Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back on the menu in coffee shops, bins filled to the brim with many different varieties of apples are appearing in grocery stores and at farmer’s markets. Harvest time is nearly upon us and I have found a recipe that combines several of the best flavors of fall: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Apples, and Wheat Berries!
Delighted to be back in a city that offers several options for whole, natural, bulk, local and fresh foods, I found myself scooping up almost 2 cups of Wheat Berries, and then wondering how to use them!? I remembered reading about the nutty texture and flavor, versatility of preparing this complex carbohydrate which is high in fiber and boasts 6 grams of protein per 1/4 cup serving.
I turned to my Whole Foods Market Cookbook , found an enticing description of Wheat Berries and a recipe for Wheat
Berry Waldorf Salad. MMMM! I thought, cool and crisp after a morning run (on still an almost 70 degree day), yet offers the comforting flavors of fall with cinnamon and nutmeg while packing in nutrients like potassium from the raisins and Omega-3 fatty acids from walnuts!
2 cups wheat berries
7 cups water
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 medium Gala or Granny Smith Apples (cored & chopped)
1 cup raisins
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup apple juice
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 cup lemon juice
Soak the wheat berries for 6-8 hours or overnight in water just covering the berries. Drain and set aside while you bring the 7 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the wheat berries to the boiling water and simmer uncovered for about 50 minutes or until they are cooked through. Wheat berries will be firm and chewy. Drain and cool the berries.
Meanwhile, combine walnuts, apples, raisins, parsley, apple cider vinegar, apple juice, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, olive oil and lemon juice. (The lemon juice and vinegar helps keep the apples from turning brown so this can be made ahead of time). Mix the wheat berries together with the other ingredients and enjoy!
Of course, due to the fact that the main ingredient in this salad is wheat berries, it is not gluten free, but for my GF friends, I was thinking that you could get a similar texture and flavor by using brown rice. The recipe is however, Vegetarian and Vegan as well as Dairy free! As an added benefit, after soaking and cooking the wheat berries last night, it only took me a mere 10 minutes to toss the remaining ingredients together today for my post-run lunch!
If you’d like to involve your family in harvesting some of the ingredients for this salad, while looking for local apple orchards close to me, I discovered the resource: Orange Pippin Known as “The comprehensive resource for apples and orchards!” Loved the Apple Variety listing and descriptions of the different types of apples!
It’s not your typical Waldorf Salad, but dare I say a delicious nutritional improvement on an old classic to mingle fall flavors and textures!