Wheat Berry Breakfast Bowl Recipe

A perfect breakfast - 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.

Wheat Berry Breakfast Bowl

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)...

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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.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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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.

Liz @ OddKitchen

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


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


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


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!


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.

SF Annetta

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.

Aletta Karsies van Eeden

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!

Organic Goodness

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

The Duo Dishes

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.


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.


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.


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.

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).


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!!


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


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!

Claudia at Weird Vegetables

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

Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well

A wonderful idea for a late fall brunch!


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.

Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet

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