Thursday, January 12, 2012

Simple ways to use whole wheat berries

I think wheat is the most bang-for-the-buck as far as storage foods go. It's not just the "staff of life" and all that, it's inexpensive in bulk, versatile and easy to store, and with a longer palatable shelf life than almost anything but sugar and salt. Wheat does not need to be stored in a low-oxygen environment, but a couple weeks of such an atmosphere will ensure that no bugs are present. We pack ours in PETE bottles with oxygen absorbers.

I love fresh, hot bread, but hand-grinding wheat berries for flour is labor-intensive, time-consuming work.

So I've been using them in three additional ways:

Soaked overnight like beans, then baked into a bannock, usually along with rolled oats, too. Really good.

Soaked overnight, then boiled. An alternative to rice or barley. Tasty side dish with a little sea salt or hot sauce.

Sprouts. Soak and drain, then rinse a couple times a day until they germinate. Supposedly spouting enhances the nutritional qualities of seeds. If nothing else, it's variety.


Chief Instructor said...

I want to thank you for all of the comments you've made at my site. Much appreciated.

I really love the soaked/boiled wheat berries. I enjoy the chewiness as well as the flavor. Honey, butter, salt and pepper. Great breakfast.

I've got to say, I can't stand them sprouted! Sprouted Mung beans, on the other hand, are fantastic. I need to squirrel away more of these...

PJ said...

Great post! Simple uses for wheat berries. These would work great on the trail too.

eric said...

Re: the Bannock. Any chance you can remember the recipe you used to make it? pimmul

Oblio13 said...

Eric, here's a basic recipe. You can modify it to suit your tastes and the ingredients you have on hand:

Whisk these dry ingredients together:

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt


A little powdered milk
Flax seeds
Sunflower seeds
Whole wheat flour instead of white
Brown sugar instead of white
Rolled oats

Melt ghee in a pan. (Butter or oil will do if you haven't made ghee, but they aren't as tasty and they burn much more easily.)

Swirl it around to grease the whole bottom and sides of the pan.

Pour the excess melted ghee into the dry ingredients.

Add an egg if you have it.

Add some honey if you have it.

Add enough sourdough starter to make a thick mud.

Fold everything together gently.

Pour it back in the now-greased pan.

Cook S-L-O-W-L-Y. Careful, or you'll burn the bottom.

When it's almost done, prop it up in front of the fire and brown the top.