A Summer Spelt Berry Salad

June 23, 2015

A Summer Speltberry Salad | Faring Well | #vegan #recipes

We went hiking. In the mountains. Where everything is green and the sun shines like gold. It’s officially summer, and my adventure-loving-heart is free from its first bout of winter hibernation. I use to plan adventures for us to go on every month or two before moving to the land of four seasons. I did’t know how great an effect living in a snowy city with no car to escape all winter long would have on me (us) and it turned out to be pretty crushing. But last week when I thought I was going to snap if I did’t get off the grid immediately, I text Scott asking when he got off work if he’d be down to pick me up and take off to go do a spontaneous sunset hike in the mountains. He responded, “Yep!” and thus began our road trip. For a whole thirty minutes. Because that’s all it takes to get into the mountains here and I LOVE IT.

The hike was everything I needed. I felt reborn. Refreshed. Ready to do it again, and again, and again. Which we did on Saturday in Garden of the Gods with my newly transplanted cousins in Colorado Springs. Then back to our new favorite mountain outside Denver with friends on Sunday night for another climb at sunset. Get ready for my Instagram feed to look more like this and this all summer long, accompanied by lots of updates on our “Adventures by Us” pin-board. Plus plenty of posts here on the blog to help fuel such adventures – like this summer spelt berry salad.

A Summer Speltberry Salad | Faring Well | #vegan #recipesA Summer Speltberry Salad | Faring Well | #vegan #recipesA Summer Speltberry Salad | Faring Well | #vegan #recipesA Summer Speltberry Salad | Faring Well | #vegan #recipes

This salad screams “lunch in the summer” to me with its fresh dill, crisp celery, crunchy almonds, and sweet burst of red grapes. Those spelt berries, too, adding a chewy texture with a nutty flavor that takes this salad’s composition to a new level. Everything is finely chopped and tossed together with a simple, fresh dressing that totally capitalizes on all of the individual ingredients’ textures and flavors. The chickpeas add a dose of protein and fiber to this already stacked salad, keeping you full and fueled for whatever adventure awaits.

I can’t remember where I first heard of spelt berries, but ever since I have been dying to try these little jewels. Much like wheat berries, but, well, without the wheat! Spelt contains a lower amount of gluten – and the little gluten it does have is in a more highly digestible form. Which is why it is the only gluten-containing-grain I incorporate into my diet. I’m all about grain + legume salads with varying vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruit no matter what time of year. And I aim to create a new favorite for every season. This time its with spelt berries. HAPPY SUMMER.

A Summer Speltberry Salad | Faring Well | #vegan #recipes

Makes 4 servings for lunch, or 6 to 8 small sides.

Tid-bits: Spelt berries are really the way to go in this salad – its all about the texture. However, if you cannot get ahold of any (or have celiacs) brown rice should be a worthy substitute! Short grain if possible. Cold pressed olive oil can also be substituted for the flax oil if you do not have any on hand.

for the salad
1 cup dry spelt berries + 3 cups water
2 cups cooked chickpeas rinsed and drained
1 large celery stalk
1 cup red grapes quartered
1 1/2 cups finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup sprouted almonds* chopped

2 tablespoons cold pressed flax oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 shallot minced
1 garlic clove minced
1 teaspoon salt I use pink Himalayan
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons fresh dill chopped

*If you cannot get ahold of sprouted almonds, purchase them raw and then roast in a 300F oven for 20 minutes (this helps break down some of the enzyme inhibitors which otherwise make raw nuts difficult to digest). Let them cool before roughly chopping them for the salad.

Begin by combining the dry spelt berries and water in a medium saucepan on the stove. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Let cook until all of the water is absorbed (about 45 minutes). Remove the pot from the heat once finished, and leave covered to finish steaming for an additional 10 minutes. Rinse the spelt berries under cold water in a stainless steal mesh colander to cool (or transfer to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator to chill if making beforehand). Make sure the spelt berries have been drained well and are free of any excess water.

Place the spelt berries and chickpeas in a large mixing bowl. Rinse, dry, and slice the celery stalk into 1/4 inch thick strips. Then cut into tiny cubes. Add the chopped celery to the salad bowl, along with the quartered grapes, chopped parsley, and 1/3 cup of the roughly chopped almonds (reserve the rest for garnishing at the end).

Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and then add to the salad. Toss well with two large forks. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. You can either serve the salad right away or place in an airtight container to chill and marinate for a few hours, or overnight. It should keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, scoop into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley (if desired) and the remaining chopped almonds.

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  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full June 24, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Jessie this looks SO GOOD. I love grain salads and you always come up with the best combinations of flavors!! I can see why you said you could eat this every day ;)

    • Reply Faring Well June 25, 2015 at 7:15 am

      Sarah! Thank you! It is seriously my all time favorite. I hope you get to try it sometime! <3

  • Reply Ana @ The Awesome Green June 24, 2015 at 6:58 am

    I love the idea of adding red grapes – sounds so juicy and delicious sweet! We started hiking too, it’s really empowering! Lovely bowls :)

    • Reply Faring Well June 25, 2015 at 7:16 am

      YES to hiking. And YES to grapes in summery salads. Its the perfect compliment to all the savory, herby goodness going on :)

      Ps. And thanks about the bowls! They are my new faves as well.

