Meet a Great Whole Grain: The Wheat Berry

My boyfriend has recently fallen in love with wheatberries after trying them at the Whole Foods Market salad bar. Since he became hooked, I decided to buy a big container from the bulk section and begin experimenting with recipes for great salads and dinner side dishes.

What are wheat berries?

IMG_9579

Wheat berries are whole, unprocessed wheat kernels in their most natural form. Wheat berries contain the bran, germ, and endosperm of the wheat kernel, which means you are getting the maximum nutritional benefits. Wheat berries are an amazing whole grain and healthy form of a carbohydrate.

What are these nutritional benefits?

  • Very high in fiber – great for your digestive health
  • Loaded with B Vitamins which increase metabolism and support a healthy nervous system
  • High levels of magnesium and phosphorus which are essential for regulating blood pressure and supporting strong bones.
  • Contain plant estrogens or phytoestrogens that combined with the minerals found in wheat berries (magnesium, selenium, copper, and manganese) help reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancers.

This recipe I am sharing with you today is a perfect transition into fall. It is easy to make and incorporates many seasonal ingredients.

Fall Wheat Berry Salad

wheatsquash

Ingredients:

2 cups of wheatberries
½ butternut squash peeled and cubed
½ cup of diced figs
½ cup of walnuts or pecans
1 bag of kale

Directions:
1. Cook the wheatberries by bringing 6 cups of water to a boil and letting the berries cook on medium for about 50 minutes.
2. In the meantime, prepare a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with olive oil. Place the squash on top and spray again – cook in the oven on 375. After about 20 minutes, pull out the baking dish and add the bag of kale. Place back in the oven for the remaining 10-15 minutes. Take the squash and kale out of the oven and let cool.
– option to add the chopped figs in the oven at the half way mark to roast them as well
3. Once the wheatberries are finished cooking, add them to a large bowl – drizzle with olive oil and toss.
4. Add in the cubed squash, kale, figs, and nuts then mix thoroughly.
5. Serve as a side dish or on top of a green salad.

Enjoy : )

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Nothing screams fall more than enjoying some chili while watching Sunday football. I was on the hunt for a good healthy turkey chili recipe when I stumbled upon a Trader Joe’s Recipe that was simple and easy. I tweaked it slightly to sub out a few ingredients but the result was perfect and I am really excited to share it with you. All the ingredients can be found at your local Trader Joe’s or any other supermarket. Best part is that no crock pot needed – just about 30-40 minutes of your time!

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

pumpkin turkey chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • To top/garnish: 1/2 avocado and some mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, sauté onions and bell peppers in olive oil for about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add in ground turkey and continue sautéing until turkey is browned.
  3. Move the mixture to a large sauce pan.
  4. Stir in the can of tomatoes, two cans of pumpkin, white beans and spices.
  5. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly.
  6. Once the chili reaches a boil – reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Pour servings into bowls and top with slices of avocado and a small amount of cheese.

Enjoy : )

What to Eat this Spring Season: Six Superfoods

photo ab

With daylight savings behind us and having the pleasure of seeing the sun shining late into the evening, everyone is ready for warmer weather here in New England. This means spring fever; when people crave to be outside as well as begin to change their diets to incorporate more seasoned foods.

Many ‘”heavier” winter foods such as dark meats and root vegetables tend to disappear from seasonal menus and replaced with light, colorful, and refreshing ingredients. There are many seasonal spring foods that can also be considered superfoods, for good reason, and I have picked six superfood favorites to share:

 

  • Micro Greens: These types of greens are harvested in the early stages of growth and are known to pack 40 times higher levels of vital nutrients than other greens. These small greens have intense flavors which make them perfect for garnishing plates, topping salads and soups, and making pesto and other spreads.
how-to-grow-microgreens-0691
via steamykitchen.com
  • Strawberries: These berries are low in calories and packed with antioxidants, minerals, electrolytes and high levels of vitamin C. They are also known to contain significant amounts of the B complex group of vitamins and are also a great source of fiber.

    images
    via sheknows.com
  • Mangoes : These tropical fruits are nutrient dense and known for their high levels of Vitamin A and C. Mangoes also contain pre-biotic dietary fiber and antioxidants. photo a
  • Broccoli: This powerhouse vegetable is filled with fiber, countless vitamins and minerals, and is a great source of folates. Broccoli is also known to have cancer fighting properties.

    steamed-broccolik
    via healthyrecipesblog.com
  • Artichokes: These small flower buds are very low in calories but high in fiber and antioxidants. Artichokes contain high levels of magnesium which is essential for muscle strength and reaction time (among 299 other biochemical reactions).

    artichokes
    via artichokes.org
  • Eggs: These are fresh off the farm during the spring season and are completely underrated as a health source. They are filled with protein, good fats as well as many vitamins and minerals. It is recommended to eat the yolk; the yolk contains a vital nutrient choline which helps brain memory.

    Hardboiled_Eggs
    via vegonline.org

Look forward to more posts in the coming months with some lighter seasonal recipes incorporating these ingredients and in the mean time start looking for them to go on sale at your local grocery stores!

This article also appears on Women’s iLab to inspire the next generation of female leaders.