Recently one of our acquaintances and I went for shopping and got talking about whole grains. I mentioned about wheat berries and she looked taken aback – she asked me twice to what I said and said she just wanted to confirm if she heard right. I was curious and asked her why – and she said “I only knew of Raspberries Blueberries etc….this is so new to me! God! US manages to produce so many new hybrids” :) :) :) So thanks to her, I dedicate this Wheat Berries 101 to her :)

We all are aware of including whole grains in our diets.Cereal grains have been around for long and the benefits imparted from them are immense. Among them is Wheat Berries.

1) How do Wheat Berries look like ?

The husk/hull of whole wheat grains are removed to make these berries. The bran, germ, and endosperm are left intact making them nutritious. They are deliciously nutty and chewy with a slight sweetness to it. They retain the juicy texture of the broth they are cooked in.

2) How to Cook Wheat Berries?

Just like any legumes, Wheat Berries must be soaked overnight to be cooked. one can soak a large quantity, refrigerate them and use them as often as you like. I have tried the following methods to cook the wheat berries – use this as a guideline and your discretion to cook them. The type of apparatus used vary the cooking times.

  • 1 cup Wheat Berry
  • 2 to 2-1/2 cups water

1) Stove top Method

1. Rinse the wheat berries well with cold water.
2. Place them in a bowl filled with cold water and let it soak overnight.
3. Rinse them thoroughly and drain the water.
4. Place them in a pan with water, bring it to a boil.
5. Cover the saucepan and let it simmer for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours, until the grains are tender and chewy.

2) Rice Cooker Method

1. Rinse the wheat berries well with cold water.
2. Place them in a bowl filled with cold water and let it soak overnight.
3. Rinse them thoroughly and drain the water.
4. For one cup berries, use 2-1/2 cups water and cook for about 45-1 hour.It takes close to an hour for my cooker to bring the berries to a chewy state and gets v aromatic.
5.Fluff and let it sit and steam cook for another 5 min in the cooker.

In this method, you can alternatively toast the berries in a pan, until the reddish color deepens, soak them in some water (until it covers the berries) for about 2 hours and then cook them in the rice cooker with brown rice cycle.

3) Pressure Cooker Method

This is probably the fastest way to cook the berries.

1. Rinse the wheat berries well with cold water.
2. Place them in a bowl filled with cold water and let it soak overnight.
3. Rinse them thoroughly and drain the water.
4. For one cup berries, use 2 cups water, and cook for 15-20 min. In the Indian type pressure cooker, with whistle functionality, it takes about 5-6 whistles for me.

4) Slow Cooker Method

1. Rinse the wheat berries well with cold water.
2. Place them in a bowl filled with cold water and let it soak overnight.
3. Rinse them thoroughly and drain the water.
4. For one cup use 2-1/2 cups water/broth and cook for about 6-8 hrs.

4) Microwave Method

1. Rinse the wheat berries well with cold water.
2. Place them in a bowl filled with cold water and let it soak overnight.
3. Rinse them thoroughly and drain the water.
4. For one cup use 2 cups water and cook for 25 minutes. Add water or increase timing if needed.

3) Culinary Uses of Wheat Berries

Due to their nutty taste and chewy texture they are used in soups and stews. They are also added to breads either cooked or sprouted. They are especially excellent as salads when combined with citrusy flavors. They can also be added along with other whole grains to make a simple yet delicious pilafs.

4)How to Sprout Wheat Berries

You can use the sprouts as an addition to other food preparation or instead of stopping at the initial sprouting stage, continue till it grows into grass. Sprouting wheat berries gives us what is called as “Wheat Grass” which is recognized as a powerful detoxifier and has been considered as a healer throughout centuries.It is usually juiced and consumed and it is advisable to do so within 10min of juicing the same.

Source:Wisdom Has Two Parts

1. Wash and clean the berries in cold water thoroughly.
2. Soak them in water overnight.
3. Drain and rinse the berries once again.
4. Place them in a large jar and cover with cheesecloth fastened with a rubber band. Sprouting containers are available in the stores. Keep them close to sunlight yet not in direct light.
5. Rinse the berries with cold water every 8 hours. Make sure that the water is drained well.
6. The sprouts start appearing in a day or 2. You can use these immediately or let them grow and continue the process until the grass start appearing in another 1-2 days. When that happens, you can place these in sunlight, water them until slightly damp. Dont use too much water.



I find whole wheat berries only in the health stores, although Wheat grass is available in many other stores. But growing them at home is much cheaper than buying the store bought ones – me thinks.

6)Health Benefits of Wheat Berries

Just like any whole grains, wheat berries are excellent providers of dietary fiber. The nutrients are left untouched since they are not processed and provide us with folic acid, protein, B-complex vitamins and vitamin E. The wheat grass acts as a cleanser and is rich in Vit.A,B, C and E along with other minerals. It is supposed to have anti-aging capabilities. The grass is rich in chlorophyll (obviously) and hence works directly on the liver and removes toxins.

7) Calories in Wheat Berries

Serving Size: 1/4c dry  (source:The Daily Plate)

Amount per Serving

Calories 150 Calories from Fat 5

% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0.5g 1%
Saturated Fat  0g 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 11%
Dietary Fiber  6g 24%
Protein 6g 12%

Calcium 2%
Iron 8%

Est. Percent of Calories from:

Fat 3.0%     Carbs 85.3%
Protein 16.0%

8)How to store Wheat Berries

Although wheat products keep well, it is better to buy fresh as and when possible. They keep very well in air tight containers in cool place away from light.

