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ladypatriotus.blogspot.co
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Discussion Starter #1
I couldn't find an all-inclusive discussion on this forum (and I hope this is the correct location for the topic) reguarding wheat berries. Tastythreads’ thread, What's a good price to pay for wheat berries? got me thinking more about wheat berries. So, I started some research on the questions I had and posted below. Additionally, I would like some feedback from those who are more experienced with using/storing wheat berries, as my research is only academic in nature :eek::

1) What are wheat berries? The term wheatberry or wheat berry refers to the entire wheat kernel (except for the hull), composed of the bran, germ, and endosperm. Wheatberries have a tan to reddish brown color and are available as either a hard or soft processed grain. They are often added to salads or baked into bread to add a crunchy texture. If wheat berries are milled whole-wheat flour is produced. (Wikipedia)

2) WHY wheat berries? In James Rawles’ book, How to Survive The End of the World as we Know It, he states “Grain storage is a crucial aspect of family preparedness…. I do not recommend storing flour, as it keeps for only two or three years. Whole wheat stores for thirty-plus years, maintaining 80 percent or more of its nutritional value. Buy whole grains and a hand wheat grinder.”

3) How should wheat berries be stored long term? From my research, it seems the most common and practical way to store wheat berries is inside of food grade plastic buckets using a few oxygen absorber packet (bugs cannot survive in the bucket with the oxygen absorbing packets). Here is a great blog on the subject with pictures and how-to’s. This blogger recommends asking local bakeries for their used and empty icing buckets.
Additionally, mylar bags are a viable and useful option. At survivalmom.com, she states: One reason mylar is so popular is because it can be re-sealed over and over. Just remember to add a new oxygen absorber each time. In an evacuation, these smaller packages would be easier to grab and pack. This YouTube video shows how to store wheat berries in a mylar bag.

4) Cost: There seems to be a very wide variety of price points for wheat berries in bulk. Refer to tastythreads' thread on this forum reguarding cost.

5) Preparation: There are any number of ways to prepare wheatberries in a meal. James Rawles recommends the easiest preparation of all: soaked wheat berries. "By simply soaking for 24 to 36 hours, whole grain wheat plumps and softens into berries. When then heated, wheat berries make a nutritious breakfast cereal." You can also hand grind them into wheat flour. Chefinyou.com: Due to their nutty taste and chewy texture they are used in soups and stews. They are also added to breads either cooked or sprouted. They are especially excellent as salads when combined with citrusy flavors. They can also be added along with other whole grains to make a simple yet delicious pilafs. Wheat berries can also be sprouted to grow wheat grass which is extemely good for you (often, it is juiced) and a very powerful detoxifier and healer.

6) Flour: Perhaps the most widespread use is to mill your wheat berries into usable flour. The wheat berries store FAR longer than already milled flour. There are a number of ways to mill your own from a hand cranked mill to an electric one. Here is a thread on Survivalist Forum that talks about different mills and electric vs. hand crank. Another good thread is Why do I need a grain mill?
 

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Hurray For Me & **** You
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Thank you for this thread. It's been very much on my mind lately, and I'd love to have a few more facts.

Wheat berries were a hot topic at the Star Chefs congress in NY this past weekend. Quinoa, dried stevia, foraging, & sumac berries were also popular.

I have a question to add to this thread:

Can you plant and grow wheat berries after they've been in long term storage with O2 absorbers? What would the germination rate be? Would the O2 negatively affect the seed? Kellene has stated that it is a living thing and should not be stored with O2 absorbers. Curious to find out the facts on that one!

I believe we need to focus on other grains and seeds, also. Millet, barley, sorghum, buckwheat, faro, quinoa, flax, even sunflowers.........Diversity is the key to survival, right?

Edit: I wanted to add this link about the Sumac berries as mentioned above.

http://ruralspin.com/2012/01/17/sumac-a-multi-season-edible/
 

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Awake
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I buy my Organic hard red wheat from Amazon - 25 lb bags, and normally find it with FREE SHIPPING. The price isn't too bad. You can freeze it in advance before storing it dry. This should prevent any pests issues. I do keep a few lbs of wheat grinded and in the freezer at all times for those times when I'm in a hurry and want artisan bread, waffles, or pancakes.

I invested in an electric mill, and I also have a handcrank (for when SHTF)

Anyway, I was just thinking earlier what to have for breakfast. This just reminded me I can whip up a batch of whole wheat pancakes! ;)
 

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Guns and Yoga
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I remember MikeK, Gallo and I going around in a thread about a few years ago.

We sprout them and eat for breakfast or add to homemade bread and salads, throw in the solar cooker for a hot grain after working the land all day and i usually make up a 6 gallon bucket of bulgur for ultra fast cooking on the trail.
 

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Pleasantly demented woman
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SLFournier, thanks for the thread, and welcome to the Forum.

Re. storage: A plastic bucket and O2 absorbers is not recommended because the buckets are still too gas permeable to provide a good seal. Use a 5-gallon mylar bag sealed with O2 absorbers INSIDE the bucket, using the bucket as a protection against rodents and puncture damage to the bag.

I find it works well to put the empty bag inside the bucket and fill it there, stopping every few inches to tug up on the sides of the bag so that it fills evenly. Then seal the bag, wait overnight to make sure the O2 absorbers suck the bag down nicely, and then put the lid on, label and store.

I love sprouted wheat berries in the wintertime.
 

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Registered
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I've never been big on rice and beans though In soups and stews rice is a great
extender, but hot buttered bread right out of the oven hard to beat, definetly my
first choice.
 

