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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sweetened Whole Wheat with Walnuts and Pomegranate

My kids really like this unique dish. We eat it for breakfast or a snack throughout the day and it's a great boost of energy that really fills us up. Traditionally it is a cultural treat called
Slee'a that Syrian's eat to celebrate the first tooth of a baby, signifying the baby's ability to chew foods.  Years ago a family friend introduced us to it with the addition of pomegranate and I was impressed with the flavor combination. Now, we only make it with these edible rubies and sweeten it with honey for added health benefits.

The flavors are simple yet complex, and you really only need 3 key ingredients (wheat, walnuts and pomegranate seeds) to make this. Feel free to swap out the honey with agave for a vegan option. Anise seeds or vanilla beans would be a good substitute for the fennel if you're looking for something different. Whole wheat is sold in many different forms, and I buy the peeled kind because it cooks faster. You can get 10 minute farro from Trader Joe"s and follow the simmer instructions on the back of the bag for boiling, then proceed with the rest of this recipe. You can also use unpeeled wheat, but will need to increase the boil time to about 40-45 minutes.

Serves 6-8

-1 tablespoon fennel seeds
-2 cups rinsed and drained peeled whole wheat
-5 cups water
-1/3 cup honey (you can add more to sweeten to your liking)
-2 cups walnuts
-3 cups pomegranate seeds
-optional: 2 tablespoons flax seeds

To make
-Place walnuts in a bowl and break into small pieces. Soak in water while completing the other steps. (You can skip this portion but I like to do it because it washes away some of the bitterness from the skin and gives the walnuts a fresher taste)
-Heat a medium sized pot on the stove and dry toast the fennel seeds until lightly browned and fragrant.
-Add 5 cups of water and 2 cups rinsed and peeled whole wheat.
-Bring the water to a boil then reduce heat to medium. Loosely place lid on the pot (allowing some steam to escape) and simmer for about 15-20 minutes (stir every 5 minutes or so) until the whole wheat is tender with a chewy texture. There should be a little liquid left in the pot. If the wheat soaks up all the water, add a little more.  Remove from heat.
-Sweeten with honey and allow the mixture to cool completely.
-Once the wheat mixture is at room temperature, drain the walnuts from their soaking water and add them along with the pomegranate and flax seeds to the wheat. Stir to combine.
-Serve at room temperature or cold. Store in refrigerator for about 1 week.

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1 comment:

  1. what a sneakily creative way to eat whole wheat, I honestly would never have imagined this would taste good and if I hadn't tried out a bunch of other recipes on this site and loved every single one I wouldn't have been courageous enough to make this. I'm so glad I did! I halved the recipe just in case but now I'm ready to repeat the whole batch...maybe I'll even double it loooool. My husband and I have both been eating this either on the way to work or as our lunch at the office and its just great. Thanks a mill