What are Wheat Berries?

by Cathy Roosa

Wheat berries: Not a berry at all.

On the list of grains and things I am willing to bet you have only peeked at quickly in Whole Foods, are wheat berries. Versatile and tasty, I'm able to offer a couple of reasons why you need to give this grain a try.

What is a wheat berry?

A wheat berry is just the complete wheat kernel (apart from the hull of course), this incorporates the bran (like in cereal), germ (like in wheat germ) and endosperm (the part usually compressed into flour for baking). This is the same full kernel that's utilized in making whole-wheat flour.

The grains resemble like you would imagine a wheat kernel to look like- reddish brown, oblong, and hard. Once prepared, they're small, chewy and a slightly nutty.

Cooking instructions

Like most grains, wheat berries are made very in a similar way to rice. One cup of wheat berries needs 2-1/2 cups of water. The berries are brought to boiling point, then let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

Nutritional value

Aside from being a whole grain that provides a lot of fiber, wheat berries have plenty of added nutritional value to offer. A serving (about a half cup, prepared) provides 6.5 grams of protein, 6 grams of daily fiber, and vitamins B1, B3, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese and selenium.


Wheat berries can be eaten with milk and sweetener as a breakfast cereal, for lunch as a part of a cold salad, or for supper in a chili. I recently used them to make a vegetarian chili. This is a very straightforward way to add more to a vegan chili than masses of beans. I made mine with wheat berries, canned tomatoes, fresh onion and peppers, black beans, pinto beans, and all of the normal spices. The mixing of wheat berries and beans gives your vegan chili even more protein and vitamins.

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