Wheat Berry Salad with Raspberry Vinegar

Grains that pack a punch

One of the things I want to do this year, is eat more natural grains –  grains that pack a powerful punch.  Wheat Berries are the least processed form of wheat. Wheat Berries are low in cholesterol, low in saturated fat, heart healthy and high in fiber.  They also contain lignans, which appear to be protective against breast and prostate cancers.

They can be found in natural foods stores and online at King Arthur Flour  and Bob’s Red Mill.

Wheat Berry Salad with Raspberry Vinegar

Serves 6

1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup dried cranberries
3 cups Cooked Wheat Berries, (see recipe below)
1 large Fuji apple, unpeeled, diced
1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted and coarsely chopped
3 Tbs raspberry vinegar
3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Combine orange juice and cranberries in a small bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Combine wheat berries, apple and pecans in a large bowl; stir gently. Drain the cranberries, reserving the juice. Stir the cranberries into the wheat berry mixture.

Whisk the reserved orange juice, vinegar and oil in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and stir gently to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Cooked Wheat Berries

Makes 3½ cups

2 cups hard red winter-wheat berries
7 cups cold water
1 tsp salt

Sort through wheat berries carefully, discarding any stones. Rinse well under cool running water. Place in a large heavy saucepan. Add water and salt.

Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse. To serve hot, use immediately. Otherwise, follow the make-ahead instructions.

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