Back to Basics: How to Cook Rye Berries

Rye has long been a staple grain in countries around the world, but in America, we rarely see it used in anything other than bread. Rye is a variety of grain that is not nearly as appreciated as wheat, and it should be! Because of its grey color, bakers usually add caramel color or molasses to bread doughs containing rye flour to improve the visual appeal of the finished product.

a closeup of uncooked rye berries in a white bowl

Unlike rye bread, the color of cooked whole rye berries is not grey. It is a rich dark brown. Rye berries are the cooked whole kernels of the rye grain. They are slowly simmered with water or stock to make a pilaf style finished product that can be used in soups, stews, casseroles or served alone with a touch of sweetener and fresh fruit for a hearty breakfast.

There are many reported benefits of consuming whole-grain rye by the whole grains council. One study* suggested rye berries and porridge had “prolonged satiating properties up to 8 hours after consumption, compared to refined wheat bread.” Give them a try. They’re amazing!

Basic Rye Berries

2 cups Organic Grains Whole Grain Rye 
7 cups Water 

Stovetop: In a large heavy gallon-sized saucepan combine the rye berries and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse. To serve hot, use immediately. Yield 4 ½ cups cooked rye berries.

Slow Cooker: Combine the rye and water in a gallon-sized slow cooker. Cook high 2-3 hours or low 5-6 hours. Serve hot.

Cooked rye berries are good in the fridge for up to 7 days or frozen tightly covered, up to 6 months.

Nutritional Information: ½ cup serving  150 calories, 1 gram fat, 6 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber.

*Food & Nutrition Research, 2008; 52. Doi 10.3402/fnr.v52i0.1809. Epub Jul 28.

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