A Wheatberry Lesson

IMG_1393 (640x427) (2)

IMG_1394 (640x427) (2)

Wikipedia for technical info

I buy “hard red winter wheat” (I think that’s what they’re called) at Whole Foods in the bulk foods section. Check your local health foods store – and ask if you can’t find them. Mine are 150 kcal per 1/4 cup dry. Bob’s Red Mill also makes a line, which you can order online or maybe find in a store.

A long time ago I got tired of overnight soaking and long simmers, so now I just do an abbreviated method to cook wheatberries and it seems to work just fine!

I cover them in water like you would pasta

IMG_1402 (640x427) (2)

And then bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 26 minutes. They’re pretty darn chewy, so you could give them another +10 minutes if you want them more tender, but who wants to wait that long :-)

Drain them 90% (because they will dry out if you don’t leave a litttle water) and chomp down.

IMG_1409 (640x427) (2)

IMG_1413 (640x427) (2)

To Store:

Put in tupperware, cook and use within 7-10 days or so.

DSC04105

I also weighed them before and after to get an accurate nutritional profile to keep in mine for portion control.

1 tablespoon = appx. 20 kcal.

1/4 cup = appx. 60 kcal.

Enjoy stirred into oatmeal and yogurt, as a cold salad with veggies, or just to chew plain

dsc09150.JPG

{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karla May 29, 2008 at 5:12 pm

thanks for this, i had been wondering for awhile…
p.s. i love your blog!

Reply

2 Sarah June 23, 2008 at 11:24 am

i just bought wheatberries for the first time after hearing your rave reviews and i’m really excited to use them! i was just wondering when you add them to your oatmeal—do you put them in at the start with the oats just stir them at the end when everything is done cooking?

Reply

3 Kath June 23, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Sarah ,
I stir them in towards the end of cooking just to heat through, since they are already cooked and stored in my fridge. Have fun with ‘em!

Kath

Reply

4 Rose June 29, 2008 at 9:03 pm

Hi Kath – I, too, just bought my first bag of wheat berries from Whole Foods the other day after being inspired by your blog! I’m excited to cook them and starting adding them to different foods.

-Rose

Reply

5 Kath June 29, 2008 at 9:10 pm

Rose,
Awesome!! Enjoy all the chewing!

Kath

Reply

6 natalie July 13, 2008 at 12:52 pm

Kath is it 60 cal’s for 1/4 cooked?

Reply

7 Kath July 13, 2008 at 1:26 pm

natalie ,
Yes, that’s what my calculations reported.

Kath

Reply

8 M September 10, 2008 at 7:47 pm

ohh.. I have wheatberries that I bought for a salad. Never thought to add them to oats :)

Reply

9 Justy2003 October 11, 2008 at 9:00 pm

I’ll FINALLY get to try wheatberries tomorrow! I’m planning on boiling them tomorrow to have for the week :)
How long do you usually let them simmer?

Reply

10 Kath October 11, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Justy2003 ,
Hooray!!!!!!! 30 minutes for more chewy, 45 until less chewy. I like them more :)

K

Reply

11 Erin November 16, 2008 at 5:31 pm

I’ve been waiting to make these and they finally started selling them in the bulk foods section at my store :) Thanks for keeping pages like this up for reference.

Reply

12 Sue December 2, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Hi Kath-
I just called Whole Foods to ask about wheatberries. I was told that cracked wheatberries are actually bulger, but that they do have whole wheatberries. Will whole wheatberries be similar to what you use? Thanks!!!

Reply

13 Kath December 2, 2008 at 1:43 pm

Sue,
I use the whole ones – “hard red winter wheat.” That’s what you want!

K

Reply

14 Sue December 3, 2008 at 7:33 am

Thanks, that is what I bought. By the by, I made your Coconut Almond Granola last night. It is by far the best granola that I have ever had! The rest of my family likes it as well, so we will no longer be buying granola in a box.

Sue

Reply

15 Kruti January 29, 2009 at 10:01 pm

K+M…..Wheatberry Decoded…Good Job!!

Reply

16 audrey February 2, 2009 at 10:54 am

Hey kath! I’ve been a faithful silent reader for a while, thanks for all your great recipes and food ideas.

