Twenty years ago if someone were to talk to me about wheat berries I wouldnít have the foggiest idea as to what they were talking about. My lack of knowledge about health kept me in the dark about the difference between white wheat products and whole wheat products in the early years of my life and I paid the consequences with a toxic system later on down the road. Thank goodness I started doing my own research about the importance of whole grains for optimal health. Besides that I discovered that the wheat berry is not the cousin of the blueberry bush.
Fast forward twenty years. Knowledge is good. Wheat berries are little kernels of grain that are ground down into making whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour can be used for making the same flour products that come from white enriched all purpose flour. The difference? Your health. Whole wheat is naturally grown and enriched with important vitamins and minerals that our body needs to stay healthy. These important nutrients have all been taken away from all purpose white flours and can be found in bags labeled wheat germ and bran in your health food stores.
The incredible, edible wheat berry is where all flour originates. Whole wheat flours contain three important parts of the wheat kernel, which are bran, endosperm, and germ. The bran is the hard, brownish outer protective skin of the grain berry and consists of 7 layers; these layers are a concentrated source of dietary fiber, which is absolutely necessary for a healthy system. The endosperm is the inner part of the grain and consists of the protein part of the kernel. The germ contains the plant embryo where most of the vitamin E content is stored. Whole wheat flour is a complete food.
White enriched all purpose flour does not have any nutrients left in it Ė it is an incomplete food. This is why they label it "enriched". They add a few trace vitamins back into the flour so they can call it enriched but it cannot compare to the benefits of whole wheat flours. Take away the bran, the germ, and the endosperm and what do you have left? A powdery white substance that has no nutritional value whatsoever. White wheat products have no flavor, they are light but fattening, fluffy but not very filling, and they almost always stick to the roof of your mouth. The really awful part about white wheat products to the diet is they back up the intestinal tract causing numerous health problems in the long run.
The wheat berry is an incredible kernel filled with life giving nutrients, and the neat thing about it you can eat it just the way it is without grinding it into flour. You can soak the wheat berries in hot water and a little sea salt and give yourself a fibrous, nutritious meal anytime throughout the day. You can add some honey or molasses, and youíll be good to go for several hours.
Wheat berries are energizing, and donít make you feel tired, bloated and sluggish like many breakfast cereals do. Iím going to share this recipe with you with much thanks to author Marlene Anne Bumgarner from her book The Book Of Whole Grains.
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