I have come to love whole grain salads like the Wheat Berry Salad I'm posting today. Whole grains are "complex carbohydrates."
Wheat Berry Salad: Good Carbs
Wheat Berry Salad is a flavorful, satisfying side dish or main entree. Although it takes a little while to cook the wheat berries, once they are done, making the salad is a snap. And it's super good. It's best to refrigerate it for at least an hour before eating it, however. It allows the flavors to meld.
Until a few years ago, I didn't really understand what complex carbs were. I thought all carbs were "bad" and raised blood sugar quickly, something that I don't want to happen since I'm diabetic (Type II). But this isn't true. Wheat berries are full of good carbs.
About Those Carbs
Simple carbs (fruit, sugar, candy, white bread, potatoes, etc.) are digested quickly and therefore, raise blood sugar quickly. But complex carbs take much longer to digest, include insoluble fiber (good for keeping things "moving" in your body), and do not turn directly into glucose in your body. If you are carb counting, you can subtract the fiber from the number of carbs, too!
Wheat berries, when cooked, are chewy and nutty in flavor. I think you're gonna love them. This salad is beautiful on a bed of spinach or lettuce, served with crisp green beans or another vegetable, sliced tomatoes and orange slices. It makes a filling accompaniment to any poultry, fish or meat. You can also make it with wild rice instead of wheat berries. It is awesome both ways.
Finally, wheat berries would not be considered "gluten free." However, I am able to eat them even though processed wheat makes me ill. So I didn't mark this recipe "gluten free," but if you aren't celiac and are merely sensitive to gluten, you may be able to eat them.
Wheat Berry Salad Recipe
- 1 cup uncooked wheat berries hard red spring or winter
- 2 scallions green onions, chopped
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup lite soy sauce
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup light extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons grated orange or lemon rind
- Place the wheat berries in a large saucepan and dover the wheat berries with 4 cups of water.
- Bring the pot to a boil and reduce the heat to low.
- Cover the pot and cook over low heat about 45 minutes until the wheat berries are about triple in size and when you taste them, they are chewy.
- Drain the wheat berries and put them in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the onion, walnuts and cranberries to the bowl of wheat berries. Set aside.
- Whisk remaining ingredients (soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, zest) until emulsified and then pour this dressing over the wheat berry mixture.
- Stir and refrigerate for one hour or more.
Recipe Nutrition Information
This recipe is DF, NF, EF, V, VG*
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Nourish Your Body & Soul
I encourage you to care of yourself by eating satisfying, nourishing food that is good for your body and makes you feel healthy. Protect your spirit by living authentically, moving your body, and taking time to replenish and rest. I think you might also like these recipes & posts from Recipe Idea Shop:
- Brown Rice Salad with Cranberries and Nuts
- Black and Brown Rice Salad
- Quinoa Fruit and Nut Salad
- Lentil Quinoa Salad Recipe
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GF = Gluten free | DF = Dairy free | NF = Nut free | SF = Soy free | EF = Egg free | CF = Corn free | V = Vegetarian | VG = Vegan
Note: If you have serious allergies or sensitivities, to be considered free of these allergens, you need to use products specifically marked "gluten free," etc. There can be cross-contamination in facilities.
This post was first published on Recipe Idea Shop September 29, 2010 and updated June 28, 2021.