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Wheat Berries for Emergency Preparedness and Long-Term Food Storage

Updated on August 11, 2016
PatriciaJoy profile image

PatriciaJoy has been interested in prepping and frugality for years. She's continued to learn and evolve her prepping style as needed.

Wheatberries before being cooked or ground.
Wheatberries before being cooked or ground. | Source

A Food Storage Staple

Wheat berries, also known as wheat kernels or just plain wheat, are one of the main food staples for long-term emergency preparedness food storage. They can be sprouted, ground up for bread, cracked and cooked for cereal. They can also be used as a meat extender and the flour can be used to make wheat gluten also known as seitan, a popular vegetarian meat substitute.

Whole wheat (which includes white wheat berries) has many more nutritional properties than the typical spongy bread from the supermarket. Flour from wheat berries contains wheat bran and wheat germ which is usually removed in the process of making white flour. It contains the entire B complex of vitamins except B12 as well as vitamin E and iron. One quarter cup of hard white wheat berries contains 5 grams of protein. They also have a long shelf life if stored properly (some sources say 30 years or more).

You can see why wheat berries are such a great food staple for short and long-term storage. Some people aim for building up to a year's supply of grains. Below is info on different types of wheat berries and the supplies you'll need for grinding, sprouting and cooking your own.

“Bread is the king of the table and all else is merely the court that surrounds the king. The countries are the soup, the meat, the vegetables, the salad but bread is king.” ~ Louis Bromfield, American novelist

Common Types of Wheat and Uses in Food Storage

Hard white wheatand hard red wheat are the two types of berries used for bread baking, sprouts, wheatgrass and cereal. Soft white wheat is used for making pastries including pie crusts and can be used in bread. You can purchase small amounts in many health food stores. Bulk amounts can be found in some health food stores, bulk stores, supermarkets, grain elevators and online at companies that specialize in emergency preparedness supplies. I've also found large bags at big box stores such as Walmart that are non-GMO and organically grown. To learn the best way to store bulk wheat long term, visit my article The Best Emergency Food Storage Supplies.

Grind Your Own Wheat

Once you have your wheat berries, you'll need some way to grind them into flour for baking. Below are hand and electric grinders to choose from. Some people like to have both so they can use the electric grinder now but have the manual grinder on hand in case of power failure. Of course the manual grinder can be used for everyday grinding too. It just takes a little more effort.

Cooking with Wheat

Besides making wholesome bread for sandwiches and enjoying with soups, stews and by itself, wheat has numerous other uses in cooking such as the sauteed wheat berry dish pictured below and sprouting for bread and to grow wheat grass for juicing.

Wheat berries sauteed with spring onion
Wheat berries sauteed with spring onion | Source

Wheat Berry Tutorials

Do you use wheat berries for baking or cooking?

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    • PatriciaJoy profile image

      PatriciaJoy 4 years ago from Michigan

      @Ibidii: Thanks so much for sharing that. It sounds delicious.

    • profile image

      Ibidii 4 years ago

      My Mom gave me a recipe for Boston Baked wheat. It has many of the same ingredients as the Boston Baked beans with bacon. It tastes great. You can only eat 1/4 of a cup until your body gets used to eating whole wheat berries. Then you can have 1/2 cup. I have made it vegan also with out bacon and only used vegetable oil or olive oil to sauté the veggies I like to use in it - celery and onions.

    • hartworks lm profile image

      hartworks lm 6 years ago

      We keep a good supply of wheat berries on hand. My husband grinds them up in our ten-year-old Vita Mix (suggest you add that to your list above) and then makes bread in our bread machine.

      Unfortunately, I am slightly allergic to wheat and gluten, so mostly I skip the bread... except for a few bites sometimes when it's fresh and I don't mind if I get a bit sleepy.

      In the event of an emergency situation where we needed to eat the wheat, I probably would eat more. But we have some quinoa stored too!

    • howtocurecancer profile image

      howtocurecancer 6 years ago

      My mom is eating wheat mom is fighting thyroid cancer nad she is on a diet with organic, natural food.