What the Hell Are Wheat Berries?

I first tried wheat berries about two months ago from a local health food store. It was a prepackaged salad with apples, cranberries, nuts and a sweet dressing. Every since then I’ve been obsessed with that particular salad, curious about what the hell wheat berries are, and have been wanting to cook with them.

Wheat berries are basically the whole wheat kernel (apart from the hull) and can be bought as soft or hard grains. This is the same grain whole wheat flour is made from–so, yeah, definitely not gluten free.

In my quest to kick some wheat berry ass, I bought soft wheat berries and paired it with some ingredients I had on hand–brussel sprouts, fresh baby spinach, and a simple vinaigrette. This made about four servings. I initially ate the salad warm but it was just as good served cold the next day!




  • Fresh or frozen brussel sprouts
  • Baby spinach – a couple handfuls
  • Wheat berries – 1 cup
  • Vinaigrette (3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, juice of half a lemon, 1 teaspoon of maple syrup)


  1. Toss the brussel sprouts with olive oil and salt and pepper, then roast them in the oven for about 30 minutes at 450 degrees.
  2. In a large pot bring six cups of salted water and 1 cup of wheat berries to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer and cook for about an hour until tender.
  3. Toss the roasted brussel sprouts, cooked wheat berries, fresh baby spinach, and vinaigrette together, and voila–a simple hot or cold wheat berry salad!



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