Wheat Berry Breakfast Bowl

Wheat Berry Breakfast Bowl Recipe


This is better than milk and dry cereal, I promise. Thin slices of sautéed pears, ruby-hued cranberries, and plump, golden wheat berries are sweetened with generous dollops of maple-sweetened yogurt and finished with plenty of toasted pecans and a sprinkling of dried persimmons, ginger, and dates. You get just enough crunch from the pecans to play off the chewiness of the wheat berries, and just enough sweetness from the maple yogurt to play off the tart edge of the cranberries. While I've been enjoying individual-sized portions of this in my breakfast bowl, I imagine it would be quite stunning served on a platter family-style at the next brunch I attend.

Wheat Berry Breakfast Bowl

You can prep a good portion of this recipe a day or two before, if needed. Pre-cook the wheat berries, toast the pecans, make the maple yogurt and chop the dried fruit. That leaves just two things prior to serving - heating the wheat berries, and cooking the pears and cranberries. Also, for a slightly more decadent version do a maple-sweetened mascarpone in place of the yogurt. You can also experiment with other fruit depending on the season. I'm imagining that a cherry or berry version of this would be delicious. And play around with different nuts (or combination of nuts)...

 
 
 
 

Wheat Berry Breakfast Bowl

I used red anjou pears here, but any firm, flavorful pear will do. Also, this recipe calls for wheat berries but don't get discouraged if you can't find them (check the bin section at Whole Foods Market or natural foods stores) - any plump, whole grain will do - farro, barley, oat groats, etc.

1 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup maple syrup

scan tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
scant tablespoon of butter
2 firm pears, cored and chopped into 1/4-inch THIN bite-sized slices
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
3 cups cooked wheat berries* (see head notes for alternatives)
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1/2 cup assorted dried fruits, chopped (I used equal portions of dried persimmons, dates, and crystallized ginger)

Whisk the yogurt and maple syrup together and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-hight heat, sauté the pear slices in the olive oil and butter for about five minute, or until they get a bit golden. Keep an eye on them though, because they can burn in a flash. Toward the very end, stir in the cranberries and cook for another minute or so - just until the cranberries soften up a bit and a few of them begin to split open. Add the wheat berries to the skillet and toss gently.

Turn out onto a platter, or serve in individual bowls ladled with a generous amount of the maple yogurt, and sprinkled with plenty of pecans and dried fruit. For those of you who prefer a bit more sweetness, serve with more maple syrup on the side.

Serves 4-6.

*To cook wheat berries: Combine 2 cups wheat berries, 6 cups water, and 2 teaspoons salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, until plump and chewy (and a few of the berries split open), about an hour or so. The berries will stay al dente, and the only way to be sure they're done is to taste a few. Drain and set aside.

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Your Comments


This looks delicious - I only wish I had the ingredients here to make it for breakfast tomorrow!

 

Julie VR
January 18, 2009

This is so up my alley! I imagine it would be phenomenal with barley too.

 

Lily
January 19, 2009

I bet extra virgin raw coconut butter would be great in this....

 

gastroanthropologist
January 19, 2009

This looks so delicious...the browns and reds against the white yogurt are gorgeous and so appetizing.

I might add some cinnamon to the yogurt + maple syrup.

 

Pearl
January 19, 2009

That looks beautiful!

 

Botacook
January 19, 2009

What a wonderful healthy breakfast recipe!

 

fra
January 19, 2009

Ohhh I would like it for my breackfast!

 

Anna
January 19, 2009

Have you ever tried goji berries? They're really delicious (taste a little in the direction of raisins). I can imagine that they would taste great in this recipe as well - maybe soaked for a short while in some water, or just dried as they come.

Looks like a delicious breakfast, and certainly much better than those Frosted Flakes and milk!!

 

Ben
January 19, 2009

This looks delicious.

I would highly appreciate it if anyone in the UK could suggest where I could purchase these wonderful 'wheat berries'!