I’ve finally tried wheat berries and as expected from your posts, they have proved to be the best mix-in in about everything! One question, do you know know what 1/4 cup cooked wheat berries comes in up in grams (approx)? Thank you!

audrey

Reply

17 Kath February 2, 2009 at 10:59 am

audrey ,
Sorry, I don’t know the grams. I can try to measure for you the next time I make them. The water content will probably affect that slightly, but you should be able to estimate.

Kath

Reply

18 audrey February 2, 2009 at 11:52 am

Thank you for the quick response!
No worries if you don’t remember, i was just curious to know the equivalence from your above calculations.

Reply

19 Jennifer February 23, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Thanks! I have had mine in the freezer for like 6 months now not knowing how to cook them.

I didn’t want to make a lot since I will be probably the only one eating them and I just wanted to have some to put in my oatmeal.

I have ground the uncooked wheatberrie and added them to pancake batter, cookie batter, and muffin batter. I have no idea if you get any nutrtional value from it since its uncooked, but figured what the hay?

I ground up 1/4 cup and add them to any kind of batter you like.

Reply

20 LauraGrace March 12, 2009 at 1:16 pm

I love using wheat berries, and any kind of whole grain really. So much more nourishing. :)
Here’s another fun and wholesome way to use wheat berries:

Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes:

1.5 c. milk
1 c. dry wheat berries
1 egg
1 T. honey
2 T. canola oil
.25 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
2 t. baking soda

1. Pour milk and wheat berries into blender, and blend on high for 4-5 minutes. (Warning: This is *really* loud, so don’t count using this for a surprise breakfast in bed…)
2. Add remaining ingredients and pulse to combine.
3. Cook on hot, lightly oiled griddle/pan. Serve hot!

Reply

21 LauraGrace March 12, 2009 at 1:17 pm

oops, the last two ingredients should be:

1 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder

Reply

22 kel June 27, 2009 at 2:35 pm

great blog and GREAT PHOTOG skills on this wheatberry posting, BTW.

interesting perspective, sharp, great color, tone (i think)…I’m a newbie, but know a nice photo when I see one. Of course, this is all subjective, but your oatmeal photos were quite breathtaking, as well.

Just curious, what type of camera do you use?

thanks.

Reply

23 Ken July 10, 2009 at 12:59 am

I am a newbie (1 year) making my own breads, canning beans, stews, tomatoes, jams, jellies, etc, and having a ball. Now, I want to start grinding my own wheat flour so that I can store the grains, and grind the flour when needed. I am surfing the net trying to find the best prices I can on bulk quantities of hard red wheat berries, but the shipping costs are sky high. Right now I buy wheat flour at Walmart, 5 pounds, 4.86, and I can’t seem to even meet that price ordering bulk grains. Not many places in Southern California to buy bulk wheat. Any ideas? I want to become self-reliant and ready for the BIG ONE when it hits.

Reply

24 Kath July 10, 2009 at 8:11 am

Ken ,
Have you tried asking some of the natural foods stores in your area if you can purchase wheatberries in bulk through them? I know some stores in Charlotte will do that if you order a large enough amount.

Kath

Reply

25 Aelmy October 14, 2009 at 11:06 am

So, I’ve seen on several different websites that 1/4 cup of cooked wheatberries are 160 calories! Did you mean to put a 1 in front of this?? I’m thinking this isn’t going to be good at all for my weight loss…

Reply

26 Kath October 14, 2009 at 11:48 am

Aelmy,
Are you sure you don’t mean 1/4 cup uncooked? I got my above estimations using weight and a food scale, but they could be off. But 60 per 1/4 cup cooked does fit more in with rice and other grains.

Kath

Reply

27 BB October 29, 2009 at 2:55 pm

*LOVE* wheatberries. They go great with baby spinach and crumbled goat cheese for a salad.

Reply

28 brightKaye October 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Do you have any recipes for a wheatberry salad? Thanks!!!

