A few years ago I didn’t even know what they were, but wheat berries have since become one of my favorite things to cook with. They have a wonderful nutty, earth flavor and a delightful crunchy, chewy texture.
Just what exactly is a wheat berry? It’s the entire wheat kernel, minus the hull. Because the wheat kernel is left intact, no nutrients are lost. One cup of wheat berries contains approximately 300 calories and is loaded with fiber, protein, and iron.
I’ve never tried it, but apparently you can add water to wheat berries and grow wheat sprouts.
Wheat berry Salad is a very versatile dish that can be served as a main course or as a side dish. If you don’t like sweet potatoes, you could easily substitute roasted carrots, red bell pepper, or even cauliflower.
Serve this dish either cold or at room temperature.
Wheat Berry Salad with Sweet Potatoes
- 1 cup wheat berries
- 1 large sweet potato, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons finely crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans
- juice of half an orange
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook wheat berries according to package directions.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potato pieces with 2 teaspoons olive oil, chili powder, cinnamon and a pinch of salt . Place on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring once during cooking. Let cool.
- In a large bowl, combine wheat berries, red onion, feta cheese, cranberries, and roasted sweet potato.
- To make dressing, combine orange juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper. Whisk well to emulsify. Pour dressing over wheat berries.
- Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add pecans just before serving.
Yield: 6 servings as side dish