 

I have been wanting to try wheat berries for breakfast for a while now. This recipe looks perfect!

 

Nirvana's Kitchen
January 19, 2009

This looks gorgeous -- there is no better way to start the day that with such a yummy, healthy breakfast!

 

Nirvana's Kitchen
January 19, 2009

This looks gorgeous -- there is no better way to start the day that with such a yummy, healthy breakfast!

 

Nirvana's Kitchen
January 19, 2009

This looks gorgeous -- there is no better way to start the day that with such a yummy, healthy breakfast!

 

Kimberly
January 19, 2009

This looks so good. I make wheat berries for breakfast with dried fruit, nuts and pomegranate seeds and my kids love it. I'm going to try this one this week. Yummy! I love this site. I just stumbled upon it and I have three or four of the recipe's on it for this weeks menu.

 

Tisiphone
January 19, 2009

Those persimmons are so pretty!
I hope I can find some in London

 

I always make breakfast couscous but I never imagined making this. It looks so delicious! I can't wait to make it. Thanks for the inspiration.

 

April
January 19, 2009

I can not wait to try this! I bought a bag of wheat berries so long ago because I thought they were pretty but had no clue what to do with them.

Thanks!

 

The Diva on a Diet
January 19, 2009

Love wheat berries! This looks so delicious and hearty. A perfect way to start the day. Gorgeous recipe and photos.

 

Jennifer
January 19, 2009

I LOVE this idea!!!

 

Susan
January 19, 2009

This looks amazing. I'm going to try it with the spelt berries I have on hand.

 

Busy Boys
January 19, 2009

This looks delicious! I keep wheat berries on hand for baking bread. Do you know which of these 3 kinds would work best for this recipe: hard white, soft white (pastry), or hard red? Thank you!

 

Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet
January 19, 2009

Goodness! What a mouthwatering way to get your whole grains in the morning. For me it would require a special trip to the store to get everything listed, but it sounds well worth the trip.

 

Yaara
January 19, 2009

A wonderful idea for a late fall brunch!

 

Delicious! I do something similar with wheat berries & bananas, and I'm always playing around with quinoa breakfast bowls. Lovely recipe!

Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well

 

There is a similar recipe to this that I enjoy often from the San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook, but your addition of some of my winter favorites makes this a truly special seasonal treat. I love the dried persimmons, which I tried for the first time a little while ago at the Ferry Building. Lovely!

 

Patricia
January 19, 2009

This sounds like pure sin! A reason to get up in the morning and dance.

 

Jennifer
January 19, 2009

Thank you Heidi! I've had wheatberries in my fridge for about 5 months now, not knowing how to cook them. I've read you had to soak them overnight, rinse them, and all sorts of cooking times. I will trust your method of cooking and I will make them tonight! Finally!!

 

Globalveggie
January 19, 2009

Ben - in the UK, you should be able to buy wheatberries from Whole Foods in Kensington, London, most health food shops like Holland and Barrett, or the larger branches of Waitrose (the dried lentils and nuts section).

 

Kate@LivingTheFrugalLife
January 19, 2009

We do something similar with spelt berries. We've found that they cook very nicely in a rice steamer. What you've done here looks gorgeous and a little decadent, more like what we often do with our oatmeal. The spelt berries are surprisingly good with just a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

 

sarah
January 19, 2009

How do you do it, Heidi? I avoid wheatberries--I'm not sure why, but after reading your description, and see your photo, as usual I am thinking that I will be making this soon. Thanks and keep up the inspiring service and I would dare even say, "ministry" to us healthy wannabes.

 

Tracy
January 19, 2009

I love wheat berries and eat them any time of the day... but it never occurred to me to turn a bowl of them into something on the sweet side! I'll be tinkering with this, for sure.

 

Sue
January 19, 2009

Can you cook the wheat berries in a pressurized rice cooker? I have always sprouted my wheat berries so when I read your directions on cooking, it seems as if it might be quicker to stick in the cooker.