Reply

29 Kath October 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm
30 Jessica November 29, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I just got gifted a big vacuum-sealed bag of wheatberries from my mom’s boyfriend. His friends own a wheat farm and they included them with the two roaster chickens I got (only 71 miles away!). So happy that you have instructions on what to do with them :)

Reply

31 Andrea March 14, 2011 at 12:15 am

Hi there,

Love your recipe ideas. I see you don’t recommend soaking the wheat berries in an acid medium such as whey or buttermilk to help people with grain allergies. I have been using Nourishing Traditions’ philosophy for preparing my grains and can eat any grains now without symptoms. What do you know about this and what is your experience? Thanks!

Reply

32 KathEats March 14, 2011 at 7:10 am

I’ve never had a digestion problem, so I haven’t found the need to soak them.

Reply

33 Kelly March 16, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I have a question about portion sizes here. I know that a 1/4 cup dry is what the nutrition information is for on the label. But what does 1/4 cup dry equate to when cooked?

Reply

34 Kath March 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm

I’m honestly not quite sure. I’d just cook 1/4 a cup and measure when you’re done?

Reply

35 Jewels April 28, 2011 at 8:51 am

Have you ever tried cooking them in a rice cooker. Just wonder if that would work at all and what proportions.

Reply

36 KathEats April 28, 2011 at 8:55 am

I don’t have a rice cooker, so I am not sure, but I’m sure it can be done!

Reply

37 Jewels April 28, 2011 at 8:59 am

Holy crap! That was the fastest response to a blog post EVER! Thank you. I just bought a massive bag of wheatberries and have never cooked them before. I’m catering a soup-salad-bread lunch in June and thought it would be nice to have a wheatberry salad. I’ll experiment with the rice cooker in the meanwhile. Anything to lesson the prep when catering :) You should definitely invest in a rice cooker!! Thanks so much and I’ll let you know if it works!

Reply

38 Anita May 3, 2011 at 7:43 pm

does anyone use salt in the water? I usually make them with chick peas and olive oil. you can make it soupy or kind of dry. i will try them in oat meal though. thanks for everything.

Reply

39 leslee May 22, 2011 at 7:19 pm

It’s so fun & refreshing to read so many people interested in healthy food..way to go Americans. Baby steps toward a healthy next generation…we can do it!

Reply

40 Nissi September 26, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Could you let me know where I can buy wheat berries in bulk (25-50 lbs)? Thanks.

Reply

41 Nissi September 26, 2011 at 3:37 pm

In Charlotte? I forgot to add that.

Reply

42 KathEats September 26, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I don’t really know – either EarthFare or perhaps the Great Harvest there

Reply

43 Samantha September 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Just for clarification,according to eatingwell.com 1/2 cup of cooked wheatberries is 150kcal. Made a big pot last night to add to chili!

Reply

44 KathEats September 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Thanks!

Reply

45 Paige @ Healthy Hits the Spot October 8, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Thank you for this! I have been wondering what “wheat berries” were for so long! I will have to try them : )

Reply

46 Sarah October 31, 2011 at 4:01 am

Thank you :) I have been looking for this information EVERYWHERE!

Reply

47 Carol January 1, 2012 at 10:06 am

And another thanks that you had this information still on your website. I searched everywhere for accurate nutritional information about cooked versus dry wheatberries. I only found your blog recently, and am enjoying it greatly. :-)

Reply

48 Kristen March 25, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Hi there! I love you site. I also love wheatberries and all whole grain products in general. I just wanted to leave a comment regarding the importance of soaking. My research led me to believe that soaking grains is good for two reasons. First, it can help digestion. Though not all of us have a problem there, myself included. Second, and, I believe more importantly, it reduces the phytic acid content. All grains, nuts and seeds contain phytic acid. Phytic acid interferes with mineral absorbtion (calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc) because we lack the enzyme to break it down. This means that the phytic acid binds with those minerals and they pass unabsorbed through the intestine. Of course I want to absorb those minerals from my bowls of whole grain goodness! Soaking in a acid medium (vinegar, lemon juice) helps breakdown the phytic acid. But a warm water soak alone helps too – I know I don’t always love my breakfast to have a hint of vinegar/lemon! Though I don’t mind if I’m, say, making a pilaf out of my whole grains. Besides adding an acid, I’ve also read that complimentary grain soaking helps. Grinding up some wheatberries and adding it to your oat soak will help break down the phytic acid because wheat has a higher content of the phytase enzyme.

