Wheat berries are a type of whole-wheat grain that is often used in baking.
They also make an excellent side dish for any meal.
They can be eaten cooked or raw, and they provide lots of essential vitamins and minerals.
This article will cover how long wheat berries last, how to store them correctly, and how they are typically cooked.
What are Wheat Berries?
Wheat berries are the whole unprocessed kernels of wheat.
The berries are hull-less, and the endosperm, bran, and germ are all intact.
They have a distinct earthy flavor that can be enhanced by toasting them.
Wheat berries contain more than twice as many nutrients as wheat flour because they also include the nutritious outer layers of fiber–the bran and the germ.
When cooked, they become tender but chewy with a pleasingly dense texture reminiscent of brown rice or barley (depending on cooking time).
Soaking increases their nutritional value even further.
The longer you soak your dry wheat berries in water, the more nutrients are released.
When grains such as wheat berries, barley, or oats are soaked in water before cooking them, they release phytonutrients and enzymes that help break down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars for easy digestion.
They can be cooked and served like rice or oatmeal, added to soups for extra texture (think risotto), mixed in with salads, or used as a side dish topped with olive oil and fresh herbs after roasting them.
The nutritional value is high because they’re complete proteins containing all essential amino acids that our bodies need, including lysine, which most plant sources don’t have enough of.
You can buy wheat berries dried or canned.
They are available in health food stores and supermarkets, usually in the natural foods section.
How to Use Wheat Berries?
To use wheat berries, you will need to make sure that they are washed and soaked overnight in a large bowl of cold water.
The next day, put the wheat into a pot with fresh filtered water and heat to boiling.
Cook for about 20 minutes or until the berries are tender but not mushy, then remove from heat and let sit covered for five more minutes before draining off any remaining water.
The next step is to season with salt, pepper, herbs of your choice (fresh rosemary? dried thyme?), butter, or olive oil if desired.
You can also cook beans separately in another pot on the stovetop while you wait for the wheat to cook through so that they’re ready at a later time.
These wheat berries can be served as a side dish for your meal or eaten alone.
If you are looking to enjoy the wheat by itself, more salt and pepper are needed.
You should also toast it in butter before serving, drizzling with olive oil if desired.
This will give you a less sweet taste that goes well on its own with just some goat cheese.
How to Store Wheat Berries?
Wheat berries are a great thing to buy in bulk because they keep for quite some time.
You can store them at room temperature or freeze them to extend the shelf life even more.
When storing your wheat berries, try not to mix wet and dry grains.
They will spoil faster when mixed with other grain types.
It is also recommended that you use food-grade buckets or plastic bins for your storage containers, so you don’t have any leaks of chemicals on your staple foods.
Follow instructions on the packaging before purchasing: read the fine print and make sure it tells you how long until the expiration date and what conditions are required for safe storage.
This should be included in all packaged food products.
- Store only unopened packages of grain.
- Store at room temperature or freeze for longer shelf life.
- Label your container with the date you opened it.
- Keep in a cool place. Do not store near any source of heat, humidity, or moisture.
- Do not use if the package is torn or punctured.
How Long Do Wheat Berries Last?
Wheat berries are one of the most versatile whole grains you can buy.
You can cook them for a couple of hours, or just as long as it takes to get dinner on the table.
You should keep in mind that while they have a lot more nutrients than other refined carbs like white rice and bread, wheat does contain gluten, so if you’re not eating things with gluten already, then it’s best to avoid consuming too much at once.
If you’re not using them, they will last for a long time in the fridge, but if you want to store them at room temperature or freeze some for later use, here are some guidelines.
Room temperature: The coolness of room temperature could cause the wheat berries to sprout.
If you want them to last longer, it’s best if they stay un-refrigerated and are used within six months.
Freezer: Storing your wheat berries in a freezer will ensure that they’ll be good for one year or more.
Freezing is done by placing the wheat berries in a freezer-safe container or bag, leaving an inch of space to allow for expansion.
You can also freeze them by placing them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and then transferring it into the freezer while still frozen.
This is more time-consuming but will ensure no ice buildup when they’re ready to be cooked.
How to Tell if Wheat Berries are Bad?
Wheat berries can be stored for up to a year in dry, cool conditions with low humidity.
They need air circulation and must be kept away from things like onions, garlic, potatoes, or any other produce that emits ethylene gas because this will cause the wheat berries to spoil faster than normal.
The best way to tell if your wheat berry is bad is by looking at how they feel when you touch them.
If they seem moist or soggy, then it’s likely time to toss them out since these two qualities usually indicate mold growth.
You should also check the date on the package – anything older than six months old should probably go into food waste recycling bins rather than being cooked/eaten.
Another way to tell if wheat berries are bad is by smelling the package.
If they have a sour odor, it’s time to get rid of them.
Finally, you can tell if wheat berries are bad by cooking some and tasting them.
If they’re not fresh, the taste will be off.
In conclusion, wheat berries are healthy and versatile food for any diet.
If you’re not going to use all of your wheat berries before they expire, store them in a dry and cool environment.
You can freeze or refrigerate the grains for up to 12 months.
If you like to cook with wheat berries, buy fresh ones in small quantities.