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Banned
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I buy my Organic hard red wheat from Amazon - 25 lb bags, and normally find it with FREE SHIPPING. The price isn't too bad. You can freeze it in advance before storing it dry. This should prevent any pests issues. I do keep a few lbs of wheat grinded and in the freezer at all times for those times when I'm in a hurry and want artisan bread, waffles, or pancakes.

I invested in an electric mill, and I also have a handcrank (for when SHTF)

Anyway, I was just thinking earlier what to have for breakfast. This just reminded me I can whip up a batch of whole wheat pancakes! ;)
I'm sure we buy from the same vendor!
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I've never been big on rice and beans though In soups and stews rice is a great
extender, but hot buttered bread right out of the oven hard to beat, definetly my
first choice.
Rice and beans are staples of cuisines all around the world. There are thousands of things you can do with them. Unfortunately it seems most people think boring bean soup or baked beans and white rice, and I don't blame them for being turned off. But explore some of the other cuisines and you can find so many different tasty ways to use them that you'll never run out of recipes.
 

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Rational Being
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A few notes on wheat berries, just from my experience.

Not all wheat is created equal. There are two main types: winter and spring. As their names imply, one is planted in the winter, one is planted in the spring. Inside of these two main classifications are many smaller types.

Hard Red - highest protein content, high gluten, best for hard breads
Soft Red - medium protein, good for breads (might have to add gluten for better rise) and beer
Hard White - medium protein, good for breads (might have to add gluten for better rise) and beer
Soft White - very low protein, used in pastries (excellent for pie crusts)and cookies

Then you also have Durum, which can be ground and used to make semolina flour for making pasta. It's high protein and develops a thick, sticky gluten.

I saw someone ask about sprouting stored grains. The answer is YES! If your grains are just dried and stored with 02 absorbers, you should be able to take them out at any time and plant them or sprout them if you so wish. You don't even have to do a lot of soil prep for wheat - just broadcast them over the top of soil or mowed grass and they'll go to town. Make sure they get plenty of water - if they dry out, it's nigh impossible to recover and get a good crop.

Wheat grass contains about the same nutritional value as any other leafy vegetable. It doesn't contain B12 as some proponents claim, nor does it magically cure every ailment under the sun as others say. Regardless, it IS healthy, and makes a good additive to shakes, soups, omelettes, salads, sandwiches, etc. To grow, just soak wheat berries for a couple hours in water, then spread them out on a food-safe screen. Rinse the berries 2-4 times a day, then allow them to drain on the screen. After 8-10 days, you should have a good crop of wheat grass. Snip it off with kitchen shears, then rinse again and let it grow back.

Chickens LOVE fresh wheat grass in the winter. The fun thing with this treat is that you don't even have to snip it for them. Just tear chunks of grass and seed out of the tray and toss it into the coop. They'll even go nuts over just the soaked seeds after you've cut off the yummy grass for your own use.

My kids love when I make homemade cocowheats. All I do is course-grind soft wheat, soak it overnight, then cook it with some milk, salt, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, a dash of cinnamon, and some sugar to taste. Every batch is different, just like my homemade hot cocoa, but always delicious.

Homemade tortillas are fun and easy, too. It only requires flour, water, oil, and salt. I used to flatten them with the bottom of a pan, then roll them out the rest of the way with a pin. Now I have a cast iron tortilla press that makes them just right. Brush them with some clarified butter or warm water, and keep them warm/moist for best folding results. Freeze the extra. For a fun twist, puree some tomatoes or greens and add it to your dough.

I've yet to try making pita bread. Still looking for a good how-to if anyone can suggest one. :)

Yes, it's fun reading about all the things you can do with wheat, but some of them take A LOT of trial and error. I've been making my own bread for years, but only recently started using freshly milled flours because my dear hubby got me the Country Living Grain Mill. It's a steep learning curve to make bread with whole grains after getting used to (nutritionless) all purpose flour.

Don't be scared. Get out there and experiment. At $12 or so for 25#, it's not like you're out a lot if something doesn't work.
 

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ladypatriotus.blogspot.co
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Discussion Starter #13
My kids love when I make homemade cocowheats. All I do is course-grind soft wheat, soak it overnight, then cook it with some milk, salt, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, a dash of cinnamon, and some sugar to taste. Every batch is different, just like my homemade hot cocoa, but always delicious.
Wow, this does sound delicious! What a great use for the berries! And this is very nutritious as well! Thanks! :D:
 

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Rational Being
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Just wanted to add something else. I mentioned adding gluten to some of the flours to get a better rise. This is what I use.



For sandwich bread, I add about a tablespoon per loaf to medium-protein flours. It'll even boost low-protein flours to make decent bread, if all you have available is soft white. (Walmarts, I've noticed, sell soft white in 25# bags.)
 

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I recall reading a while back that you could put some wheat berries in a thermos bottle, then pour in some boiling water, seal it and let it sit overnight, and it would be cooked and edible.

Yes it cooks them (I wrapped mine in a bath towel for insulation) and not only are they edible, they are quite yummy as a hot breakfast. A dab of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup makes it all the better. Eating that made me also think that you could use it like a rice pilaf with some fried up onions, carrots, etc.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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NectarNook, I use that too and it's a huge help. Have you tried King Arthur Flour's Whole Grain Bread Improver? I come out with FANTASTIC results every loaf!!!
There are all sorts of ways to improvise dough enhancers too. I don't have my list handy, but google turns up a bunch of them. Lecithin is one, vitamin C is another. I don't remember the rest. It's good to print up a list of them though.
 
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