What is Cracked Wheat? 

What is cracked wheat? Cracked wheat is made from crushing raw kernels of wheat and implementing the small pieces into foods such as bread, pasta or as a base for meat and vegetable dishes. Grinding wheat kernels into consumable bits dates back to around 4000 BC and was later called "cerealis" by the Romans. As a high-fiber food containing nutrients that contribute to a healthy heart, cracked wheat is also used as a dietary supplement which is beneficial to proper digestion and intestinal functioning.


While most cracked wheat can be found already cooked in breads, consumers can also purchase cracked wheat in bulk from health food stores. Uncooked cracked wheat needs to be stored in a cool, dry area if it is not used right away because of its susceptibility to fungus disease common to grain products.

What is Cracked Wheat and Bulgar?

Bulgar wheat is similar in that it is created from wheat kernels, but these kernels have been toasted and parboiled before they are crushed. This gives these kernels a nuttier, more robust flavor than unprocessed cracked wheat. Bulgar is commonly used in Middle Eastern and Indian dishes more than cracked wheat.


Nutritional Value of Cracked Wheat

What is cracked wheat in regards to health benefits? As with most whole grained, cracked wheat offers a generous amount of vitamins, minerals and is low in fat. One cup of cracked wheat has 150 calories, less than one gram of fat, 5.5 grams of protein and 33 grams of carbohydrates. Other nutrients include:


  • magnesium--for bone and muscle health

  • zinc--enhances sense of smell, taste and contributes to healthy skin

  • copper--aids in thyroid functioning and tissue health

  • niacin--promotes metabolism

  • iron--helps create red blood cells


Cracked wheat also has antioxidants which strengthens the immune system, inhibits macular degeneration and promotes conversion of carotenoids to vitamin A. In addition, cracked wheat is a filling food which may help in losing weight if incorporated correctly in a weight reduction diet.


What is Cracked Wheat Oil?

Wheat oil, or wheat germ oil, is oil extracted from the embryo of the wheat seed. This oil, rich in iron and vitamin E is implemented in skin care as a massage oil and dry skin treatment. In addition, people on high-fiber diets will drizzle some of this thick, dark oil on pastas and salad.

CRACKED WHEAT PILAF RECIPE

This dish is a delicious side that goes well with fresh salads, or can be used as a substitute for rice.

  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 cup of cracked wheat
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 2 1/2 cups of hot water
  • 1/2 cup of vermicelli pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion salt
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme

After melting butter in a large pot, add onion and lightly sauté before stirring in cracked wheat, making sure all wheat pieces are coated with butter. Stir this mixture for five minutes or until lightly toasted. Add bouillon cubes to hot water, dissolve them, and then pour this on the cracked wheat. Finally, add the remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.


HOW TO MAKE CEREAL

An easy, warm and healthy cracked wheat cereal can be quickly cooked in the morning and make you feel good all day long:

  • 1/4 cup cracked wheat
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts

Mix all of the ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes but making sure to stir often.


CRACKED WHEAT SALAD RECIPE

What is cracked wheat to bulgur?

  • 3 Cups bulgur
  • 1 Cup lemon juice
  • 2 Cups warm water
  • 1 Green bell pepper minced
  • 1 Red bell pepper minced
  • 2 Bunches green onions chopped
  • ¾ Cup olive oil
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • ½ Cup chopped peanuts garnish
  • Orange slices garnish
  • Fresh pineapple rings garnish

Soak bulgur in lemon juice and water for 30 minutes; squeeze out water and place in bowl.

Combine with peppers, onions and olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with peanuts, orange slices and pineapple.


Now that you’ve learned more about what is cracked wheat and the many tasty and healthy dishes it can create, you might want to consider adding this to your recipe repertoire.

› Cracked Wheat

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