Food Trend: Wheat Berries
The name might not be familiar but if you’ve eaten anything made with flour, you’ve already eaten wheat berries. That’s because wheat berry is another name for the wheat kernel that is ground up to make wheat flour. But you can also eat the wheat berry itself as a whole grain. So, how can you include wheat berries in your diet? What’s the best way to use them?
What Are Wheat Berries and What Do They Provide?
Wheat berries are whole wheat grains, which means they’re packed with vitamins and nutrients, and are valued for their protein content and fibre. If you’re interested in high-protein, low-calorie foods, wheat berries tick many of the boxes.
Wheat berries are complex carbohydrates, which are a great option for providing the body with sustained energy, while its glycaemic index is around 30, making wheat berries a low-glycaemic food. Eating low-GI foods can help your blood sugar levels rise and fall more slowly, and this makes you feel fuller for longer.
Wheat Berries: What Are the Health Benefits?
Wheat berries are often mentioned for their wellness benefits:
- According to a 2017 study, eating wheat berries can help reduce LDL cholesterol in few weeks.
- Including more whole wheat grains, like wheat berries, in your diet also helps keep weight under control. This is partly because whole wheat grains add more fibre to the diet, which keeps you fuller for longer.
- Eating two or three servings of whole grains, like wheat berries, a day can contribute to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It’s thought that whole grains lower blood sugar and insulin levels.
Are Wheat Berries Easy to Cook?
It’s best to cook wheat berries because they’re too hard to eat raw. You can soak them overnight like other grains or cook them. Cooking times vary for different types of wheat berries but most can be boiled for between 30 and 90 minutes.
Once they’re tender, drain the wheat berries and eat them straight away. Or alternatively, they’ll keep in the fridge for up to four days in an airtight container.
How Do Wheat Berries Taste and How Can You Use Them?
With a sweet and slightly nutty taste and a chewy bite, wheat berries can be used much the same way as other whole wheat grains.
There are different types of wheat berries, from soft white and hard red to emmer berries and spelt berries, which are both ancient wheat varieties.
- If you’re a vegetarian but miss the texture of meat, you can add wheat berries to your veggie chili for a hearty, meaty texture.
- Add them to salads or serve them instead of rice.
- You can cook wheat berries into porridge or grind them into flour to make bread.
- Wheat berries can be added to soups or used as a base for stir fries.
In all these cases, wheat berries should definitely be on your list of new things to try.
With their nutritional content and delicious nutty flavour, they’re a great addition to a healthy diet.
Look for wheat berries the next time you visit a vegan or an organic restaurant!
Wheat berries are also called wheatberries and are whole wheat kernels, including the bran, germ, and endosperm but without the husk. The botanical name for this type of fruit is caryopsis.
Wheat berries contain many nutrients and are valued for their fibre and low-glycaemic index; also, they help you stay fuller longer and thus manage your weight.
Wheat berries can be ground to make flour or added to salads or soups for increased fibre. They have a chewy bite and give a sweet and slightly nutty taste to your dishes.
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