- Ground into whole wheat flour to make breads, pancakes, muffins, pizza crusts
- Cooked and incorporated into pilafs, stews, chilis, veggie burgers
- Cooked, sweetened and eaten as a breakfast cereal or grainy dessert
- Sprouted to make more of the nutrients available and to have a "live" food
- Mashed and made into beer
As some of you know, my usual response to serious doomy news is to buy wheat berries. I'm lucky to have a great source available from the OK Food Co-op. They are available already dried, cleaned, frozen for a week (to kill any larvae) and packaged in plastic buckets. Yay - little to no work involved! The only extra thing is the special Gamma Seal lid I purchased so I wouldn't teach my son lots of four-letter words as I tried to remove the horribly inconvenient lid that came with the bucket. Yes, it's worth $8. Trust me.
We recently installed our Country Living Grain Mill in our tile countertop. We had to bolt it down since the mill is completely made of metal and thus very heavy. This is a temporary measure since we plan to replace the countertops soon, but for now we have a stable place to grind flour.
I finally got around to cooking wheat berries for the first time yesterday. You can soak them overnight, like beans, to reduce the cooking time - otherwise they take about 1.5 hours to cook on the stovetop. Maybe this is why no one cooks them anymore??
I cooked the berries in the Sun Oven by adding 3 1/2 cups of water to one cup of wheat berries in a dark pot with a dark lid. I left them in the GSO for about 3 hours (just to make sure). The wheat berries were destined for a chili I found in 366 Delicious Ways to Cook Rice, Beans and Grains, which has several wheat berry recipes. I also found this handy "Cooking with Food Storage" pamphlet with some wheat berry recipes from Utah State Extension service. Half of the cooked wheat berries went in glassware in the fridge for some later use. The other half was placed with the chili ingredients in the pot, stirred and cooked for a few more hours. The Sun Oven kept it warm until dinner.The chili was super yummy. I have heard wheat berries described as tasting "like cartilage", but they added a nice chewy, slightly nutty texture to the chili. The chili was also great because I was able to let it cook in the sun oven for four or five hours, blending the flavors up nicely. My husband was pleased with the results, although my toddler said "too spicy." Less chipotle chile next time.