Who loves whole grains? *raises hand*
Like many folks I’m sure, the main grains represented in my diet for most of my life consisted of rice and bread, usually of the white variety. While my family switched to whole wheat bread when I was in high school, and brown rice eventually found its way into my meals, my grains were largely limited to these varieties. Over the past few years I’ve been making a conscious effort to broaden my whole grains scope. One big change was adding quinoa to my diet when I made stir-fry’s in place of rice, and I still want to buy grains such as barley and kamut so I can experiment at home. But one grain in particular has stolen my heart – wheatberries!
Now yes, I do realize that wheatberries are where bread comes from, so it’s not a huge stretch. But eating entirely-unprocessed wheat has marked a significant change in the way I normally enjoy this grain – and for the better! Wheatberries are loaded with fiber and also have a good amount of protein and potassium. But who cares about that – how do they taste? In a word, amazing. Cooked wheatberries have a fun chewy texture, and also a simple flavor made good with a touch of salt or a bit of sweetener.
Cooking wheatberries takes about the same amount of time as cooking dry beans. You soak your wheatberries overnight in a saucepan, drain, then cook in fresh water for an hour, until the grains split and they’re chewy. I buy my wheatberries in bulk (much cheaper), but if you buy a packaged variety, check to see if they’re pre-soaked or not – if they are, this means you can leave out the soaking step. Wheatberries keep pretty well, so I always make a big batch and keep it in the fridge for various meals.
So you’ve got these wheatberries now – how should you eat them? Here are some of my favorite ways/ideas …
-Making a pre-workout breakfast with 1/2 cup a wheatberries, PB, agave nectar, almond milk, and ground flax (a variation on eHow’s power cereal)
-Another breakfast: having a bowl of wheatberries with a handful of chopped walnuts and a drizzle of pure maple syrup (you can add bananas to this as well!)
-Using some wheatberries in place of rice for a stir-fry
-Adding wheatberries to a veggie wrap or tortilla
-Throwing wheatberries into a salad
What are some of your favorite ways to prepare/eat wheatberries?