Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fall Wheat Berry and Fruit Salad

There is something about knowing that I am suppose to keep my grain servings to 1 cup a day that has had me thinking about nothing but carby goodness. Since wheat berries are the healthiest carb I can think of I decided to start a batch of wheat berries having no idea how I was going to use them. Then I remembered the apple and celery salad I made this weekend and wanted to make something similar, yet different. This salad turned into something that was healthy that I also really enjoyed. Here is what I made.

Fall Wheat Berry and Fruit Salad
Makes 7 – 1 cup servings


1 cup hard winter wheat berries
4 cups water
1 pinch sea salt (approximately 1/8 teaspoon)
1 cinnamon stick
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons apple cider
3 apple, diced (amounts to approximately 3 cups)
1 cup celery, finely minced
¼ cup currants
½ tablespoons celery seeds
salt and pepper, to taste
chopped walnuts for garnish, optional


Combine the wheat berries, water, salt and cinnamon stick in a heavy pot (I used an enameled 2 quart Le Creuset) and bring the water to a boil. When the water is boiling reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for an hour before you taste them for texture. The berries will take between one and two hours to achieve a nice chewy texture. I prefer mine chewier so I cook them about an hour and a half. I have friends that cook them as long as two hours. I encourage you to taste them after an hour. You may need to add more water at the one-hour mark. I try to make certain the wheat berries are covered by at least one inch of water while they are cooking. If you want the wheat berries finished faster you can use a pressure cooker. Those instructions are given here.

When the wheat berries are the texture you desire drain them thoroughly in a wire sieve. Place the wheat berries a large mixing bowl and add the apple cider vinegar and the apple cider. The warm wheat berries will absorb the dressing better than cool or cold wheat berries.

Once the wheat berries have cooled add the apples, raisin, currants, and celery seed and toss to combine. Taste the salad for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired. As the salad sits in the refrigerator the flavors will begin to blend. It was definitely better after 3 hours under refrigeration.

When you are ready to serve, walnuts can be added if you wish.

Nutritional Information (without optional walnuts):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 151.14
Calories From Fat (5%) - 7.1

Total Fat - 0.86g
Saturated Fat - 0.13g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 61.79mg
Potassium - 271.28mg
Total Carbohydrates - 34g
Fiber - 6.51g
Sugar - 10.07g
Protein - 4.87g


This salad is more savory than sweet, but definitely has background sweetness from the apples, currants and apple cider. Celery is the predominant flavor in the dish. This salad would also be good with a mayonnaise based dressing if you like your grain salads creamy.

Each serving of this salad contains a little less than a ½ cup of cooked wheat berries (specifically 3/7th of a cup for those following eat to live) and has approximately 19.5 mcg of selenium.

Unrelated note:

I am off now to start work on dinner. My recipe for dinner we be posted either tonight or tomorrow morning.


  1. Okay, this looks really good. I've never had wheat berries - I'll have to check them out. In answer to your question from your last night's dinner - my parents are not vegan, just very supportive of my lifestyle: Christian, vegan, homeschooling. I've got awesome folks! I'm beginning to discover other vegans in town, so you never know - a friendship may bloom. I'm glad you have friends that are willing to explore your/our kind of restaurants with you.

  2. Blessedmama,

    How nice of your parents to be supportive even though they aren't vegan. You did luck out in the parent lottery!

    I really like wheat berries because they are nice and chewy. The hubby doesn't love them like I do, but he accepts them. We buy ours at the healthfood store.

    All of our friends will try vegetarian restaurants, can't say for such they would go back, but they would at least try. They all know that this is a choice we made for health reasons so they are on board with it.

    talk to you later,

  3. Yum. I just happen to have some wheat berries...Needed a good recipe for them!

  4. I have been doing way too many carbs this week -- this looks really really refreshing.

  5. Heather,

    I use wheat berries in place of brown rice and it always works well for me. It is also good made into a fruit and nut stuffing to place in a squash half.


  6. Beatrice,

    Carbs are definitely my achilles' heel. I love them and have to work extremely hard not to overdo, and frequently fail.


  7. This sounds delicious. I love apple cider vinegar but am always forgetful it's there or nervous to incorporate it into a recipe (worry about overpowering the dish) I'm going to try this, think it will work with quinoa too?

    Also, I'm in Baltimore! I'm just getting rolling with the blog stuff and I'm really happy I found your blog! :)

  8. cleaningitup,

    Apple cider vinegar can be overpowering but by diluting it with apple cider it mellows the flavor considerably. You may want to start with less apple cider vinegar to make certain the flavor isn't too aggressive for your taste. I think with would work well with quinoa or brown rice.

    I'll come check out your blog now.


  9. I made this for dinner tonight, with a few tweaks (I had spelt instead of wheat berries, and added a smidge of tumeric to the apple cider/vinegar blend). Best meal I've had all week. Thanks for posting this.

  10. Beatrice,

    Thanks so much for letting me know. I am so glad you liked it! :)



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