Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wheat Burgers

Well a couple of days ago I made some awesome wheat burgers and they actually turned out pretty good. I took pictures this time, so I will go through with you what I did. I also will make some suggestions on what I think I will try different next time.

First I sprouted some wheat. Sprouting makes the wheat so much more nutritional and so good for you. It also makes it easier for those who have a hard time with gluten.

So here is my sprouted wheat. I used 3 cups dry wheat berries, put them into my 2 quart jar, and covered them with water. It took about 36 hours (ish) to get the sprouts like this. You can use the wheat sooner than this doing the same process, but I like it to be a little bit sprouted, especially for the burgers. But if you soak it for only 24 hours then you can do the same process as below, but the gluten won't be quite as developed and it won't be as sticky, but it fries up better like a ground beef. For sprouting it, I just soaked it in water for the first 24 hours, rinsing it twice. Then for the next 12 hours or so, I laid the jar on it's side with my screen on top, water all drained out and let it sprout. I rinsed it a couple of times in that period of time as well.

Once it was sprouted, I ran it through my hand crank wheat grinder. If you don't have one of these you can pick them up for fairly inexpensive. I paid $50 for mine. I actually found mine at Canadian Tire in the hunting section.

When I finished the grinding process, I put it into a bowl and added about 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup oil and some spices. The spices were 3 tbsp beef bouillon (with no msg), and some garlic seasonings and salt and pepper. The wheat actually absorbs the spices really well, so don't go too crazy on the spices because it will be pretty powerful if you do. I also cut up an onion into small pieces and added it. Now I think what I will do next time is add some or all of the following, some cooked rice, shredded cheese, cooked black beans, maybe some egg and crushed cracker. The reason I would experiment with adding some of these, is because even though the burgers I cooked tasted really great, the texture wasn't one that all of my family loved. When you fry them up, some of the wheat kernels that were not completely ground tend to be a bit crunchy and if the gluten isn't cooked all the way through, it will be a bit gummy.

Once in the bowl with all of the stuff added, (you could use your bosch if you have one, but I don't), use your beaters to beat the mixture until the gluten really forms well. It only takes a couple of minutes at the most and will be sticky and gooey feeling.

Next, spray your fry pan, or your griddle and form into nice thin patties. I think my patties were a bit too thick because in some spots the gluten is still a bit mushy. If they are thin enough they should cook all the way through quite quickly. They only need to cook for a few minutes on each side until they are cooked through.

They actually were pretty tasty and I have eaten them plain, on a toasted sandwich with tomato, lettuce and cheese, and in a wrap with tomato, lettuce, cheese, and salsa. In total I got 13 patties, but probably could have made a few more, because next time I will make them thinner, and add a few other things like I mentioned above. But all in all, they were a great burger and tasted really good.

I love to learn new ways to use my wheat. I figure if we are going to store it, then we better know what to do with it.

I also will add that I sprouted two gallon jars full of wheat, 6 cups dried wheat berries in each gallon and went through the sprouting process. Once they were sprouted so that they looked like the sprouts in the jars above here, I spread them out onto my dehydrator trays lined with parchment paper, and dried them. Now I am going to experiment this week with grinding them in my wheat grinder into sprouted wheat flour and making some things with it. It is a process to use the wheat like this, and is easier to just grind it up, but so much more nutritious to sprout it first. Yummm! I will take some pictures when I do it and post my results. So for now, go experiment and enjoy!