Friday, April 12, 2013

Dehydrating Cooked Whole Grains

Whole Wheat Berries 
Many of you have food mills for grinding your own wheat into flour. But did you know you can cook your whole wheat berries and eat them like rice or a hot cereal?  For those of you who don’t yet have a food mill, this is a fantastic way to get all that nutrition from whole wheat.

  • When I get lazy, I simply dump a bunch of the wheat berries in my six-cup crock-pot and fill it with water. Let them cook overnight and they will become as tender as rice. 
  • Or, simply cook them the way you would brown rice.  Bring about six cups of water to a boil and add 2 cups of whole-wheat berries. After it returns to the boil, turn the heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes or so until the water cooks out. it should be tender.
  • Spread them out on your racks and dehydrate at 115º at least overnight. They should be firm and hard, like dehydrated rice.
Use Like Rice 

They don’t shrink much, but will rehydrate really easily. 


  • Cover with boiling water and simmer about 10 minutes until water cooks out. serve just like you would rice. (Much faster than the extended time to prepare them from raw.)
  • Season with butter and serve.
  • Use in any recipe you would use rice for a wonderful, nutty-flavored alternative.
  • Use in any recipe that calls for barley.
  • Great in soups and stews. No need to rehydrate when you are using them in dishes with lots of liquids.
  • Season and serve like your favorite hot-grained cereal. 

Tabouli! Don’t forget Tabouli! 

Tabouli is a Middle Eastern salad made with bulgur, which is nothing but cracked wheat berries. Basically, it’s made with the following ingredients:

  • cooked whole wheat berries
  • parsley
  • chopped tomatoes
  • chopped green onions
  • Mint leaves
  • Lemon juice
  • Crushed garlic (or garlic salt)
  • Salt (leave out if you are using garlic salt)
  • Olive oil
Toss all the ingredients together, chill and serve.         

Linda’s Note:

  • I used to get really fussy about following a recipe for tabouli exactly, but like so many dishes, there are variables and regional differences.  These days, I simply toss together what I’ve got and season to taste. If you are insecure, then go ahead and look up one of the hundreds of recipes on line.


  1. I just discovered your blog and wow! So much information here for me to process. Because of rising food costs my family is making the commitment to preserve every scrap we can get out of our garden this year. I've played around with dehydrating for years, but eventually turned to canning because it gets unbearably humid in the summer during the preserving season, and my produce would mold before it dried. The only way I've successfully dehydrated anything in the past is by using my oven. I recently purchased a second dehydrator at a garage sale, and now you've given me the inspiration to try again!

    1. Hi Amana Rose, I am positively thrilled that you found my BlogSpot! Do tell your friends.

      Yes, I can definitely relate to the high cost of foods. When I got really serious about dehydrating, I had been widowed and had lived for nearly five years on $400 per month below the National Poverty Level.

      if you key in ECONOMICAL or ECONOMY in the search box on the upper right you will find all sorts of especially economical tips.

      As to the moldy food. I lived in Alabama during my early days of dehydrating. It gets pretty humid there, too.

      I'm not sure why your food would go moldy in the dehydrator unless you didn't have adequate ventilation. I hope the dehydrator you bought has a thermostat and a blower. That will make quite a difference in the quality of the food you store.

      Don't hesitate to check with me if you have any questions.


  2. Hi Linda!

    I write for HuffPostTaste, and am very interested in including some of your recipes for a roundup we're doing. Please contact me at if you have a chance!


  3. maggie.danhakl@healthline.comMarch 31, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Hi Linda,

    Healthline just published a visualization of your daily value of sodium. In the chart, you can see what half of your DV of salt looks like for 30 foods:

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  4. Could you dehydrate the tabouli once made or just the wheat berries and then make the tabouli up with fresh ingredients?

    1. I would not recommend dehydrating the whole thing. There is olive oil in tabouli. Oils will go rancid.

      Instead, dehydrate all your veggie ingredients and the cooked bulgar. Mix them together and bag one meal portions.

      Be sure to add a list of ingredients (and quantities) needed to complete the meal.

      Here is a link to a post with the recipe card I make for every package I bag. Use it as an example of how to do this. Good Luck!

      By the way, did you know you don't have to cook the bulgar? I eat it every day at breakfast. Take a jar and put about a cup of bulgar in it. cover it with water, then add a lid. Give it a good shake to make sure it all gets wet. Stick it in the fridge. By the next day it is soft and tender, ready to be heated or eaten cold. I love mine with butter and salt.