This is just a little “fyi” based on what I’ve read. If you have read or learned differently regarding this topic, please share! I’m always looking for good information when it comes to getting the best nutrition from foods.

Reply

49 JM May 27, 2012 at 8:45 am

I did not get any clear advice on where to buy bulk Wheat Berries. So, here it is. HoneyvilleFarms.com $47.99 for Hard Red Wheat Berries with $4.99 shipping. Yes, four dollars.
Do you sprout them? If you soak them in water as if you are sprouting than plant them you will have wheat grass. Just do a google “Wheat Grass Juicing” Are you in NC? I’m looking to move to SC. Was in LA for 15 years and had to get out. Too many people and too many “rules” currently in Suburbia NY. Peace.

Reply

50 KathEats May 27, 2012 at 8:49 am

You can find them at bulk stores like Whole Foods or natural foods stores. I don’t sprout them – I boil them. I live in Virginia!

Reply

51 JM May 27, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Hey there – thanks for getting back. I ordered online less than $1.00 per lb. You got me going with this. I’m planning on growing the Grass and juicing as well as cooking. How long do you usually boil for? Is this a “Gluten Free food?”

Reply

52 Ev June 4, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Hi,
I followed your recipe for wheatberries, I loved them. I put them in yogurt with fresh fruit. The first day, I had no problem then on the 3rd day I got a stomach ache, I had read your warning so firgured it was coming. I have continued to have a few each day but yesterday I don’t know if I ate to many or why but I got a horrible stomach ache again. Everytime I eat them I do not get a stomach ache, but twice and the second was much worse than the first, did I eat to many at one time, or did I not cook them long enough? Do you know what I’m doing wrong. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!
Love your site!!!!!!!!!!

Reply

53 KathEats June 4, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Hey Ev,
I really have no idea, maybe you are sensitive to wheat or just adding too much fiber too soon?

Reply

54 Ev June 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Thank you for the fast reply.
I was afraid I was not cooking it long enough, but maybe it is I’m adding to much too soon…. I really liked the flavor so I ate more than I should to start. I will try small amounts, and wait before increasing.

Reply

55 Jim Jones July 6, 2012 at 12:47 am

Wonderful I eat it 2-3 times a week and love it!!

Don’t forget to join the love!
https://www.facebook.com/VeganBodyStyle

Reply

56 Colin November 28, 2012 at 10:45 am

Hi Kath. Got this recipe for a health bread, it requires wheat berries but i cant get any here where i stay. I can get whole wheat flour which I am told is the same product just milled. My problem is in the qauntities needed. 1 cup of wheat berries would make how much flour? Would appreciate your help.

Thanks

Reply

57 KathEats November 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I’d have to mill them to know… I’m not sure what the conversion would be

Reply

58 Donna Richmond January 27, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I get my organic whole sprouted grains from toyourhealth.com. It’s a family run business in Fitzpatrick, Alabama. They have very fresh products. I have ordered both the sprouts and ground flour with good results for bread, cooking, ect.. They aren’t cheap but fresher than whole foods. Keep in freezer 6 months, frig 1 month. Vitamix grinds well 2 cups at a time or you can cook them. recipes online and on the bags.

Reply

59 Panzig February 7, 2013 at 4:11 am

I just found your blog and have learned alot from you and your readers- thanks!
Question- have you dry canned your wheat berries via the stove, or heard of it? I’ve read where people freeze the wheat buds for a week to kill any bugs/larvae that may be on the wheat, My question is,when the wheat is dry canned in the oven, doesn’t that take care of the little critters? Does this process compromise the nutrients I’m hoping to preserve? I’ve read the berries will have a shelf life of 20+ years when stored this way.

Reply

60 KathEats February 7, 2013 at 8:14 am

I haven’t heard of this before

Reply

61 Janette February 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Hi!!
Love your blog and Love love and love some more Charlottesville. I live in Fredericksburg and my husband and I love to visit… anyways, I bought a bag of wheatberries awhile ago and didn’t know what to do with it or how to cook it. I search online and someone recommended using a slow cooker, so I did. It turnes out I left them too long, they didn’t keep their form. So what I did was to make a soup like “thing” and it came out really good. My husband who is very particular about what he eats, ate some and said, “mmm this is good” so he ended up eating the rest.

