Meet This Grain: Wheat Berries

by in Healthy Tips, February 24, 2009

wheat berry salad
Wheat berries are a true whole grain! You may not recognize the name, but without these kernels, there would be no flour. Wheat berries are loaded with nutrients and are as easy as rice to prepare — perfect for a meal any time of year.

What are wheat berries?
Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels. They look like thick, short grains — similar to brown rice. Industrious folks grind them into whole wheat flour for baking; you may not have the time to regularly grind your own flour, but it’s a fun thing to try at least once.

When boiled, cooked wheat berries have a chewy bite and subtle nutty, earthy flavor. They’re sturdy enough to handle bold salad dressings and still delicate enough to taste delicious with some milk, honey and cinnamon.

If you like sprouts on salads and sandwiches, add a little water to wheat berries and you can grow your own wheat sprouts.

Why are wheat berries “Healthy Eats”?
Since the wheat kernel is left intact, virtually none of the nutrients are stripped away. A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron. Tasty sprouts are loaded with vitamin E, a cell-protecting antioxidant, and magnesium, which is good for healthy bones and muscles.

What do you do with wheat berries?
Look for wheat berries at a health food store or in the natural foods section of your local supermarket.

Prepare wheat berriesin salted boiling water — just like other grains. Add cooked wheat berries to soups or even chili. Serve hot as a side dish with hearty mushrooms or cold for a satisfying salad full of flavor and whole grain goodness. Wheat berries have nutty flavor so they’re great with fresh vegetables and dried fruit such as cherries or cranberries.

Wheat berry recipes to try:


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Comments (155)

  1. Marty says:

    Where can I buy them?

  2. georgette says:

    I would like to no where to purchase wheat berries.

    • Den'e says:

      You can buy wheat berries at health food stores, and any store that sells Bob's Mill products. Our local bread store sells this product. If you want to buy in bulk look to the internet. PleasantHill Grain, and Emergency Essentials. I also get my from my local coop. Your local mill can also sell whole wheat berries.

    • Brandon says:

      As I mentioned to Marty above . . . Dodsworth Farms is a family farm in Colorado that sells hard red winter wheat berries directly to consumers. I have used it to make delicious, nutritious whole wheat bread. It's not organic but it is Non-GMO, all natural and chemical free. It also comes already vacuum sealed in like 2.5 pound bags. Their website is

  3. Rebecca Gaspard says:

    Where can I buy them. I live in Houston, Texas 77002

  4. Maria says:

    Wheat berries seem to contain 151 calories for one-half cup. Correct? Irish soda bread calls for a couple of cups…health is important, and grains important, but aren't the calories rather high? Please advise.

    • Laura says:

      Hi Maria, In regards to calories. If you figure the wheat berries would be a large part of your meal, especially if it's breakfast, then a 151 calories is a respectable number. Because they are packed with nutrients, it is a healthier way to get necessary calories. Plus they taste good!
      Happy Cooking

  5. Kristine Brabson says:

    Like Dana mentioned, look for them at your local health food store or in the supermarket’s natural foods section. Bob’s Red Mill is one brand you might find. You might want to call ahead to check if your store carries them and, if not, request that they order some.

  6. I like it and would like to order it. Thanks!

  7. Amy says:

    You can get wheat berries at Whole Foods and if you go to there salad case they have some salads already made up and they also have them on their buffet.

  8. Dana White says:

    Hi Maria – wheat berries provide good quality calories because of all the nutrients packed into them, but you are right, you don’t want to over do it. Check the servings on the bread recipe – if it makes a lot of bread, those couple of cups may not make each slice high in calories.

  9. Buffalogirl says:

    I eat these like oatmeal or farina- with skim milk and brown sugar!

  10. Connie says:

    I have been eating wheatberries for years…but I used to be able to purchase them as a kinda popped nut….like a corn nut and have not seen them sold that way in years….I loved them, especially in salads. Can you tell me where to buy them this way or how to make them myself. I soak my wheatberries now and eat them raw in salads, it is so good and nutritionally I know great…but I miss the lite crunchy popped ones. Are they baked after being soaked? I have no idea where to start to prepare them…I would be so grateful to know.
    Thank You! Connie

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