I recently discovered wheatberries, and I’m in love. Not only do they have a great texture & nutty flavour, but they are a whole grain! This means they include all 3 parts of the grain – the germ, bran & endosperm (only the inedible hull is removed), which are usually removed during processing to make white & whole wheat flour. As a result, wheatberries retain all their vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals: B vitamins, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium and lignans (“phytochemicals thought to guard against breast and prostate cancers” Leslie Beck Nutrition)
Choose whole grains whenever possible as they:
-help you feel full longer, which can help maintain your weight
-are high in fibre
-low in calories (1/2 cup of cooked wheat berries is only 111 calories)
-full of vitamins & minerals, which help prevent diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease & cancer
-great for digestion
It’s easy to incorporate whole grains in your diet. For example, have homemade cereal, muesli or oatmeal for breakfast, choose quinoa or brown rice instead of white rice, whole wheat or brown rice pasta and spelt gnocchi (spelt is another type of whole grain) instead of white pasta.
On Sunday I made a delish wheatberry salad adapted from a blog called Drop It and Eat. The recipe makes 12, and I stuck to it because I wanted leftovers for Monday so I didn’t have to cook. We ended up getting 2 dinners and 2 lunches out of it, and didn’t get sick of it. We served this as a side dish to an amazing Smoked Salmon & Asparagus Frittata (that recipe will follow shortly).
Sweet & Crunchy Wheatberry Salad
2 cups of wheatberries (I bought the Hard Red Spring type)
4 celery stocks
1-2 bell peppers (buy local – they’re in season right now!)
½ cup of almonds (chopped)
½ cup of pumpkin seeds (high in zinc & so good for you!)
¾ cup of
dried cranberries raisins (more nutritional value!)
¼ cup red wine vinegar (can also use apple cidar vinegar)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup Orange Juice
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
Combine 2 cups of wheatberries with 5 cups of water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes for al dente. If you like them softer; cook for an hour (1 cup of wheat berries to 2 ½ cups of water).
While your berries are cooking; chop your veg & almonds, measure out all your ingredients and whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.
When the wheatberries are cooked, transfer them to a large bowl, stir in all your ingredients (including dressing) and stir to combine. You can serve this salad at room temp or put it in the fridge and serve cold later. Enjoy!