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.

DSCF8809

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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. Combine wheat berries, broth, salt, pepper, garlic and oil in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook, covered for approximately 45 minutes or until the wheat berries are still firm, but tender.
  3. Drain the remaining cooking liquid.  (This can be saved for a nutritious addition to a soup.)
  4. Stir in cranberry sauce and heat, stirring constantly, until warm all the way through.
  5. 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 daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

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16 Comments  to  Wheat Berries: Your Pantry Workhorse

  1. Howard says:

    Simple cracked wheat cereal makes a great breakfast.

  2. chicken pimp says:

    My favorite use for wheat …homebrewed hefeweizen. Liquid bread. Beer is proof God loves us and wants to be happy. Ben Franklin

  3. chicken pimp says:

    My favorite use for wheat …homebrewed hefeweizen. Liquid bread. Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy. Ben Franklin

  4. Gotta try the porridge…looks yummy!

    • Daisy says:

      It’s totally delicious, Andrew! Just flavor it however you like your oatmeal. :)

      Daisy

      • beth says:

        thanks for these ideas. i’ve only made salads and flour and occasional chicken treats with the berries, so this broadens the pallate!
        also a few tips, if you double grind the flour, you can break up some of the germ more to utilize this great protien in your bread (which helps feed the yeast as well), and also i’ve found a great recipe for completely whole wheat bread i’ve used with freshly milled flour. according to the recipe, which was no different than most whole wheat bread recipes (which have all turned to edible bricks in my house, i.e. chicken treats!) the writer swears the success is using cold water. use some warm water to activate the yeast, but add the rest cold. also in this recipe you work the oil/ butter in while kneading the bread about 1/2 through. made a wonderful soft loaf, and pizza crust too.
        i’m presently experimenting with spelt as well.

  5. Tina says:

    I discovered a bread recipe using all whole wheat flour (no white added) that rises beautifully and is light and fluffy!! I think the trick is adding about a tbsp. of gluten (per 2 loaf batch of bread), as well as a tbsp. of dough enhancer (made with 1 cup lecithin granules, 1 tbsp. vitamin C powder, and 1 tbsp. ground ginger).

    • Daisy says:

      Thank you, Tina! I will look into that! My whole wheat bread is tasty but could be used as a bludgeon in a pinch! :)

      Daisy

  6. TomRakaKulafarmer says:

    you can grow wheat grass from wheat berries,,, is a nutritious green for eating raw, or stir fries or juicing, a buddy of mine was down and out so was making do with his preps, was sprouting wheat berries, and making tortillas with ground wheat berries, sauted the steamed berries and making burritos with the steamed wheat berries, the wheat grass sprouts a little cholula sauce rolled up in those rustic wheat flour wraps,,told me he had been eating those for 3 months adding in whatever venison or wild pork he caught, a bit rough but better than nothing,,

  7. Steve says:

    Hey they turn into ‘wheat grass’ increasing their nutrition, at no energy cost.
    Steve

  8. Summer P says:

    If your rice cooker has a brown rice setting, the wheat berries will cook up beautifully in there. They are indeed delightful for breakfast. And I can’t wait to try the pilaf for Thanksgiving!

  9. Canada Canuk says:

    So glad I found this recipe section on wheat berries….as I have a lot of them! will be eating the breakfast cereal tomorrow, and will definately try the pilif….my biggest goal though is to buy a grinder…real soon. Thanx Daisy, CC

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