Wally, Meet  Wheatberry. Or, ‘How a Craisin Taught Fiber a Lesson in Dressing Up.’

Salads / October 20, 2013

You all remember Naturalist Euell Gibbons, who was featured on the old 70’s ads for Grape Nuts Cereal.  #manypartsareedible. Sadly he keeled over from a heart attack, doubly convincing us that people who eat anything that sounded like it came from a tree would never make it past 40. Personally I think it was a conspiracy by the Twinkie® people, but that’s another blog. Today we’re more apt to combine the popular with the sensible, and even more exciting is the fact that it can still taste incredibly good while lighting up your table with color and satisfaction.

Take the humble wheatberry for instance. It’s nutty flavor and brick red color puts it somewhere between the taste of brown rice and oatmeal spiked with the savory warmth of bread dough. It cooks up easily and stores well, and in our case, after being inspired by a recipe on the side of the package, turns into a very satisfying side or salad.

The package suggested a Waldorf-inspired concoction, which I massaged to fit what I had. Wally never looked so good.

Waldorf Wheatberry Salad


1/2 C wheatberries
1 and a quarter cup water
3 celery stalks, cut
1/3 C Craisins
Handful slivered almonds
1 Fuji apple sliced
1/4 C sour cream
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 T honey
salt and pepper (You will need it. The wheatberry comes alive with seasoning.)
1/8 t ground ginger
handful thinly sliced flat leaf parsley


  • Cook wheatberry according to directions. For me, I put the wheatberries and water in a sauce pan stirred it, brought it to a boil, stirred it, covered it and simmered on low for 30 minutes. If there’s a little moisture, just let it simmer on a little higher heat and stir for about 3 minutes more, then take off burner and let sit.
  • Cool the wheatberries. I put them in a bowl warm and stuck them in the freezer for 20 minutes. They were cool enough. I was hungry.
  • Combine with all other ingredients and bring two spoons to the party. Even those who have sworn to never eat trees will still want a bite.

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