Get the Benefits of Tea by Cooking with It: Try this Wheat Berry Salad to Start

May 25, 2018

SO this news flash just came across my desk and thought I would share with you.  Most of those who know me know that I have a pretty strong addiction to tea…hot or cold.  And yes I am picky about the tea….must be brewed, none of this stuff that comes prepared out of a can or bottle. So when I read this research about tea I was super excited!!

For women it seems that drinking tea can lead to epigenetic changes that are known to interact with cancer and estrogen metabolism.  Epigenetic changes are chemical modifications that turn our genes off or on.  Environmental factors and things we do daily can impact these changes.

There is a whole new era of nutrition research approaching as we learn more about our food, lifestyle and the changes they can influence as we age.  The compounds found in tea, called polyphenols, may help protect against some types of cancer, heart disease and other chronic illness. 

It is important to remember that we are talking about tea, not prepared Southern style, with lots of sugar.  Think about maybe using half the sugar to sweeten or using the fruit flavored teas that have a sweet taste naturally as options. Tea is also a great ingredient to cook with and can add a nice flavor to foods, think about ways to include in your cooking. Try this recipe to get you started or maybe using mint tea in a tabouli….hmmm maybe we should share that recipe????

Wheat Berry Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups hard wheat berries
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup tart dried cherries, chopped
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large pot combine the wheat berries and enough water (substitute  ½ grain cooking water for berry or citrus flavored tea) to come 2 inches over the wheat berries.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 1 hour, or until tender. Drain and let cool.
  3. Toast the walnuts in a medium dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the wheat berries, walnuts, celery, dried cherries, scallions, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice.
  5. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Nutrition Information: 360 calories, 17 grams fat, 15 mg sodium, 46 grams Carbohydrate and 9 grams protein

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger Show: Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger | Episode: Feel Good Factor


This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.

"She doesn't just give you the fish, she teaches you how to cook it."

 – a Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.