I can understand how the concept of a ‘wheat berry’ might jar with the world view of a discerning British foodie, as she struggles to recall the golden fields common to Hovis ads liberally scattered with miniature – red? purple? black? – fleshy globes. ‘Wheat berries!’ America cries. ‘Wheat berry salad! Wheat berry bread! Wheat berry porridge!’ And I am genuinely excited by the prospect of a fruit that defies what scant education I have of agriculture.
Well, I must burst that incredulous bubble, discerning British foodie, because a wheat berry is, rather disappointingly, a humble grain of whole wheat. But it’s VERY good for you. These industrious grains sweep your digestive tract clean. Wheat berries are also a good source of B vitamins and magnesium.
Wheat berries and kundalini yoga
Back in the 70s, Yogi B and his commune of kundalini yogis would fast on plain cooked wheat berries for one day a week. And it’s recommended for women to follow a one-day-a-week wheat berry fast if they want to maintain their hormonal equilibrium, especially in the face of menopause.
I’ve been eating quite a lot of wheat berries recently. They’re not that easy to come by in the major UK supermarkets, but I found some whole-grain wheat in an Asian store. I soak a few cups for at least four hours, then boil them in the pressure cooker on high for 30 minutes.
They have SUCH a delicious nutty texture, and are really versatile, hence the salad! bread! porridge! But my go-to wheat berry recipe is a few spoons mixed in with cherry tomatoes, spring onions, pesto and avocado. YUM. Wheat berries are also delicious made into a porridge with fruit, nuts, seeds and coconut milk – a super-wholesome start to your day. And as Yogi Bhajan says, they protect agains nuclear fall-out. Sounds like a winning diet to me!