  • Reply Kimberly/TheLittlePlantation June 24, 2015 at 7:00 am

    My kind of food. Yum!
    Loving the instagram pictures too. Just keep them coming :)

    • Reply Faring Well June 25, 2015 at 7:17 am

      Aw thanks! I’m stoked you’re liking them!

  • Reply Kathryn June 24, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Hurrah for summer adventures and endless days filled with fun and togetherness and good food. I’ve never tried cooking with spelt berries before but I’m in love with the combo of flavours/textures you’ve used here.

    • Reply Faring Well June 25, 2015 at 7:17 am

      Right?! I’ll give a hurrah to that! Thanks so much for the recipe love. I think you’d be super stoked on spelt berries, hopefully you can get your hands on some soon!

  • Reply Maya June 24, 2015 at 7:50 am

    yum! this looks so good :) super jealous that you have all those beautiful mountains right by youuuu!

    • Reply Faring Well June 25, 2015 at 7:18 am

      Thanks Maya! And I know right, feeling so so so lucky this summer <3

  • Reply Anna June 24, 2015 at 8:04 am

    looove this!!! it’s so perfect for a summer lunch in the garden :D yummy


    • Reply Faring Well June 25, 2015 at 7:18 am

      Agreed! Thanks so much Anna <3 hope you're soaking up some gorgeous summer sunshine this week!

  • Reply Grace June 24, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Oh whoa, I love everything about this salad from the speltberries to the grapes and the flax oil – it all sounds (and looks!) so good! Also obsessing over those pretty bowls! Want! Happy adventuring Jessie!

    • Reply Faring Well June 25, 2015 at 7:20 am

      Ah thank you so much Grace! You’re the sweetest! And I know, I was stoked stoked to come across these, from Urban Outfitters. That teal was just screaming summer to me. Happy adventuring to you too Grace!

  • Reply Becca | Spices and Spatulas June 24, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Spelt berries?! I had no idea these were even a thing. They look fantastic, especially in this colorful salad!

    • Reply Faring Well June 25, 2015 at 7:20 am

      I know I’m new to the spelt berry game too and am LOVING IT. Hope you can try some soon. Thanks for the salad love! <3

  • Reply hannah-phoebe June 24, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    this looks divine!
    Do you reckon it would work with cherries instead of grapes?
    also i loooove your photos, I can’t imagine Colorado, so different from the UK!

    • Reply Faring Well June 25, 2015 at 7:22 am

      TOTALLY. I bet sweet cherries would be amaaaaazing! And thanks so much for the photo love, you are too sweet! And Colorado is super neat, but I bet you have some other awesome adventuring in the UK though yeah?! Hope you’re having a stellar week!

  • Reply joan June 24, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Thirty minute road trips are good. :-)

  • Reply Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life June 24, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Mmm this salad has everything I look for in my favourite recipes! A hearty grain (although I can’t eat spelt – brown rice swap!), leafy greens, crunchy things, and something unexpected – grapes! I love this addition, and I cannot wait to make it again. I’m enjoying wintry walks at the moment, mostly along the bay where I live, and this salad would be perfect walking fuel.
    Enjoy your hiking – I can’t wait to see what other summer adventures you have!

    • Reply Faring Well June 25, 2015 at 7:24 am

      Thank you so much Amy! This salad would definitely be great walking fuel, even in the winter! You could totally swap out the summer ingredients for winter seasonals here too. And thanks for following along on our adventures! So stoked! Hope you have a lovely winter <3

  • Reply Valentina @Hortus June 25, 2015 at 1:51 am

    I have yet to try grapes in salads. This sounds perfect for after a hike :) I LOOOVE spelt in all of its forms! <3

    • Reply Faring Well June 25, 2015 at 7:24 am

      It really is, or even before a hike! It fueled us so good this past weekend. And right?! Spelt is my fave too <3

  • Reply Laura June 25, 2015 at 6:36 am

    I love using spelt berries, love the flavours in this salad, but I love spontaneous adventures even more. Happy that you got outside into those mountains, girl! I’m hoping we can squeeze in some time to just be OUT THERE breathing it all in, in between cookbook and life stuff ;) xo

    • Reply Faring Well June 25, 2015 at 7:27 am

      Thanks so much for the salad + adventure love, Laura! I hope you two get outside to breath in some of that fresh air off the grid soon too – so needed! Hope the cookbook work + life stuff is going well <3

  • Reply Katie @ Produce On Parade June 25, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Oh Jessie! This salad looks absolutely divine! What a perfectly hearty summer meal. I have yet to find spelt berries up here in Alaska at the grocery store, but I could use brown rice like you suggested. Genius salad!

