Looking for a sturdy salad that holds up to any summer BBQ, picnic or potluck that comes along? We’ve adapted a recipe from Tufts University featuring whole grains and sun-kissed dried apricots in a lively dressing. This salad contains wheat berries, which are the whole, unprocessed kernels of wheat. This tasty nutritious ingredient can be found in natural food stores and many supermarkets. They are a bit time-consuming to cook, but we’ve included a time-saving method below.
- 3/4 cup wheat berries or spelt berries
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
- Cook wheat (or spelt) berries: Place in large saucepan and cover with 4 cups cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until berries are tender and some of the grains have started to splay, 45 to 60 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water. To cut the cooking time, soak wheat (or spelt) berries overnight in water. Drain; simmer berries in fresh water as directed in recipe for 30-35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place dried apricots in medium bowl; cover with boiling water. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain.
- Prepare dressing by whisking orange juice, vinegar, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper in large bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.
- Add pepper, scallions, cooked wheat berries and plumped dried apricots. Toss to coat well. Shortly before serving, stir in mint. This salad will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Yield: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts per serving : Calories, 150; total fat, 6 grams; saturated fat, 1 gram; cholesterol, 0, sodium, 80 milligrams; carbs, 21 grams; fiber, 4 grams; protein, 4 grams
Key Ingredient Benefits
Apricots: Apricots are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of pro-vitamin A carotenoids), and a good source of vitamin C, copper, dietary fiber, and potassium. Apricots contain phytochemicals called carotenoids, compounds that give red, orange and yellow colors to fruits and vegetables.
Coriander: Coriander or cilantro is a wonderful source of dietary fiber, manganese, iron and magnesium as well. In addition, coriander leaves are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and protein. They also contain small amounts of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, thiamin, niacin and carotene.
Cumin: It is probably not just for nutty, peppery flavor alone that cumin has made it into the stellar ranks of Indian, Middle Eastern and Mexican cooking. This ordinary looking seed is anything but ordinary when it comes to health benefits. Cumin is an excellent source of iron, a mineral that plays many vital roles in the body. It also benefits the digestive system and may have anti-carcinogenic properties.
Garlic: Vampire jokes aside, garlic can protect us in many ways. It contains sulfur compounds that may protect cells from cancer, relax blood vessels and improve cardiovascular health. Research suggests garlic may help boost our cellular antioxidant production. There is some evidence supporting numerous health benefits from a diet rich in garlic.
Olive Oil: This type of oil contains numerous antioxidant polyphenols in addition to monounsaturated oleic acid. Both help support fat metabolism and cardiovascular health. Studies suggest a healthy combo of olive oil and fish oil (omega 3s) can work together in maintaining a pro-inflammatory/anti-inflammatory balance.
Onion: Onions contain a number of flavonoids, one being quercetin (found in Juvenon’s Youthful Energy). This nutrient has been demonstrated in studies to protect the liver, cool the fire of inflammation and has anti-cancer properties. Quercetin may help in weight control by reducing fat synthesis and increasing fat burning.
Red Pepper: Bell peppers are an excellent source of carotenoids and vitamin C and are members of the nightshade family. They also provide plenty of fiber, water and Vitamin A.