Whether I have a large walk in pantry with a years worth of food set by, or a much smaller pantry with only a few months of food stored, one thing you will always find in my pantry is wheat berries. Why store wheat berries you may wonder?
Making my own bread is one of the many steps I do in living a self-reliant lifestyle. Not only do I make my own bread, but I also grind my own flour using wheat berries. For the last twenty five years wheat berries have been a common household staple.
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, could 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 25 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 your 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 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 50 tasty suggestions that incorporate whole wheat into soups, salads, sides and main dish casseroles.
I hope you have been following along as we challenge ourselves to live a more self-reliant lifestyle for the entire month of January.
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Stop By & Visit The Self Reliance Challenge Bloggers…
Kathi – Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy – Nancy On The Homefront
AnnMarie – 15 Acre Homestead
Farmgal – Just another Day on the Farm
Candy – Candy’s Farm House Pantry
Kristi – Stone Family Farmstead
Marla – Organic 4 Greenlivings
Heidi – Healing Harvest Homestead
Victoria – Modern Homestead Mama
Shawna – Homegrown Self Reliance
Stephanie – Happily Homegrown
Bethany – Family Growing Pains
Dianne – Hidden Springs Homestead
Julie – The Farm Wife
Lacey – Home & Harrow
Robin – A Life in the Wild
Sheri Ann – Experimental Homesteader
Lisa Lynn – The Self Sufficient HomeAcre