    • Reply Faring Well June 26, 2015 at 11:09 am

      Thank you so so much Katie! So glad you are loving it too! HOW COOL that you live in Alaska. Oh the adventures I bet you have there! And you can totally do brown rice, although if you’re ever feeling like it I believe you can find spelt berries online – maybe even in bulk on amazon! Hope you get to make and enjoy this summery bowl soon <3

  • Reply Virpi @ Vanelja June 28, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    the salad <3
    the bowls <3
    you <3

  • Reply Sofia // From the Land we Live on June 28, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Beautiful salad :) Love the herb + grape combination. Sometimes I wish we had mountains to escape to in Ontario, but the woods and lakes are pretty awesome too!

    • Reply Faring Well June 29, 2015 at 7:14 am

      Yes they are! All nature rules, would love to come see your forests and lakes one day! And thanks for the salad love <3

  • Reply Amanda Paa June 29, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    happy summer berry bowls & adventuring! i enjoy watching along via instagram. i need to take more days to get outside and enjoy nature’s beauty. xo

    • Reply Faring Well June 30, 2015 at 6:51 am

      Aw thanks Amanda! I’m glad you’re enjoying the pics, and hope you get out to explore and see some beauty in person soon!

  • Reply Alana June 29, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    This salad and you and your adventuring are making me so happy right now. It’s summer–and this salad is totally screaming it. Hooray!! xx

    • Reply Faring Well June 30, 2015 at 6:51 am

      Yay! I’m so glad. Thanks Alana! I’m loving your happy vibes you just passed along to me in this comment <3

  • Reply Alexa June 30, 2015 at 7:06 am

    What a lovely weekend adventure! I’m a midwestern girl, currently city-bound in Brooklyn, and miss being greeted by trees, plants and grass the moment I walk out the door. You’ve totally just inspired me to take more day trips!

    And this salad looks delicious! Are those beautiful grapes in season where you are? Fresh grapes are my favorite part of every summer, and I love that they’re incorporated in your salad!


    • Reply Faring Well July 1, 2015 at 6:28 am

      Yay for more day trips! Its SO worth it, and amazing where a car can take you.

      And no, no grapes grown here (I don’t believe) but we get them in from other parts of the country thank goodness! <3

  • Reply hannah-phoebe June 30, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    update! Cherries and fennel works instead of grapes and celery. DELICIOUS :D

    • Reply Faring Well June 30, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      I saw your Instagram post! Thanks for tagging me! That sounds delicious – YAY.

  • Reply genevieve @ gratitude and greens June 30, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Woohoo for summer and adventures! I, too, feel super refreshed and rejuvenated after some time outdoors. I need a vacation ASAP and I’m excited to get away in a month or so. This salad looks delish, I love spelt berries1

    • Reply Faring Well June 30, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      So excited for you to get away! Tis the season for alllllll the outdoors time we can muster! And thanks for the salad love <3 aren't spelt berries the best?! Have a great week/weekend Genevieve!

  • Reply Teresa July 2, 2015 at 10:32 am

    What do you have there on the side?

    • Reply Faring Well July 2, 2015 at 11:25 am

      Those are my homemade flax crackers, which I hope to share the recipe for on the blog here soon!

  • Reply Rebeca July 5, 2015 at 3:55 am

    I got to make it yesterday and it was DELICIOUS. Yes, capital letters deserved. This is the kind of salad I want to eat all summer long. I used cherries instead of grapes because that’s what I had on hand, but I’ll be sure to try it with grapes in the future. There were no leftovers, sadly, so I’ll have to make it again just for me :D.

    And yes to hiking! After several long weeks of post-accident rest, I’m going hiking this afternoon and I’m too freaking excited.

    • Reply Faring Well July 5, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      Yay! I’m so so so stoked to hear you got to make and enjoy this salad :) thank you for writing me! And big time air-high-fives for your recovery and celebration hike! So excited for you. Have a BLAST.

  • Reply Jeanine July 7, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Omg, this looks STUNNING and so simple in the best way. Love the bowls too… wishing I had this for dinner right about now…

    • Reply Faring Well July 7, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      Thank you Jeanine! You’re the sweetest! I’ll trade you a bowl of this for one of your cute mini pizzas ;)

  • Reply emily July 14, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Your photos are amazing!! What kind of lens do you use!?

    • Reply Faring Well July 14, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      Goodness thank you! I just use the kit lens that came with my Sony A7 – its a 24-70mm/f3.5

  • Reply Lindsay Kluge July 29, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    I made this delicious salad this afternoon and it was absolutely AMAZING. The flavors and the texture and the nourishing colors – wow! I’m definitely going to be passing this recipe along and keeping it in my essential recipe arsenal :). Thank you so much for sharing. You’re recipes are phenomenal!

    • Reply Faring Well July 31, 2015 at 8:06 am

      Aw YAY! That made me so happy to read :) thank you so so much for commenting to let me know!

  • Reply Jaime June 13, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Anyone tried replacing the parsley with anything else (cilantro?)

    • Reply Faring Well June 13, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      Hi Jaime! Although I have not tried cilantro, I would image it would be a bit strong in this recipe. However, if you has a distaste for parsley, I would maybe suggest trying another leafy green you enjoy! Such as chopped baby lettuces or spinach too.

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