One of the items found in my pantry are wheat berries. Wheat berries are a true whole grain! Without these kernels there would be no flour. They are loaded with nutrients and are as easy as rice to prepare, perfect for a meal any time of the year. Did you know that raw wheat, if kept dry and free of insects, can last hundreds of years without any loss of quality or taste. Unfortunately, once wheat is ground into flour, it will last only a few days without turning rancid, which is why regular store-purchased flour is heavily bleached and full of preservatives. I started buying wheat berries more than 15 years ago even though I didn’t own a wheat grinder. I had a friend that would grind the berries for me. Eventually I purchased a wheat grinder of my own and have been happily grinding my own wheat for years.
In addition to grinding wheat berries to make flour you can also enjoy them in other ways. When they are boiled, cooked wheat berries have a chewy bite and a nutty, earthy flavor. They can be eaten as a breakfast cereal with milk and cinnamon or added to a salad or a main dish. A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron. If you Google major cooking sites like the Food Network and search “wheat berries” you’ll find at least fifty tasty suggestions that incorporate whole wheat into soups, salads, sides and main dish casseroles.
You may not be a baker but wheat berries are definitely a staple that should be in your pantry! Try serving them to your family this week. Besides grinding wheat berries for flour do you have a favorite way to enjoy them?