Posts tagged #White Sonora Wheat Berries

Instant Pot White Sonora Berry Chili

White Sonora Chili

Have you every used an electric pressure cooker? I discovered the Instant Pot last year and was skeptical of adding another gadget to my kitchen because I like to keep things pretty minimal (except for pasta making gadgets!). BUT this thing is pretty amazing and I use it at least twice a week now. It's perfect for the lazy cook (that's me!) who wants to start from whole foods as often as possible. It's also great for the forgetful cook (also me!) who leaves things on the stove to burn half the time.  I love starting from dried beans and whole grains and I find that I'm much more likely to cook whole wheat berries when they take 30 minutes of completely unattended time and no presoaking. For instance, I took a nap while this chili was cooking. Something I would never do if I had something simmering on the stove. I thought I would start posting a few instant pot recipes as here as I learn hot to use it. 

White Sonora Berry Chili

makes 12 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, left whole
1 lb lean ground beef
2 dried pasillo negro chilis (or ancho chilis), chopped into small pieces with seeds removed
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, ground
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 jar crushed tomatillos (23 oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz)
1 cup White Sonora Berries
1 cup dry pinto beans (or similar size bean)
1 cup chicken broth

For Garnish:
Cilantro, minced
Lime Wedges

*If it's your first time using the Instant Pot, please read the general instructions before beginning. 

1. Plug in instant pot and press the 'Sauté' button. When the Instant Pot reads 'HOT' add the oil, onions and garlic to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Be careful not to let the onions brown. Next, add the ground beef and spices and dried chilis to the pot. Break the beef apart with a wooden spoon as you allow it to brown for 5 minutes. Then add the diced tomatoes and tomatillos with their juices to the pot as well as the the beans and White Sonora Wheat berries. 

2. Close the Instant Pot lid and press the 'Bean/Chili' button and increase the time to 40 minutes. Make sure the steam valve is closed. Once the chili is finished the Instant Pot will automatically switch to the 'Keep Warm' mode. I like to allow the pressure cooker to release naturally on this setting (it takes about 30 minutes). However, you can also use the quick release option too. The beans should be soft and the wheat berries puffed into chewy balls. If you find that the chili is too thick, add 1 cup of chicken broth to get it to the right conisistency. 

3. Serve the chili warm with sliced avocado, minced cilantro, a dollop of greek yogurt and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy!

Posted on January 9, 2017 and filed under Recipe, Dinner.

On-The-Go Wheat Berry Breakfast

If you're always on the go (like me), you'll love this easy 3 ingredient breakfast for mornings you need to get out the door in a hurry. All this recipe takes is a little prep the night before and you're set for the week! 

pairs well with freshly brewed coffee! 

pairs well with freshly brewed coffee! 



  1. For the wheat berries: the night before, in a small/medium sauce pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add in 1 cup of dry wheat berries and turn the water down to a simmer.
  2. Let these cook until the berries are soft and most of the water has been absorbed. 
  3. Drain the berries and place in an airtight container to store overnight (refrigerated)
  4. The next morning, top your yogurt with the cold berries and add a squeeze of lemon.
 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
Posted on July 1, 2015 and filed under Breakfast, Recipe.

creamy buttermilk white sonora berry salad

Buttermilk White Sonora Berry Salad

1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 chives
1/4 cup dill
1 tsp salt

1 cup White Sonora berries
5 radishes
1 medium cucumber
1 fennel head

Soak White Sonora berries overnight. To cook, cover the berries with 4 cups of water and simmer for 40-60 minutes. (I prefer to cook them until they expand into small spheres like large hand-rolled couscous.) Let the berries cool completely before mixing with the other salad ingredients. If you cook the berries ahead of time, store them in the fridge for up to a week in their cooking liquid.

Finely mince the garlic, dill and chives and combine in with the dressing ingredients. Thinly slice the radishes, cucumber and fennel and toss with the cooked berries. Then, pour the buttermilk dressing over the salad. Serve chilled on a warm summer day. 

Posted on July 14, 2014 and filed under Recipe.

toasted walnut and fig wheat berry salad

wheat berries

Did you know that White Sonora was the first wheat to come to North America? It was brought over by Jesuit missionaries that were sent to the new world.  That's why it is sometimes called Father Kino's wheat.  So not only are these wheat berries nutty and chewy and versatile, they are part of our history. We like to call it edible history.

Here's an easy way to use White Sonora Berries into a cold salad. 

Toasted Walnut and Fig Wheat Berry Salad


3 cups White Sonora Wheat Berries, Cooked
½ cup Walnuts, coarsely chopped
¼ cup Parsley, finely chopped
1 Sprig green onion, finely chopped
¼ Dried figs, finely chopped
¼ cup dried cherries, chopped
¼ cup Goat cheese


2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Honey
3 Tbsp Olive oil
Squeeze of Half a lemon

1. Cooking the wheat berries: Soak the berries overnight. When you are ready to cook them, pour off the water. Place the berries in a pot and cover with water and simmer for 60-90 minutes. They will open up into fragrant pearls. When the berries are soft, but still chewy remove them from the heat, drain off any remaining water and set aside to cool. You can do this ahead of time and they will keep in the fridge for a week.

2. Add the chopped walnuts, green onion, cherries, and figs to the cooled berries. In a separate bowl mix the dressing ingredients together until the honey has dissolved. Next,  pour the dressing over salad and mix.

3. Crumble in the goat cheese just before serving. 


Posted on February 8, 2013 and filed under Dinner, Recipe.

eating whole grains whole


Whole grains are for pulverizing into flour. I guess that's the mind of a miller. But I forget that you can eat them whole too!

I was reminded of this reading through Maria Speck's Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. She has some gorgeous recipes using whole rye, oat and farro berries. This recipe originally called for for Kamut berries. I didn't have any on hand so I thought I'd try it with White Sonora Wheat. 

White Sonora Wheat is a soft wheat variety with small round berries. It's what's growing out a Sossaman's farm at the moment. Since I've never cooked wheat berries, I kept a close eye on the pot as it simmered and was amazed at how fragrent they were, like toasted walnuts. I got to know a whole new side of this grain's personality. Here's the recipe so you can see for yourself.

Whole Berry Sonora Salad with Carrots and Pomegranate

Recipe adapted from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals


½ Cup Kamut Berries (or White Sonora berries)
2 Cup Water
2 ½ Cups shredded carrots (about 3 medium)
¼ Cup plus 2 Tablespoons golden raisins
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ Cup toasted, chopped walnuts
¼ Cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish


To prepare the wheat berries, bring the water and the berries to a boil in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the berries are tender but still slightly chewy, 50-60 minutes. Remove from the heat and, if you have time, let it sit, covered, for 10-15 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid and transfer to a large servicing bowl to cool.

Once the berries have cooled, make the salad. Add the carrots and the orange and lemon juices, honey, cinnamon, and salt until smooth. Gradually whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream.

To finish, pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Taste and adjust for salt. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Toss again before serving; sprinkle with the walnuts and garnish with the pomegranate seeds.

Posted on February 3, 2012 and filed under Dinner, Recipe.