 

The Duo Dishes
January 19, 2009

Anything with beautiful, natural colors like that is bound to be a good way to start the day. Looks too good to eat. Almost!

 

Organic Goodness
January 19, 2009

Oh wow! what a beautiful dish! With breakfast being the only meal I actually have time to prepare these days, new recipes are much appreciated! Thanks!

 

Aletta Karsies van Eeden
January 19, 2009

to Ben from UK: The term wheatberry or wheat berry refers to the entire wheat kernel (except for the hull). So you can probably find it in many shops.

 

SF Annetta
January 19, 2009

Heidi, I LOVE your site!

I so appreciate creative, delectable food that remains healthy in its preparation. The way you present ideas works as an enormous springboard for me. Your asthetic sensibilities are very much appreciated here. Thank you!!!

I have been a loyal, local reader, but have never left a comment. Today I have a question for you. Would it work to use a rice cooker for the wheat berries and other like grains? I received one for Christmas with fuzzy logic cooking settings, but the directions leave a bit to be desired. So far all the different kinds of rice have come out perfect. Thanks, and really a big thanks for all the inspiration.

 

Lily
January 19, 2009

This looks absolutely DELICIOUS!!
I cannot wait to try it. I'm always trying to brainstorm yummy and creative breakfasts, so this is perfect!
P.S. I would love to see more of your breakfast recipes in the future!

 

Kamaobo
January 19, 2009

I really like the recipes and they look so delicious. Thks for sharing it.

 

sharon
January 19, 2009

I am so thrilled that you posted this recipe! I just made a double batch of Kamut and Spelt berries yesterday. I will definitely try this recipe tomorrow morning!!! (sans dried persimmons b/c I don't have any, and with almonds instead of pecans since I am allergic)
Yum!
Thanks!
Sharon

 

Beatrice
January 19, 2009

I was just wondering how I could work barley into a breakfast dish. Now I know!

 

Liz @ OddKitchen
January 19, 2009

I'd forgotten about dried persimmons. How chewy they are, and subtly sweet! There's a good persimmon cookie recipe I'd like to unearth. Now I'm wondering about the versatility of persimmons in cooking.

 

I like that you suggested barley as an alternative, as my pantry is full of it. I am, however, intrigued by wheatberries and I am going to start looking for them. Unfortunately, we don't have a whole foods here in montreal.

 

Kalinda
January 19, 2009

Looks beautiful! I was experimenting with hot cereal this weekend (using millet, as we can't do the wheat thing), maybe I'll try out your flavor combo next weekend.

 

Hayley
January 19, 2009

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and I wish I had eaten something like this earlier this morning! Everything you make is so impressive, your family is truely lucky to have someone like you in the kitchen.

 

Cathy
January 19, 2009

In New York City, I've had a great wheat berry salad with a vinaigrette-type dressing with dried cranberry and green onion, etc. It's great. If you get some savory wheat berry inspirations, I'd love to try them!!

 

Hillary
January 19, 2009

Jeez, I've never even heard of wheat berries! This kicks my idea of a healthy breakfast's butt.

 

Virginia
January 19, 2009

Thank you! I was just looking through all my cookbooks for a wheatberry recipe for breakfast. I love them mixed with my brown rice with thai food - but wanted that crunch for breakfast to really wake me up. Thanks for all the recipes.

 

MsGourmet
January 19, 2009

dried persimmon what a great idea!

 

Dana McCauley
January 19, 2009

The year I was at chef's school I had to walk quite a long way and it was always snowy and cold that winter. I made a very similar breakfast mixture that I used to fuel my walks and I have to say, it was a tasty ritual!

I love the fruit in your version and thank you for reminding me of eating wheat berries for breakfast.

 

larissa
January 19, 2009

yummy sounds like a great combination!!

