Torn Between Two Loves: Cold Cereal vs. Wheat Berries

Most cold cereals don’t stick with me. Swimming in a bowl of skim milk, they make a wholesome, crunchy breakfast for sure, but about an hour later I’m starving. And damn the luck if one of my favorites that actually did have some staying power just recently got outed for being anything but natural. And truth be told, my love affair with the Quaker Oats Man is only seasonal.
After months of exploration, my search for a ready in minutes, satisfying breakfast has finally come to an end. Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to announce the latest addition to my kitchen cabinets: the wheat berry. Whole-grain and versatile, these suckers not only fit the bill for breakfast but also can perk up your lunch and dinner.
Wheat berries are grains of wheat with the husks removed. Easy to prepare, they taste a bit nutty and look similar to brown rice. Loaded with fiber, protein and iron, they can be pre-cooked and kept in the fridge for about seven days. I sprinkle them with dried or fresh fruit and a big blob of vanilla yogurt for a hearty morning meal.
There are tons of ways to use these nutritious nuggets. Wheat berries tossed together with sautéed veggies, balsamic vinegar and EVOO make a delicious light lunch. Or check out Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe for Wheat Berries with Strawberries and Goat Cheese topped with honey-orange vinaigrette for a crazy good dinnertime side. I’ve even used them on top of salads for an eye-appealing finish that is loads cheaper than purchasing nuts.
Who knows, my amorous feelings may turn into more than just a summer fling. Once autumn rolls around, I have plans to also use my new-found love to create hearty soups, stews and casseroles.
It’s not like I’ve forgotten my first love; I’m sure we will remain friends. It’s just that right now my beloved wheat berries really are “all that and a bag of chips.”
Has your breakfast love grown stale? Are you ready to move on to the next best thing? —Karen

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