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.

Source: www.wheat-grass-seeds.com

5)Availability

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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36 Responses to “How to cook Wheat Berry?”
  1. Jon Treadway

    The way one sentence in your article is worded makes it sound like you’re saying that wheat berries are legumes. They are not– they’re grains. They’re pre-soaked prior to cooking as are legumes, but they’re not actually the same. :wink:

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