What are wheatberries (or wheat berries) you ask? I like to think of them as the steel-cut oat of the wheat world. Like steel-cut oats, wheat berries are less processed and have a high nutrient content. They also have a bit of a crunchy texture.
A few months ago, we were at the mall with the kids and ended up having to eat lunch there. I personally don’t like eating at the mall food court. Usually, the only healthy choice is Subway. I used to eat Subway all the time, so I’m a little sick of it. While the rest of my family ate their Subs, I wandered the mall in search of something healthy but different. I came across this little cafe tucked in the corner of the mall. They had an array of salads to choose from, but the one that stuck out to me was the Wild Rice Salad.
It contained wild rice (obviously), but it also had some sweetness to it with the addition of dried cranberries and maple syrup, and a bit of crunch from some chopped celery. It was absolutely delicious. Since I don’t go to the mall very often (dragging 3 boys around a mall just isn’t my idea of fun), I knew I had to try and replicate this salad at home.
I already had some wild rice/brown rice mix on hand, but I also had some wheatberries that I hadn’t tried yet. This was the perfect opportunity. For the dressing, I wanted a light and refreshing taste, so I decided to add some citrus juice and zest. Perfect.
I absolutely love this salad. Not only is it extremely delicious and refreshing, but it’s also very healthy. Wheatberries are high in fiber, low in calories, and packed with vitamins and minerals. When you add in the digestive function of cranberries and the vitamin C properties of the orange juice and celery, you’ve got yourself one powerhouse of a salad.
I served this salad at my son’s birthday party and everyone loved it. People were asking what the “crunchy grain” was in the salad, and I was happy to introduce them to wheatberries. I found these wheatberries at my local organic market, but you might be able to find them in the bulk section of your grocery store. They also go by the name of spelt berries.
It’s fun to try different grains. You could make this salad with other grains such as barley or millet. Or, if all you have is rice in your pantry, then just use rice. Either way, I know you’re going to love this salad. It makes quite a large serving, so it’s perfect for summer BBQ’s and parties.Print This