Wheat Berries: Your Pantry Workhorse
I recently wrote about WHY you should add wheat berries to your stockpile. Now let’s talk about some of the delicious things you can do with them!
The obvious use is grinding them into flour and making bread with them. I’ve been playing around with different recipes and I’ve discovered that a 2/3 ratio of fresh ground flour to 1/3 of commercial flour makes a light, delicious loaf like the one shown here. Seriously – I’m lucky to have been able to snap a picture – that’s how fast my kids eat it up!
This is not to say you can’t use only your fresh ground flour to the bread – you certainly can! However, the attempts I’ve made with ONLY the wheat berry flour have been extremely dense and heavy. You can read about my semi-successful first attempt HERE. I’m working on cutting back the ratio a bit more and hopefully I can figure out how to make a tasty sandwich bread totally from fresh flour soon.
One tip: when you grind your flour sift it through a mesh strainer. You’ll be left with a wheat germ that looks a lot like cornmeal (and is a similar gritty texture). I use the wheat germ to make breaded chicken and to top casseroles. Delicious! If you leave it in with the flour, it makes your bread very dry and heavy and it feels very gritty when you’re kneading the dough.
Breakfast Wheat Berry Porridge
A big bowl of hot cereal is a great way to start the day on a cold winter morning. You can cook your wheat berries ahead of time and just heat them up in milk throughout the week. To cook wheat berries as a breakfast cereal, cook 1 cup of wheat berries in 3 cups of water for approximately 45 minutes, on low-medium heat. Drain well, top with hot milk and your other favorite hot cereal toppings.
Here, Rosie had diced apples, brown Muscavado sugar, and cinnamon on her wheat berry porridge.
For supper, you can use wheat berries in place of rice – you can ladle a stir fry over them, toss them into soup or use them in a casserole. I used up a few leftovers and made this very successful pilaf today for lunch.
Wheat Berry Pilaf
- 2 cups of uncooked wheatberries
- 6 cups of broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp of olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of garlic powder (or 1 tsp of fresh minced garlic)
- 1/4 cup of whole-berry cranberry sauce or 1/8 cup of dried cranberries
- 1 tbsp finely chopped green onion
- Combine wheat berries, broth, salt, pepper, garlic and oil in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Cook, covered for approximately 45 minutes or until the wheat berries are still firm, but tender.
- Drain the remaining cooking liquid. (This can be saved for a nutritious addition to a soup.)
- Stir in cranberry sauce and heat, stirring constantly, until warm all the way through.
- Top with green onions and serve.
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Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org