 

Angela@Spinach Tiger
January 19, 2009

H. I am always inspired by you to try something alternative and you've made the wheatberries look so beautiful.

 

Lizzie
January 19, 2009

your photos always win me over immediately!

 

cassie
January 19, 2009

!!! oh, damn. i came THISCLOSE to buying wheat berries at the market the other day, too. if i only i had seen this before i went!

 

Nick
January 19, 2009

I'm currently in the process of re-structuring my breakfast which requires too many ingredients: oats, milk, pumpkin puree, a banana, maple syrup, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. I'm trying to expand my horizons and I've heard many good things about wheat berries. As soon as I can find them, I'll give these a try, great looking recipe!

 

Tungalagsaikhan
January 19, 2009

Thank you for your inspiration and dedication of food. I love what you do.
The breakfast bowl looks so delicious.
Thank you again.
God Bless you

 

Ben
January 20, 2009

Globalveggie, Aletta Karsies van Eeden,

Thank you very much.

 

Jenny
January 20, 2009

Better than milk and cereal? My God, it looks awesome!!!!

 

Sara
January 20, 2009

This looks great! I am looking for new breakfast ideas so this is perfect.

 

StuffCooksWant
January 20, 2009

Looks like my regular oatmeal breakfast is going to get a much-needed update...the yogurt and maple syrup sound so great. Warm from the inside out. Love it! Thanks for the ideas!

 

Tracy
January 20, 2009

Okay... I made this with pearl barley, dried goji berries, dried cranberries and raw walnuts. About the only thing I stayed true to were the sauteed pears and the Greek yogurt with maple syrup! As I served it up for myself, I thought, "This is not going to be good." To my surprise, it was delicious! Heidi, thanks for inspiring healthy eating!

 

Just when I started getting bored stiff of my breakfasts, your wheat berries picture popped up on my screen. It's exactly what I needed - a little healthy inspiration. Looks wonderful. Thank you! By the way, I served your Broccoli Crunch Recipe the other night and it was amazing! Raving reviews.

 

Kath
January 20, 2009

I LOOOVE wheatberries!! I am def. saving this recipe :)

 

Jess
January 20, 2009

Heidi, this is so timely for me! I had wheatberries with oat milk, banana and blueberries for breakfast yesterday. I actually sprouted my wheatberries instead of cooking them - lots of nutrition is released that way. Also it's summer in Australia so I wanted to find a way to eat them cold. I love your flavor combinations here, lovely for a winter breakfast.

 

Ted Grubb
January 20, 2009

Hey Heidi,

I made your wheat berry salad and absolutely loved it. I definitely want to try this one as well.

I just had one question:
I shop at Rainbow Grocery and they have light and dark wheat berries. Which ones do you use for these recipes?

HS: Hi Ted, I believe the ones you see in the shot up above are hard winter wheat berries from Massa Organics. But I've also used soft wheat berries (from Rainbow) many times in the past.

 

leangreencafe
January 20, 2009

Mmmm. I love the chewiness of whole wheat. The other ideas from comments are really great, too. Never tried dried persimmons or sauteed pears...

 

mber
January 20, 2009

mmm...now I know why I haven't eaten the rest of the leftover wheat berries yet. And why I haven't made it to the market yet: because I wouldn't have picked up the cranberries I need for this! Thanks, I just ran out of breakfast bread, so it's just in time.

 

Jessie
January 21, 2009

Does anyone out there happen to know what wheatberries are called in German? I just moved to Berlin and "wheatberry" is not in my dictionary... it looks delicious, though! Heidi, your photographs are always so beautiful.

 

Steph
January 21, 2009

wheatberries are great: i've had them a couple times from restaurants but never made them myself. now, it has become at the top of my grocery list!

p.s. i also wanted to let you know, i added you to my blogroll =)

http://IAmBee-steph.blogspot.com/

 

Aliya
January 21, 2009

Heidi, I sit at my computer going through your recipes just salivating at the pictures and ingredients listed. Every recipe looks amazing to me. I've never commented before. But this just looks too good. I will definitely be adding a few things to my shopping list so I can make this and see if my husband will eat it too! I always loved it when my mom cooked some wheat berries for breakfast growing up. She always just cooked them in a crock-pot overnight with honey and water. This looks like a perfect dish to sprinkle some flax seed over!

