A Prepper’s Guide to Wheat Berries: Versatile, Space-Saving, Long-Term Food

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by Modern Refugee

Do you have wheat berries in your stockpile? Have you used them? It’s very important to learn how to work with your new ingredients well before you need to do so in an emergency.

Daisy Luther says:

Wheat berries are actually not berries at all – they are kernels of wheat.  I buy hard red wheat berries and they remind me of brown rice in appearance.

The wheat berry can be ground into flour, cooked as a hot breakfast cereal, soaked and sprouted, or cooked and used in place of rice in many different recipes like pilafs or salads. Not only do wheat berries contain substantial fiber, they are also a great source of manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, lignans, and phytochemicals.
Wheat berries are the ultimate space-saving “concentrated food”.  One cup of wheat berries turns into 1-1/2 cups of flour and 2-1/2 cups of cooked wheat berries.
Wheat berries are an ideal addition to your long-term food storage.  They will remain fresh and delicious for up to 20 years if stored properly.

Cracked Wheat and Bulgur

It’s no secret that my channel is a combination of old and new preparedness. Integrating the old way into modern ways is a pillar of my strategy. This cracked wheat/bulgur video is a good example.

It shows an old hand technique that may be relevant if circumstances warrant it. The video also discusses other uses for wheat berries. Most discussions on wheat revolve around making flour, but there are other ways to utilize this resource.

Making cereal or soup with cracked wheat is an often overlooked option. The more ways we can use our prep items, the more diverse our preparedness can be. Techniques like soaking grain can also have nutritional value, especially in a long term situation.


What kind of wheat berries should you get?

You can often find llarge quantities of grains on Amazon, including free shipping. But Daisy recommends that you don’t just buy any wheat berries.

..When choosing which wheat berries to purchase for your long term supply, its well worth the additional money to opt for an organic source.  Before the wheat seeds are planted, they are doused with pesticides and fungicides.  These toxins are reapplied while the wheat is growing and they are also saturated with synthetic hormones to speed the growth of the plant. In the fall, some farmers add even more pesticides to make harvesting easier. The PAN Pesticide Database identified more than 50 different pesticides soaking the California wheat crop of 2009.

One concern that you don’t need to have: at this point, there is no GMO wheat being grown anywhere in the world.  This being said, most of the wheat on the market is from hybrids (they are not considered to be genetically altered) that are nutritionally inferior to the wheat our ancestors ate.  If you have the option, the very best wheat to grow or buy is organic Einkorn wheat.

You can find some more recipes for wheatberries here.

How do you use wheat berries?

Another pillar of my channel is sharing things others may not have thought of, so they can look into it for themselves. This exchange of knowledge will in turn strengthen the preparedness community as a whole.

How do you use wheat berries? Do you have any tips for processing them manually? Share your strategies and questions in the comments.


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  • They are good to sprout as wheat grass. Wheat grass is very nutritional. Also, pioneers sprouted them and then ground them to make their bread. Sprouted bread is very tasty!

  • Agree wholeheartedly on buying organic. Non organic are also sprayed with roundup prior to harvest to dry them up nicely. They can also be popped in a pan like popcorn. I like to combine them with whatever grains I have, like brown rice, spelt, triticale, quinoa, etc. Soak overnight and cook for an hour or so together as a nice breakfast cereal. The fatter spring wheat works best for sprouting, but any kind is fine. The old book, Passport to Survival by Dickey, has a ton of ways to use wheat berries.

  • Long ago in the pre-internet era when I first learned over shortwave radio about home kitchen grain mills that can be powered either by hand cranking or motorized power, I bought a Country Living grain mill with their optional bean auger. Then I discovered that I needed to make a longer hand cranking arm than the too-short optional one the factory provides. That was easy to do with a piece of oak.

    Then I learned that grinding wheat berries into flour which then went into a recipe for pancakes made the best pancakes I’d ever tasted. That mill even lets you adjust the fineness or coarseness of whatever you are processing. But that was only the beginning of the discoveries. It turns out that you can grind just about any other grain (or combinations of grain) into flour. That makes a big difference if you have or develop medical conflicts with some grains but not others. And if you want to experiment with seeds, like hemp seeds for example, you should be able to grind those into flour — which is something I am not aware of being available in the US market even though Aldi carries the whole seeds.

    That bean auger also opens up a different world. Not only can you grind long term storable dried beans of all kinds into flour, you can grind nuts of many kinds (or combinations) into nut butter. (Yes, it’s a bit messy to clean up afterwards.)

    Then I had an unexpected opportunity to visit the Steamboat Arabia museum in Kansas City. That boat had been a supply ship to pioneer general stores up the Missouri River in pre-Civil War times. It hit a snag and went down in the river in 1856. Over the decades the river changed course and that region became a corn field. The boat and its contents were only excavated in the late 20th century and a museum was built to hold and display the amazing remains and contents.

