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Saturday, August 18, 2012

What are Wheat Berries?

A variety of foods made from wheat.
A variety of foods made from wheat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Cathy Roosa

Wheat berries: Not a berry at all.

On my list of grains and foods I am content to bet you only peeked at temporarily in Whole Foods, are wheat berries. Versatile and healthy, I can offer a few reasons why you need to give this grain a try.

What is a wheat berry?

A wheat berry is just the whole wheat kernel (except for the hull of course), this incorporates the bran (like in wheaties), germ (like in wheat germ) and endosperm (the part customarily pressed into flour for baking). This is the same full kernel that is utilized in making whole-wheat flour.

The grains look like you would expect a wheat kernel to look like- red brown, oblong, and hard. Once prepared, they're tiny, chewy and a mildly nutty.

Cooking instructions

Like most grains, wheat berries are prepared extraordinarily similarly to rice. One cup of wheat berries requires 2-1/2 cups of water. They're brought to the boil, then let cook for 45 minutes to an hour.

Nutritional value

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


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

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