This is my entry to Roma’s JFI event:Wheat

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35 Responses to “How to cook Wheat Berry?”
  1. paperdreamer

    my wife accidentally mixed it with brown rice today. without soaking. turned out pretty nice. she used a liberal healthy scoop of coconut oil.

  2. carlos prado

    Im from Chile, we use wheatberries as traditional dessert..MOTE CON HUESILLOS… Look for it.. Bye

  3. Sue

    I made a wheat berry salad with figs and red onion today. I did not soak the berries overnight, just cooked them on the stove for 44 minutes. They came out nice. The next time I will cook them less time because I like them a little chewier. Why to you recommend soaking them?

  4. Tia Dozeman

    Can you freeze wheat berries after they have been cooked?

  5. michel leckband

    Nice page on wheat berry recipes.
    I hope you’ll double check the phrase “like any legumes.” Most legumes are beans/lentils in the Fabaceae family. Wheat is a grass (different bunch of plant families). Or am I wrong? Does this mean we don’t *have* to pre-soak?

  6. mbortis

    Fantastic and thoroughly detailed methods of preparation. I have tried several of your methods all with great success. Thank you very much.

  7. Daniella

    Thank you for your information! Wheatberries play a huge part in the Ukrainian diet, specifically for our Kutia which is a cereal made by cooking the wheatberries in milk (low and slow 5-6 hours with plenty of stirring)then mixing with dried fruit, nuts, and honey. Excellent cold with yogurt. Keeps well in the fridge for easy access for a quick protein vitamin rich snack! Don’t forget, wheatberries will ferment once they are cooked this is where we get Rye from!

  8. Sandy

    I’ve used wheat berries (5lbs.)that we recieved by mistake in a beer brewing kit we ordered. I’ve seen them at a micro-brew supply store in bulk form. I use them in pilafs and soups. Thanks for the info.

  9. pam

    great article. Can u eat this inplace of rice?

    Yes you can. Many people for health or personal reasons do substitute these for rice. I use them in so many ways – Soups,salads, adding them to my chillies, as pilaf instead of rice etc –DK

  10. Frank

    Very detailed info – I like to use wheat berries in grain salads – nice alternative to bulgar wheat – much more time consuming, but worth it.

  11. Holly

    Great tips! How long do cooked wheat berries last in the fridge?

  12. Really cool! I didn’t know you could use wheatgrass berries in this way. There really are a ton of things you can use wheatgrass for. Up until now I was just growing my own wheatgrass for juicing but this is a great idea as well.

  13. nnyl

    I cook these frequently, they are good on a salad. But you don’t need to soak them overnight. It takes about an hour to cook.

  14. Linda Billings

    This is really good. I use wheatberries all the time but now I am pre-diabetic and need to know how many carbs (etc.) in a cup of cooked wheatberries. Any help???



  15. Margaret

    My mom always cooked them for me when I was a child. She added sugar and a can of garbanza beans for some reason. We loved the “porridge like” flavor. Delicious. And to think it was so good for us! She soaked them overnight too and then cooked them for a few hours. Added the sugar and beans a ways into the process. I have a bag and am going to soak them tonight! Thanks for the article!

  16. Sam

    I found a method of cooking: 3c water to 1c berries; simmer 1/2 hr; soak 8-12 hours. Being my first time I’m, not sure about the outcome although your picture certainly helped. If I could go back and try this method I would but you can only have one first time and like most first’s, this was a disappointment :(

  17. Sharon

    Thanks for the information on wheat berries. I have just started cooking with them, they are great.

  18. Melbournejoan

    Lots of great information! I buy my wheat berries from a health food store. I do not soak them overnight as the directions on the container don’t tell me I haveto. I cook them for almost two hours. I use them in a beef vegetable soup and it is delicious!

  19. Anonymous

    Excellent article on wheat berries. Good job DK..

    wheat berries

  20. DK

    Thank you all for your kind comments.

    Veggie Belly – I sure will – planning on recipes covering morning till night ;-)

    @Aparna – I guess they are the least the raw grain taste exactly the same :) and yeah u r right – they wud make an excellent substitute

  21. Asha

    I saw the packets in Indian grocery store too but didn’t buy it. They make Haleem with this wheat grain I think. Great post! :) )

  22. Khaugiri

    very detail information. Thanks for the post.

  23. Happy cook

    A very informative post.
    Back at home my mom used to make things with wheat sprout, i have never done them.
    Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy 2009.

  24. Aparna

    Just a question. These wheat berries are the same whole wheat (gehu) which we get here in India? The stuff we make our atta from?

    If they are, then you can also cook it in the pressure cooker (like you mentioned) and substitute it for rice during lunch. Of course, you have to like wheat.:)

  25. jayasree

    Very informative article on wheat berries. I do sprout them often. But not till the wheat grass stage. I am going to do that next time i sprout these berries.
    Thanks for sharing.

  26. veggie belly

    This is a great 101!! I always buy a wheat berry salad if im at whole foods or wegmans and really enjoy it. But I’ve never cooked it myself. Thanks inspiring me to cook with wheat berries. Youve shared a lot of detailed information. I hope you’ll post a wheat berry recipe soon :)

  27. rekhas kitchen

    great nice information very helpfull thank you so much for the information

  28. notyet100
  29. Lavi

    Thanks for the informative post..

  30. Pavani

    Excellent article on wheat berries. Good job DK..

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