I realize how weird the title sounds but stay with me for a few minutes, then I promise it will all make sense. A few weeks ago our distributor had a 50 lbs bag of organic rye berries on the distressed list for $20. I jumped on it, figuring I could use them for the pigs as either fodder by planting or sprouting the or for sprouting this winter for the chickens.
I have been interested in growing some grains for a couple of years but this year I decided to try wheat. The rye berries made me curious about whether growing rye would be worth it. On a lark, I grabbed one of the books I took out from the library, Whole Grains, to see what I could do with them (Sara Pitzer's latest release is Homegrown Whole Grains.) I was surprised to find a couple of recipes using the berries whole, no grinding required. Not feeling too adventurous, I decided to try the fried rye berries recipe. We have since had it multiple times and adopted it as follows:
Fried Rye Berries
Cooked Rye Berries *(see instructions below)
organic minced garlic
organic crushed red pepper
salt and pepper
organic onion greens, chopped
2 organic eggs
oil or butter for frying
Heat oil in a pan.
Add garlic and crushed red pepper, cooking until fragrant.
Add rye berries and stir to coat berries.
Allow to cook until berries are heated and start to get a little crispy.
Crack two eggs on top of the berry mixture and using a fork, whisk in.
Once cooked, remove from heat.
Add onion greens on top and mix in.
Season with salt and pepper and serve.
How to Cook Rye Berries in the Pressure Cooker
Note: I cook my rye berries in my Instant Pot.
Rinse rye berries.
Place rye berries into the cooker pot and cover with water, with approximately one inch above the berries.
Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
Allow the pressure cooker to release the pressure "naturally."
Note: the berries may not absorb all the water. That is ok.
Use rye berries in recipes or season and eat.
The verdict? These are wonderful. I have been using them instead of rice with our meals. I even used them to make Rye pudding using my rice pudding recipe. The best part is that I am hoping that we might grow some next year. Plus this week, the distributor had a distressed bag of spelt berries. Hopefully I can use them similarly to wheat berries. Wish me luck!
Have you ever used rye berries? What do you make with them?
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