Reply

62 Stacey April 9, 2013 at 12:38 pm

So glad I happened upon this post! I have been toying around with the idea of trying wheatberries for a while now, but never knew how to prepare them or what I would do with them once they’re prepared. This prep seems easy enough, and your post encouraged me to research different ways to incorporate them into different meals! Thanks :)

Reply

63 Lucy April 24, 2013 at 4:06 am

I stumbled across this post a while back and thought i’d give it a try because that bowl of yogurt, wheatberries and rasberrys sure did look tasty. Took me a couple efforts to get it to the perfect chewyness and when i did.. i was taken back by just how good it tasted… a fruit salad with fat free yogrut and wheatberries is now hands down one of my favourite desserts.

Reply

64 Emily S December 6, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Hey Kath – if I cook a cup and a half of wheatberries, is 26-36 minutes cooking time still appropriate?

Reply

65 KathEats December 6, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Yes because they have to still cook through

Reply

66 Carol January 18, 2014 at 1:51 pm

What is the difference between hard red winter wheat and whole grain wheat?

Reply

67 KathEats January 18, 2014 at 2:15 pm

hard red winter wheat is a type of whole wheat

Reply

68 Ruth coleman February 2, 2014 at 10:55 am

We bought some wheat berries. I tried my cuisenart food processor and couldn’t get them to grind at all? Why?

Reply

69 LaJean March 1, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Does anyone know how many “carbohydrates” are in cooked wheatberries? I am diabetic and have to watch my carb count.

Reply

70 Fran April 22, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Wheat berries are huge in the Serbian culture and I have been eating them all of my life steamed and mixed with honey and nuts! Yummy! My aunt who taught me how to make them will be 100 years old in June, wheat obviously didn’t hurt her health at all! :)

Reply

71 Janet April 26, 2014 at 10:17 am

A list of LDS (mormon) home storage centers: http://providentliving.org/self-reliance/food-storage/home-storage-center-locations?lang=eng
I live in a small town in Idaho and we are lucky to have a mill right in town that sells hard wheat (in 50 lb. bags). Wheat Montana sells large buckets with lids that store 45 lb., then I put the other 5 lb. in a doubled up gallon zip-loc and use that first. By the way, Wheat Montana has the best wheat I’ve ever purchased, but we had to take a trip to Three Forks MT to buy it!!!
I cook wheat in a crockpot: 2 c. wheat berries, 5 and 1/2 c. water, 1 tsp. sea salt………7 to 8 hours on low, turn off, let sit about an hour. We eat it for breakfast, cooked as is, with real maple syrup and butter…….tastes like a whole wheat waffle. Then I use some of the cooked wheat in an Italian Stew, some for making wheat dinner patties, some for wheat berrie bread……oh endless healthy food………

Reply

72 G. kelley August 17, 2014 at 6:38 pm

I buy my winter red wheat from the Utah Mormon canary. Shipped to my doorstep in a box containing 6 #10 sealed cans with a 30 year shelf life.. The cost with shipping is very reasonable.. Also, very high quality!

Reply

73 Michael September 16, 2014 at 11:16 am

Hello Kath,
I just stumbled across your blog looking for more uses for wheat berries. I didn’t get to read all 5 years worth of comments here, so I hope I’m not repeating. I get mine from a place called Breakneck Acres in Kent Ohio (www.breakneckacres.com) where they grow and package their own. I have to say, my favorite way to eat them is out of the pot right after cooking them with either some fresh herbs or young, green lima beans. But I use them in soups, yogurts, salads, etc. a great food.

Reply

74 Jodie October 22, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Hi Kath. I’m snooping around on the net for grain to flour conversions and came across your site. I have wheat berries I use for growing wheat grass but NEVER thought of eating them! I’m intrigued by the idea. Have you ever soaked them just long enough for them to begin sprouting (sprouting is wonderfully nutritious!!) and then cooked them? I think that’s what I’ll try. I had soaked steel cut oats for the first time the other day. I can’t say I was fond of the chewiness. They were better soaked another 5 or 6 hours. I’m glad I found your site and am going to look around now :)

Reply

75 KathEats October 23, 2014 at 4:44 am

We sprouted them once… delish!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *