, I found that recipe on wholefoodsmarket.com

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad
From The Whole Foods Market Cookbook

Wheat berries are the mother grain from which pasta, bread, and flour are
derived. Most of us have never tasted the true flavor of wheat. Little wheat
berries pack a nutlike flavor and are pleasantly chewy. Use a crunchy, firm,
sweet-tart apple (such as a Granny Smith or Gala) for this salad. Lemon juice
and vinegar keep chopped apples from darkening so you may make this salad the
day before serving. Try substituting dried apples for the fresh ones for another
flavor variation.

Serves 8

  • 2 cups wheat berries
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 medium apples, unpeeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup lemon juiceSoak the wheat berries at least 6 to 8 hours or overnight in water to cover by a couple of inches. Drain the water, and set aside.
    In a saucepan, bring the 7 cups water to a boil. Add the soaked wheat berries and turn down to a simmer, uncovered, for about 50 minutes or until they are totally cooked through. Wheat berries retain a firm, chewy texture when cooked. Drain the water and set aside to cool.
    When cool, transfer the wheat berries to a large mixing bowl and add the walnuts, apples, raisins, parsley, apple cider vinegar, apple juice, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix everything together thoroughly. Add more salt if necessary and serve.Enjoy, and be healthy!
  • -Irina, NC
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