    One thing that stunned me in that museum was spotting a small hand crank grain mill that pioneers in those pre-electric times relied on. Growing up on a farm in Tornado Alley, I never had any knowledge that home kitchen grain mills even existed. So those wheat berries and that Country Living grain mill provided the beginning of a link to history I had never suspected.


    • I just wish the Country Living Grain Mills were not $500. I have an electric grinder that works great but my hand grinder does not work so well. It is a cheapie I got free when ordering Auguson Farms food (Auguson Farms is a good shelf stable food to buy).

      • I’ve got to say to anyone reading this article at this time that I highly recommend the Sunshine nugget. It is a grain mill that is very nearly the same technical specifications as the country living (the handle is about 3/4 of an inch shorter, and the hopper is slightly smaller) and it is fully made in USA and it is about $250. Actually it is cheaper than $250- but if you get all the accessories it comes out to about $250 for a stone mill, with additional steel burs (stone for fine flour – steel to grind fresh coffee happiness, corn meal, etc)

        It is hard to find a little- (Google doesn’t exactly advertise for them or make it pop up when you are searching.. so i figured I’d suggest it in case people haven’t heard of it) I have no affiliation to that company- but I like my mill and I was extremely happy to find a sturdy hand crank stone mill fully made in USA and get all the accessories for less than half the cost of the country living or the diamant.


        The sunshine is coated and $170 but the silver is only $150 for a crank stone mill. That is a bonkers good deal compared to country living.

        Here is an old video comparing it to the country living – very informative.

  • My parents use a to purchase wheat 100 lbs at a time. What wasn’t ground into flour was often sprouted and added to bread dough or mixed with water in a blender and once smooth was used in batter bread or pancakes. I’m sprouting it for chicken and duck fodder. Cooked and cooled wheat berries are good in tabuli salad. Hubby likes it as hot cereal with a hint of salt and some brown sugar.

    • I have 200 lbs wheat berries, 100 lb millet, 50 lb rolled rye, 100 lbs whole oats. Millet will pop in a hot skillet much like pop corn. Cooled it makes a good cold cereal. Millet is good added to soup as is barley. I use the rolked rye in bread or as a topping on bread before baking. I have both
      a hand cranked flour mill and a handcranked meat grinder. I use both with the grains depending on how fine I want them ground.

  • One thing I learned about wheat berries is that if I grind the amount I need for bread, then mix and bake (I usually steam) the dough right away, the bread turns out sweeter than if I buy whole wheat flour in the store. The oils in the wheat start to turn rancid as soon as the wheat is ground, so by using it right away minimizes the degradation of the oils. The bread doesn’t last very long, usually a third to half the loaf is eaten even before it cools. (Yummy!)

    The “soft white” wheat berries make great whole wheat pastry flour.

    I tried using hard red wheat in the place of rice—I prefer the rice.

    I bought a hand grinder made somewhere south of the border (it’s all in Spanish) used at Salvation Army store years ago for $10, one of the best purchases I ever made. I use it to grind not only wheat, but also garbanzo beans, millet, buckwheat, rye, lentils, etc., if it fits in, it’s ground. So I’ve also tried mixing grains to see what I get.

  • Most grains are chemically dried, this is main use of roundup.

    Since most big farmers use a service called custom combining ie they have another company do the job. Which means you have a time slot so if not enough sun or too early guess what unlike when farmer owned combine and did themselves they use the roundup to “dry” the grain.. and it is not the 90 days after its “safe” its 2 weeks before its harvested and dried and sold to you…yummy..

    Find a grain farmer that still does their own combining and buy from them.afte4 it’s been dried it’s way cheaper and you get less residue it’s not escape able as the pesticide is dried in same place as non so you will get some but less. This includes organic which means very little if USDA. If you can find demeter certified that is ideal if you dont know a farmer

  • i think you may find that there are white wheats growing that are gmo.
    also, hard red wheat seems to be the ultimate prepper wheat. it is higher protein than most others. it has a stronger flavor than white wheats. if you like it, great. if you regularly eat and love the heavier all whole wheat loaves, what i think of as hippy bread from the seventies, you are good to go with winter or spring hard red wheat. if what you currently eat is not whole wheat or is whole white wheat (many of the commercial whole wheats use white hard wheat from the pacific northwest), then that is what you should buy and use. and if you don’t want roundup sprayed on the crop just before harvest to make it dry (kill) evenly, then buy organic. you might also experiment with the minor wheat grain: bronze, einkorn, emmer, etc. to see if you have a favorite that you should have on hand.

  • Only place to find stuff is Goodwill! Been trying to buy a freezer for a year! None available. Found a old chest style at Habitat, & it’s ancient! Gas is up 20 cents a gallon, since the insanity started. Recycled old jeans, & boots are so expensive, just resoled. Bought a lot of staples in bulk, but Sams & Costco are very low on inventory.

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