Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Diet Variety: Spelt Berries

I have been trying my best to keep up with my goal to include a new or rarely used item on our weekly menu. It has actually been hard to think of things that are healthy and that I can consider rarely used. When I take the time to think about it, though, even things like broccoli could be considered a rarely used item in our diet!

We basically buy/eat some combination of the following every week:
Sweet potatoes
Kale or swiss chard
Brown rice or quinoa
100% whole wheat bread
Garbanzo, black beans, or lentils
Peanut butter
Apples or bananas
Frozen blueberries and mango
+ seasoning: fresh and dried herbs and spices, lemons and limes
+eggs for breakfast on the weekend basically anything not on this list can count as a unique weekly addition.

This week, however, I came up with something actually different that we had never cooked before. At work recently I had a prepared salad made with spelt berries and I absolutely loved how chewy they were. I went on a mission to find a recipe using spelt berries (spelt is more commonly used in its flour form) and came up this carrot and raisin salad: Carrot Raisin Spelt Berry Salad with Cumin and Cilantro. This recipe makes great leftover lunches, too (as you can see from my picture).

I don't know much about spelt except that it is a whole grain and I was afraid it would take forever to cook. The good news: it didn't take forever and it is a delicious change from rice and quinoa.

For more info about spelt, check out this pantry staples post from The Kitchn: Good Grains: What is Spelt? We did not cook it according to these methods (we followed the directions in the recipe), but I think using spelt in risotto is a great idea. I recommend trying spelt berries if you haven't. If you have, send any good recipes my way!

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