This unique and hearty Date Orange Wheat Berry Salad is packed full of tastes and textures. Wheat berries provide the ultimate chew, while the feta, dates and a hint of orange provide a melody of flavors that complement each other perfectly. It’s chewy, crunchy, sweet and citrusy all in one beautiful bowl.
I’m taking a breather from my apparent desire to share only baking recipes to bring you something a little more summery. With this amazing weather, how could I not? Although I love my baking, my adoration for any and all salads still holds just as strong.
Have you ever cooked with wheat berries?
These little nuggets are the most natural, unrefined version of wheat. The berries are where it all begins. Before any processing and milling occurs, forming the wheat flour and wheat products we all know and love (?), our beloved wheat (both whole wheat and white) begins as a chewy hard kernel. These kernels, which still contain the bran, germ, and endosperm, can actually be cooked and eaten just like any grain. And that’s what I’m here today to show you.
Because only the hull – the inedible outer layer of the grain – has been removed, wheat berries retain all of the grain’s fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that otherwise would get lossed through processing and milling.
Like all whole grains, wheat berries have an exceptional nutritional profile. They are high in fibre, low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals. A half-cup serving of cooked wheat berries is a great source of manganese, selenium, phosphorus and magnesium. Wheat berries also contain lignans, which are phytochemicals thought to guard against breast and prostate cancers. Source.
Much like farro, cooked wheat berries have an undeniably chewy texture along with a mild, nutty taste. If you enjoy a good soft chew like me, you will absolutely love them.
Wheat berries can be made into a chewy breakfast porridge, thrown into soups, or used to make a delectable whole grain wheat berry salad!
Of course, like all other unprocessed grains, these kernels do take a while to cook. It is highly suggested to soak the berries over night in order to cut down on cooking times and increase digestibility. However, I have prepared wheat berries with and without a pre soak and actually found very little difference in the final outcome. The soaked berries took perhaps only 10 minutes less than the ones which were soaked.
Now as for this wheat berry salad!
I’ve never been a huge orange fan, to be honest, but one place I do love the citrus flavor is in a date and orange muffin. The date-orange combination just begs to be together. Don’t ask my why. It just works.
For this salad, I’ve combined the hearty chew of wheat berries with a slight crunch of nuts (pecans or walnuts – I have used both). Then I’ve combined this fabulous combination of orange and dates to make a sweet dressing infusion, and to finish things off, threw in some feta for that finishing touch of salt.
This Date Orange Wheat Berry Salad is really cool. It is a great company dish that is light enough to pair with any meat or protein and is still subtle enough to not over take the rest of the meal. It is full of whole food nutrition – as unrefined as it comes – so you know you are giving your body the goods.
And it’s kind of pretty, huh?
I hope you give it a try and fall in love with the fabulous chew of wheat berries!Try the fabulous chew of Wheat Berries in this Date Orange Wheat Berry Salad! The perfect healthy choice for any summer dinner. #salad #summer #wholegrains Click To Tweet
Are you new to wheat berries?
What is your favorite grain to use in salads?
Do you prefer chewy or crunchy?
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