A wheat berry is a whole wheat kernel, composed of the bran, germ, and endosperm.
The outer layer of the wheat berry is called the bran, which contains fiber, B vitamins and other minerals. The germ is the plant’s embryo. The endosperm is the germ’s source of nutrition and contains protein and carbohydrates. Whole grain wheat flour contains all three parts of the kernel, while enriched flour only contains the endosperm.
As enriched flour is milled, some nutrients lost in the milling process are added back to the flour, along with additional nutrients like iron and folic acid. This fortified flour is the top source of folic acid in women of child-bearing age and has contributed to reducing neural tube defect rates by 36 percent.
Wheat berries are tan to reddish brown color and are available as either a hard or soft grain. Normally the grain kernels are milled into flour, but you will be surprised at the number of ways in which the cooked berries themselves can be used in recipes. Look for wheat berries at a health food store, in the natural foods section of your local supermarket, or online.
As a whole grain they’re loaded with nutrients. A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with vitamins, fiber, protein and iron.
Wheat berries are versatile enough to eat at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Cooked wheat berries have a chewy bite and subtle nutty, earthy flavor.
- Use as a hot breakfast cereal with milk, honey and cinnamon
- Add them to salads or use in baked goods to add a crunchy texture
- Use as you would rice
- Add cooked wheat berries to soups or even chili
- Serve hot as a side dish
Wheat berries are as easy as rice to prepare.
Source: Wheat Foods Council
Author: Marsha Boswell