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Wheat Berries with Honey Cinnamon Ricotta, Currents & Pecans

July 29, 2010

What do you do when you come home from a trip, have hardly anything in your fridge and don’t have the energy to go to the store?  Dig through your cabinets, of course!

A few months ago my sister-in-law gave me a bag of wheat berries.  She had tried making them once and wasn’t a fan so she passed them on.  I really like wheat berry salads so I figured I’d use them.  Well, a few months later when I went digging in my cabinet, I decided to finally give them a try!  (I’d never actually made wheat berries, just had them at friends’ meals.)

If you’ve never had wheat berries, don’t expect a rice texture.  They’re really chewy and can be a little gummy.  They are a naturally whole grain, choc full of fiber and can be ground down to make whole wheat flour (or you could just buy that in the store…much easier!)  They also have lots of protein which makes them a really great base for breakfast, snack, side dish and this dish which could be a lovely dessert!

I’ve been watching Giada De Laurentiis make desserts with ricotta for years, but I never gave it a try.  I figured this would be a great time since I had some ricotta in the fridge.   I played around and came out with this yummy dessert or breakfast of wheat berries with honey cinnamon ricotta, currents and pecans.

Ingredients (2 servings)
1 cup wheat berries
2 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup low fat ricotta
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (to taste)
1/8 cup dried currents
1/8 cup chopped pecans

Start out by combining the wheat berries, sugar and water in a sauce pan or deep frying pan.   Bring to a rolling boil then let simmer for one hour.  Keep an eye on them.  If they absorb all of the water, add a little extra.

While the wheat berries are cooking, combine the ricotta, honey, cinnamon, currents, and pecans and refrigerate.

After an hour, let the wheat berries cool a bit.  Pour into a bowl and top with the ricotta mixture.  Sprinkle with extra cinnamon, currents and pecans.  You could also do this as a parfait and add fresh fruit into the layers.

It’s a sweet and creamy treat that packs a nutritious punch!  I had a little for dessert, but can’t wait to have it for breakfast!

Hello leftovers!
Make extra wheat berries and add some chopped veggies, a squeeze of lime or a drizzle of red wine vinegar, a sprinkle of salt and you have a lovely side dish!  In fact, the succotash pasta salad would be really satisfying with wheat berries instead of pasta!

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