 

All for Veggies
January 21, 2009

This looks beautiful and tasty...I will have to give it a try.

I finally bought SNC...found it in the Anthropologie store during a vacation to Miami. I got so excited that I actually shouted "Ooh, ooh, ooh, Heidi's cookbook!!" across the store to my friend. I got the second to last copy...and when I strolled past again a few minutes later, the other was also gone. :-) Even if I were illiterate I would still look at it every day.

 

wendy
January 21, 2009

i am eating my post run yummy bowl of goodness now. delish!!!!!!!!!! heavenly!!!!!

 

Kristina Elseth
January 21, 2009

This is the most delicious breakfast I have ever eaten. The trick is not to eat 3 or 4 servings myself!

 

zestycook
January 21, 2009

Heidi, I have been a lurker for some time now. I have never commented but I am so impressed with the quality you display here. I really love your site.

zesty

 

Crystal
January 21, 2009

This looks like a great way to use all the extra wheat berries I just bought for another of your recipes!

 

wendy
January 21, 2009

i posted this morning that is was delish for my breakfast. so i had it again for lunch. and i'm wishing i had another bowl for snack......

 

carlos
January 22, 2009

looks great! Can't wait to try it...sans the maple (need to avoid the sugar/carbs) Wish there was some nutritional information.

 

Elaine
January 22, 2009

http://www.fresh-network.com/acatalog/wheat-berries-organic.html
You can mail order them here in the UK. Some of the larger health food shops might have them. The Fresh and Wild in Old Street used to have them before it shut, sigh.

 

Elaine
January 22, 2009

http://www.fresh-network.com/acatalog/wheat-berries-organic.html
You can mail order them here in the UK. Some of the larger health food shops might have them. The Fresh and Wild in Old Street used to have them before it shut, sigh.

 

Sifi
January 22, 2009

Sounds great. I even have most of the stuff in the house to make it!
BTW for those of your readers in the E Bay, Massa Organics sometimes sells wheat berries in the Berkeley Farmers Market. I just cook up a batch and make up recipes around them. For the current batch I threw some into a cooked pot of pinhead oats and ate little bowls of it all week with toasted walnuts, maple syrup and half and half. They also made a great addition to a simple soup made with cannellini beans, carrots, onions, flat-leaf parsley and stock. Thanks!

 

Joseph Ignatius
January 23, 2009

While all the comments I read said it looked good, Ireally wonder how good it tastes. In india we don't get cranberries, maple syrup and pecans.What of the follow8ing would you suggest as comparable substitutes ? - cherries, walnuts, raisins, cashew nuts, honey and caramelized sugar (golden syrup)

 

kitchenbeard
January 24, 2009

Ahhh - just in time for me to have come back from rainbow with 2 pounds of them as an experiment. I may bring this recipe to brunch tomorrow.

 

Matty
January 25, 2009

On this recipe, I substituted maple syrup for honey and used cherries. It worked out well.

I mixed the leftover wheatberries with Heidi's Broccoli Crunch recipe - it was delicious!

 

Alisa
January 25, 2009

I love wheat berries! They just take so darn long to cook!

 

Fern
January 25, 2009

I wonder what this would be like cold.

 

-Mel-
January 25, 2009

This sounds great! I have been working in the deli of an organic/local grocery store for a short while. I am being introduced to a lot of whole grains that I might not have tried if it wasn't for my job, only for the fact that I haven't been introduced to any of these ingredients until now. I fell in love with kamut and always keep it on hand. I can eat it just plain. I think this would be a good way to use it as well. Thank you for the idea!!!!!

