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Recipe: Wheat Berry Salad

A light and flavorful side dish

Wheat berry salad in white bowl

You’ll love the nutty sweetness of this light summer side. Packed with fiber and low in sugar and sodium, it goes well with burgers, chicken or a vegetarian entrée.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup hard wheat berries
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounces red onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) golden raisins
  • 1/4 Granny Smith apple (about 1 1/2 ounces), chopped

Directions

  1. Cook wheat berries uncovered in 8 cups of boiling water (without salt) until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt and pepper.
  4. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined.
  5. Add wheat berries, onion, dill, raisins and apples, and stir to coat well.
  6. Serve.

Ingredient health benefits

  • Whole grains: Wheat berries belong to this vital food group. Whole grains provide vitamin E and B vitamins, which support your eyes, metabolism, skin, blood cells and so much more. They also have fiber, plant protein and carbohydrates to help keep your energy levels high and your stomach satisfied.
  • Black pepper: Some spices have their own benefits to contribute to a meal, and black pepper is certainly one of them. It’s an anti-inflammatory, especially when you eat it with ginger and turmeric, and its powerful flavor helps keep your salt cravings at bay. Black pepper also helps your body absorb essential nutrients a little better, such as iron.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: It may be one of the older ingredients on the culinary scene. But with so many things to love besides its light, earthy flavor, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) will never go out of style. This cooking oil is packed with heart-helpful nutrients, like naturally occurring antioxidants called polyphenols and unsaturated fats. As a regular ingredient in your everyday meals, EVOO also helps your heart by raising your “good” (HDL) cholesterol while lowering your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Onions: You may be surprised to learn that these unappealing (unappeeling?) alliums are far more nutritious than they appear. Onions are full of flavonoids and vitamin C to help suppress unwanted inflammation, support your heart and strengthen your immune system. They also have fiber and prebiotics to help with digestion. Just be sure to cook your onions first, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. Doing this will prevent problems like bloating later on.
  • Apples: An excellent way to sweeten this salad and add some delicious benefits! Apples are rich in fiber and antioxidants that promote gut health, fight inflammation and lower your cholesterol levels. Apples help support healthy digestion in other ways, too. Certain natural compounds make it harder for bad gut bacteria to grow while providing prebiotics for the good gut bacteria to munch on.

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Nutrition information (per serving)

Servings = 12
Serving size = 1/2 cup

Calories: 83
Fat: 2 g
Saturated fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Protein: 2 g
Carbohydrate: 15 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sugar: 3 g
Sodium: 50 mg
Potassium: 40 mg

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