This recipe mixes wheat berries with fruit for an easy, whole-grain breakfast with very little fat. Wheat berries are whole wheat grains without the hull. They're pre-ground flour, in other words, full of protein, fiber, and minerals. Wheat berries cook up like a cross between brown rice and walnuts. They are chewy and toothsome, without the gooeyness of oatmeal. Here's the ditty I sing as I mix in the fruit:
Wheat berry, blueberry, banana bowl bo
makes you happy wherever you go.
Make a double batch or more of wheat berries to use in place of rice as a base, side dish, or in salads.
Wheat Berry Blueberry Banana Bowl
Active time: 7 minutes. Total time: 1 hour and 7 minutes. Makes 2 servings. Vegan, no added fat.
- 1 cup wheat berries
- 2 1/2 cups water or mild broth from chickpeas, potatoes, or basil stems
- 1/4 teaspoon salt if using water
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 banana
- 2 tablespoons sorghum or maple syrup (optional)
- Put wheat berries on a plain, contrasting plate and pick through to remove stones, stems, and any extra hulls. Pinch any hulled grains at the bottom to pop out the wheat berry. Rinse well using a rice rinser or strainer.
- Put wheat berries, water, and salt in a rice cooker and cover. (See tips below for cooking on the stove or in a slow cooker.) Let soak if desired for just a few minutes or up to 24 hours. Soaking grain reduces the cooking time a little and can be convenient depending on your schedule.
- Turn on rice cooker and let wheat berries cook for 50 minutes. Turn off heat and let coast to tenderness for another 10 minutes. Cooking them longer just makes them more tender and creamy, so don't worry about precise timing. Try a few wheat berries to make sure they easy to chew. If they aren't, then turn the rice cooker back on and cook for 5 or 10 more minutes. Drain off extra water.
- Serve cooked wheat berries hot or chilled in bowls, tossed with fruit and drizzled with sorghum or maple syrup if desired. Wheat berries keep refrigerated for 7 days or frozen for a year.
- To cook wheat berries on the stove, bring to a boil in a covered pot over high heat. Reduce heat to low so water barely boils and let simmer for 55 minutes. Turn off heat and leave pot undisturbed for 5 minutes.
- The Hillbilly Housewife cooks wheat berries in her slow cooker and even in a thermos! I bet they would cook up fine in a pressure cooker, too.
- Wheat berries have a whopping 12 grams of protein for 1/2 cup cup dried or 1 cup cooked, the serving size used in this recipe. The fruit adds another 1.25 grams of protein per serving. A cup of cooked wheat berries also gives you 12 grams of fiber and only one gram of unsaturated fat. They are loaded with B vitamins and minerals. See the Bob's Red Mill site for more wheat-berry nutrition information. Unfortunately, the USDA food database is down because of the federal shutdown that started today, so I can't share information from my usual source.
- Organic sorghum and organic maple syrup both cost about 25 cents per tablespoon. Sorghum has more calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin B-6 for strong bones and energy. I love the complex taste, too.