 

Alycurry
January 26, 2009

One of my resolutions for 2009 was to become a more all natural cook. I enjoy reading Heidi's recipes and frequent 101 Cookbooks often...just haven't put those recipes and concepts into action, yet.

So, here's a newbie question (please don't laugh)....where do you find wheat berries at the grocery? I have a Whole Food nearby and our chain grocery has a decent natural foods section. But I have no idea where to find wheat berries. Thanks to all for your help!

HS: Hi Alycurry. Have a look in the bin section at Whole Foods, if they don't happen to carry the wheat berries at that particular location, go for something similar - barley, pearl barley, a plump whole grain rice, etc. Or ask someone who is also shopping in the bins what they might substitute :)

 

JamiZ
January 26, 2009

I made this dish on Sunday morning with pearled barley instead of wheat berries (shorter cooking time) and I used craisins instead of real cranberries and dry fruit. It was delicious. A perfect breakfast on a cold morning.

I had it again this morning...heated it up with some soy milk. Yum!

 

Pritya
January 27, 2009

Hi Heidi, What a treat for the kids! Your write-up and pics are most convincing. What alternative to maple sweetened yogurt would you suggest?

 

Sonia
January 27, 2009

I am eating this right now. It is so so so good! I knew it would be as soon as I read the recipe, which is why I just had to try it out! My boyfriend and I love it :-)

I used crystalized ginger, dried mango slices, and dried apricots for the fruit topping, and it is delicious. I am sure any combination of dried fruits would be divine though!

My cooked pears were not half as beautiful as yours, Heidi, but the complete product is so delicious!

 

wheat berries
January 27, 2009

One of my resolutions for 2009 was to become a more all natural cook.

 

the purcells
January 27, 2009

this looks absolutely delicious! love wheatberries but have yet to eat them for breakfast - fabulous idea!!

 

Allison
January 27, 2009

I usually cook a pot of steel cut oats early in the week and then take a scoop to work each day. I ran out of oats and just happened to come across this post...Ok, I can't say I just happened upon it, I check the site all the time. I didn't have the same ingredients but used the recipe as inspiration. Anyway, this is sure to become a new favorite...

I cooked a pot of wheat berries with some salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Then this morning I took a scoop to work and heated it up with half a banana and some peanut butter.

Delicious! A welcome change! Thanks!

 

srindar
January 28, 2009

Made this over the weekend for overnight guests and it was fabulous. Making the wheat berries the day before made for super-quick preparation the next morning. I cooked down some frozen strawberries in lieu of the cranberries and added dried cherries, which turned out to be a great combination and gave the dish a beautiful jewel-like color. The greek yogurt-maple topping was a perfect complement. Another winner.

 

Jenn
January 28, 2009

After devouring two half batches of the wheat berry salad from your cookbook I had to try this.
I haven't had any luck finding cranberries, so just omitted them. Used cherries as one of my dried fruits to add the tartness the cranberries would have had. I am enjoying it now; what a great blend of flavors this is.

 

Alimar
January 28, 2009

This is actually a modified version of the traditional Ukrainian dish, called kutia, which is served as the first of 12 courses on Christmas Eve. The difference is that kutia calls for honey, poppy seeds and tart apples (not olive oil, yogurt, pears). Funny thing is, like you, we often transform the leftover kutia into breakfast cereal over the next few days !

HS: That sounds like a great variation Alimar - thanks for sharing.

 

Alicia
January 28, 2009

Mmmm, this would be great with sprouted wheat. Higher protein and enzymes than the cooked version. Heidi's recipes always give me great ideas of raw versions along with the cooked ones.

Soak 1 C wheat berries in 2 C room temp. pure water 8-10 hours, then keep in a jar out of direct light and rinse 3 times a day for 2-3 days.

Add all the ingredients without cooking any of them and the natural sweetness and nuttiness comes out. Cranberries are great blended raw in a blender with Maple syrup.