Wheat Berries. Chickpeas. Lentils. Azuki Beans. Butternut Squash?
Bulk food is a great way to save money because not only are you not paying for the packaging, marketing, and advertising that goes into most commercial products (think Rice-o-roni), but you can also buy the EXACT amount of food you need. A recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of flour? You can buy 2 tablespoons of flour!
A 2004 University of Arizona study reports that:
- 40-50% of all food ready for harvest never gets eaten
- On average, households waste 14% of their food purchases
- 15% of that includes products still within their expiration date but never opened
- An average family of four currently tosses out $590 per year, just in meat, fruits, vegetables and grain products
Not to mention the environmental impacts of reducing packaging waste. That means bring your own bags/jars/containers when you're grocery shopping! So hit up the People's Food Co-op, By the Pound, or even Whole Foods to save money and reduce your impact.
The inspiration of this post is my late night task yesterday of cooking wheat berries. These were a part of my pre-challenge food stash but was actually local as well. I bought this bag at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market over the summer from Ernst Farm (they also sell flax seeds, whole wheat flour and corn meal).
Cooking grains may take a bit of time but it is a pretty mindless task and takes little to no culinary skills.
Grain Cooking Chart from GNOWFGLINS
|RICE (1 cup)||WATER||COOKING TIME||YIELD|
|Brown Rice (long grain)||2 cups||35 to 45 minutes||3 1/2 cups|
|Brown Rice (short grain)||2 cups||35 to 45 minutes||3 3/4 cups|
|Brown Basmati Rice||2 cups||45 to 50 minutes||4 cups|
|Brown Jasmine Rice||2 cups||45 to 50 minutes||4 cups|
|Black Japonica Rice||2 cups||45 minutes||3 1/2 cups|
|Wehani Rice||2 cups||45 minutes||3 cups|
|Wild Rice||2 1/2 cups||1 1/4 hours||4 cups|
|Manitok Wild Rice||2 1/2 cups||50 to 60 minutes||4 cups|
|GRAIN (1 cup)||WATER||COOKING TIME||YIELD|
|Amaranth||1 1/2 cups||25 minutes||2 cups|
|Barley, Hulled||3 cups||1 3/4 hours||4 cups|
|Barley, Pearl||2 cups||1 1/2 hours||4 cups|
|Buckwheat/Kasha||1 1/2 cups||10 minutes||3 1/2 cups|
|*Bulgur||1 1/2 cups||30 to 40 minutes||3 cups|
|Cracked Wheat||2 1/2 cups||7 to 10 minutes||3 1/2 cups|
|Cornmeal (Polenta)||2 1/2 cups||10 minutes||3 1/2 cups|
|Couscous||1 1/4 cups||10 minutes||2 3/4 cups|
|Kamut||2 1/2 cups||1 3/4 hours||2 1/2 cups|
|Millet||2 cups||25 minutes||3 1/2 cups|
|Oat Groats||2 1/2 cups||35 to 40 minutes||2 1/2 cups|
|**Quinoa||2 cups||25 to 30 minutes||4 cups|
|Rye Berries||2 1/2 cups||1 1/4 hours||2 1/2 cups|
|Spelt||1 1/2 cups||50 to 60 minutes||2 cups|
|Teff||3 cups||15 minutes||3 cups|
|Triticale||2 1/2 cups||1 1/2 hours||3 cups|
|Wheat Berries, Hard (Red)||2 cups||2 hours||3 cups|
|Wheat Berries, Soft (White)||2 cups||1 1/2 hours||3 1/2 cups|
*Soak, don't cook.