Wheat berries are a great addition to salads or breads and recipes for sprouted wheat grains help you to add more flavor to your salads and breads.
It is Berry Good for You
Wheat grains that have not been milled are called wheat berries. A whole un-milled kernel of wheat consists of three distinct parts: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. The bran is the hard outer covering of the wheat kernel. If you are using whole-wheat flour, you will see tiny brown flakes in the flour... this is the bran. The germ is the part of the kernel that sprouts and eventually becomes a new wheat plant. The endosperm is the part that is milled to make white flour. When you buy whole wheat berries to include in your recipes for sprouted wheat grains, you are buying the entire wheat kernel.
The types of wheat you are most likely to find at your local store are Durum, Spelt, and Triticale. You may also find hard red winter, hard red spring, or soft red winter. Any wheat berry can be sprouted as long as it has not been milled. If you are uncertain whether the wheat grain you are looking at can be sprouted and used in your recipes for sprouted wheat grains, ask the guy at the store. If you are buying your wheat from a bulk bin, the person in the bulk foods section will be a great source of information regarding all the grains they have available and how to use them.
Once a wheat grain has started to grow, the chemical make up of the grain changes. They now contain enzymes that help improve your health by aiding in digestion, neutralizing toxins, and helping to cleanse the blood. Sprouted wheat grains are a great source of antioxidants. They supply numerous minerals such as calcium, iodine, iron, potassium, and zinc. Sprouted wheat grains contain an array of vitamins including A, B1, B2, B12, C, and D.
How to Sprout Wheat Grains
If you have a sprouter, then just follow the directions for your sprouter. I don't have a sprouter and I wasn't inclined to hunt one down just for this article, so I went with the bowl method. What you will need is:
- A bowl
- A cool place (about 70 degrees Fahrenheit) to keep your bowl that is away from direct sunlight
- 2/3 of a cup of wheat berries
- 1 cup of water
- A strainer
- Place the wheat grain into the bowl.
- Add the water.
- Mix the gains so that all the grains are coated with water.
- Let the grains soak for 6 to 12 hours.
- Rinse them with cool water.
- Drain them as completely as you can.
- Let them sit for 8 to twelve more hours.
- Rinse and drain them again.
- Repeat one more time.
- At this point your wheat berries should have little sprouts on them about 1/4 inch long. Now they are ready to be used in your recipes for sprouted wheat grains.
Recipes For Sprouted Wheat Grains
I like wheat berry salad so I tried making it with sprouted wheat grains rather than cooking the wheat. This salad is not only a great tasting salad that your vegetarian friends will enjoy, but it's also a fabulous raw food salad for your raw food friends. You will need:
- 2 cups sprouted wheat berries
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh crushed pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion julienne
- 1/2 cup chopped dill
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Blend the red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
- Using a whisk, slowly add the oil in a slow steady stream to create an emulsion.
- In another bowl, toss the sprouted wheat berries, onions, and herbs together.
- Add the dressing.
- You can also add tomatoes, raisins, dried apricots, walnuts or pine nuts, chopped apples, or pears to your salad, as you like.
You can also add the sprouted wheat grains to any whole wheat bread recipe either whole or you can pulse them briefly in your food processor.