Sprouted Wheatberry Salad. This superfood salad is incredibly healthy & satisfying.
Why should we sprout grains?
Vitamins, Minerals & Protein. Sprouting grains and beans makes them better for you. Advocates of sprouting claim it increases the vitamin content of Vitamin C, folic acid, niacin and riboflavin by as many as one hundred times when compared to unsprouted wheat. Sprouted grain breads may also be higher in protein because of the sprouting process.
Nutrition. Enzymes introduced during the sprouting process break down or neutralize phytic acid. This “breaking-down process”, according to Margie King, a Philadelphia Nutrition Examiner, allows the consumer’s body to absorb the minerals zinc, calcium, copper, iron and magnesium found within the grains. Without this phytic acid active in the grain, your body can take advantage of these nutrients, thereby making the grain itself better for you. It has to do with amino acids and protein bonds and such, but before we get too complicated, let’s move on.
Health. If you are eating a raw diet, sprouting adds extra enzymes to your menu. When you choose not to heat your sprouts, enzymes are stable and will remain in your sprout for addition health benefits. People who have a sensitivity to wheat (NOT to be confused with gluten intolerance or celiac disease) may be helped by the presence of these enzymes. They may find that their bodies are more able to break down wheat in this form with thanks to the natural enzymes activated through the sprouting process.
Sugar & Preservatives (or the lack thereof). For diabetics or those just wanting to keep their sugar levels on an even keel, sprouted grain breads have a lower glycemic index than whole wheat breads. Additionally, most of these “living breads” (they are so named because the grains or seeds have been awakened from hibernation by the soaking process) contain no preservatives. For this reason, if you look for them in stores, you should likely check the refrigerated section.
Taste and texture. Sprouted grains have a unique earthy or nutty taste and texture when added to your favorite foods or baking recipes.
What are wheat berries? Wheat berries, or wheatberries, are the entire edible part of wheat kernels, meaning there is no hull (or outer shell) but includes the germ, bran and endosperm.
If you plant the wheatberry sprouts in soil, it will grow Wheatgrass.. (which is disgusting to drink) This stuff is superfood super potent. Even the smell when juicing is so incredibly nauseating strong that we chose not to serve it in the Juice Bar of the restaurant. However, My chickens LOVE LOVE LOVE Wheatgrass.. It is their absolute favorite treat!!!!
If you sprout them and eat them.. They have this yummy chewy nutty texture that makes you keep wanting more. Not to mention how healthy it is..
How do you sprout?
You need a sprouting jar like the one below OR
you can use any mason jar with a screen lid. (You can even make your own lid with a mason jar ring and some cheesecloth or a knee high pair of pantyhose)
Basic process of sprouting is: Soak, Drain, Rinse, Drain, Rinse, Drain.. Done..
How I sprouted my wheat berries:
- In a sprouting jar or a mason jar, pour 1/2 cup wheat berries (I used hard red) and 2 cups fresh water. NOT TAP WATER!!!!
- Cover top of jar with mesh lid
- Let soak for 12 hours.
- Drain. Add more water. Drain. (Set jar on it’s side at a 45° angle so any excess water can drain out)
- 12 hrs later - Repeat step #4.
- When white sprouts are approximately 1/8″ long, they are officially sprouted!
Tip: You can stop the sprouting process by placing the jar in your refrigerator.
I have made this recipe with many types of nuts.. Walnuts is my favorite nut of choice but I only had almonds on hand. The almonds are great.. The walnuts are better... I would recommend soaking the walnuts in some filtered water for an hour or two.. Drain them and then chop the walnuts and use in the recipe. When you drain the water, You will notice the color will now be brownish. This is from the tannins in the walnut. Soaking takes away the bitter taste that walnuts have.
Other things To Do with a Sprouted Wheat Berry
Dehydrate and mill it into “sprouted” flour for baking (or anywhere you would use “regular” flour)
Add the sprouts to your favorite cereal, sandwich, yogurt or salad
Add (chopped or whole) to baked goods like muffins and cookies or pancakes and waffles
“Hide” in casseroles, meatloaves or pasta sauces
Plant them in well drained (preferably organic) soil to grow wheat grass for juicing or just for fun!
- For the salad: 1 1/2 cups hard wheat berries, sprouted
- 3/4 cup nuts (chopped or sliced)
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup cranberries, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves, minced
- For the dressing:
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Dressing: In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, honey & dijon mustard. Set aside.
- Salad: In a large bowl, combine the sprouted wheat berries, nuts, celery, cranberries, green onion & parsley. Pour dressing over salad and mix well.
- Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
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