Substitutes for Cracked Wheat

Cracked wheat is a nutritious whole grain product that is used in recipes for crackers, breads, cereals and casseroles. Consume cracked wheat boiled as a hot cereal or use as a meat extender in meat loaf recipes. You may substitute other varieties of grain wheat for cracked wheat in any recipe.

Bulgur Wheat

Bulgur wheat is a parboiled and dried cracked wheat. The nutty flavor of bulgur wheat is an ideal substitute for cracked wheat in any dish calling for cracked wheat. Bulgur wheat is processed by soaking whole kernel wheat, removing most of the bran, and then drying it. The dried bulgur is cracked into small pieces. Bulgur wheat cooks more rapidly than cracked wheat, and this is a popular wheat product in Middle Eastern dishes. In the United States, bulgur wheat is regularly used as a cracked-wheat substitute in soups and breads. Bulgur wheat is available in fine, medium, coarse and whole-grain varieties. Medium bulgur has a texture similar to cracked wheat. Reduce cooking time when substituting bulgur for cracked wheat in recipes. Bulgur wheat is completely cooked after about 10 minutes at a rolling boil. Bulgur is often substituted for cracked and whole wheat kernels in salads, breads and stews.

Wheat Berries

Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels that have not been processed prior to packaging. Only the outer hull has been removed from the kernels. Wheat berries are high in nutritional value because the germ, bran and endosperm are left intact. You may substitute it for cracked wheat as a side dish. Soak wheat berries in plain water for about an hour to reduce cooking time. Replace wheat berries for cracked wheat in salads and breads, if you wish. The berries are crunchy with a pleasant nutty flavor, which makes them the perfect substitute for cracked wheat in salads and breads. Wheat berries are available at health food and organic food stores.

Farro Perlato

Farro Perlato is also known as emmer wheat or "Pharaoh's Wheat." Emmer is whole kernel wheat with only the outer hull removed. Emmer wheat has been grown as food for thousands of years and was one of the first grain crops cultivated in the ancient Middle East. Today, emmer wheat is grown primarily in Spain and Eastern Europe. In the United States, emmer is a specialty wheat product found in health food stores and organic markets. Emmer is whole grain wheat with a portion of the bran removed. It is very high in nutritional value and has a bolder taste than the delicate nutty flavor of other wheat. Emmer cooks faster than cracked wheat and can be eaten after boiling for about 20 minutes. When substituting emmer, reduce cooking time by about 10 to 15 minutes to avoid overcooking the wheat.

Keywords: cracked wheat, whole grains, wheat berries, bulgur wheat, Farro Perlato

About this Author

Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and freelance writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.

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