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. kela says:

    Try cooked whole wheat kernals with a handful of chopped walnuts and a bit of sugar. yum!

  2. Becky says:

    I finally found them in the organic food section at HyVee. How much dry do I boil for 1-1/2 cups of cooked wheatberries?

  3. Cindy Levine says:

    Where can I buy hard white, hard red and soft wheat in the Houston Texas area?

  4. Denise says:

    you can order them on-line, I do at Messa Organics, their rice is fablious also, they are in the Chico, CA area.

  5. Chris says:

    I like to get mine at Whole Foods (I don't know if they are nation wide? I know they are plentiful out here in the west) when I need them quick. If you can wait to have them shipped, buy them online. There are tons to choose from. I recently got some from They weren't the cheapest but they were the biggest I've ever gotten anywhere else. Or they have a good selection too.

  6. Penny says:

    Just google wheat berries… can buy them from among other places.

  7. Sue says:

    All the recipies I have seen call for cooked Wheat berry. Can you use them raw in Muesli? If so, does anyone have a recipe?

  8. Denise Flo says:

    I boiled a batch of wheatberries yesterday and stuck them in the fridge overnight.

    Today, I stir fried some kale, mushrooms, green onions, dried cranberries and tofu with a dash of curry, some splashes of Bragg's aminos & a little bit of apple juice. I put some of the cold wheatberries into a bowl and topped them them with the stiry fry.

    Excellent 10 minute meal!

  9. Kim says:

    So where do the wheat berries fall on the glycemic index?

  10. Lissa says:

    I've seen it fall any where between 30-45 on the GI depending on the type of wheat.

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