What the heck are wheat berries?

We know that’s probably what you’re saying to yourself right now, and fair enough. But it’s probably not a bad idea to pick up a pack of these thick, short grains (which are, essentially, whole wheat kernels and look a little bit like brown rice) in the natural foods aisle at your local supermarket next time you go. And here’s why.

First off, a one-cup serving has only 300 calories, but still manages to give you a hefty dose of fiber, protein, and iron. (Not too shabby, huh?) And secondly, wheat berries don’t just lend themselves to your typical savory whole-grain preparations—they also taste great when given a sweet spin, thanks to their nutty flavor.

Ready to experiment? Here’s a super-simple recipe for HOMEMADE WHEAT BERRY DESSERT, courtesy of Westside Market NYC’s Maria Zoitas.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. wheat berries
  • ½ lb. roasted almonds
  • ½ lb. pomegranate seeds
  • ½ lb. walnuts
  • ½ lb. dried cranberries
  • ½ lb. white raisins
  • ½ lb. black raisins
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 10 tsp stevia
  • 3 tsp sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a full boil and lightly salt.
  2. Add wheat berries, reduce heat to a fast simmer and cook until the wheat berries are tender but still chewy, about 1 hour.
  3. Mix wheat berries in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Let sit for one hour before serving.