It has been a busy few weeks across the province for Ontario grain farmers! Wheat harvest began in July in the south parts of Ontario and will be ongoing this month across the rest of the province. This is a busy time of the year as this is the start of many farmers grain harvests this year.
- There are four types of wheat growing in Ontario with different characteristics. These characteristics will affect when and where the wheat is grown. They will also affect what food our household items the wheat flour can be made into after harvest!
- One bushel of wheat (56 pounds) typically contains around 1 million individual kernels. That’s enough wheat for 60 pounds of whole-wheat flour, or 90 one-pound loaves of whole wheat bread!
- A bushel of wheat makes about 42 pounds of pasta or 210 servings of spaghetti.
- A family of four can live 10 years from the wheat produced on one acre of land.
- Using a combine, it takes a farmer only 9 seconds to harvest enough wheat to make > 70 loaves of bread.
What is wheat made into?
Wheat can be made into lots of things! Food products like bread, pasta, crackers, cereal cookies are very common items made from wheat flour. Did you know Ontario wheat is best suited to making our favourite cookies and cereals? Wheat can also be used to make things like gravy, postage stamps, paper and even glue!
How to cook grains: wheat
While it is very easy to incorporate wheat into your meals by choosing whole-grain options, it is also very easy to cook and bake using wheat flour or kernels/wheat berries.
Flour: Cooking or baking with flour is very easy- most recipes will explain how to use flours either as a thickener, a base ingredient, or a coating for the meal.
Wheat berries: Wheat berries are actually the whole wheat kernel that hasn’t been shelled or processed in any way. They look like rice, and can be ground up into flour for homemade baking, and can be used in many grain-based dishes as an alternative to rice or barley. To cook, fill a pot with enough water to completely cover wheat berries and bring to a boil on the stovetop. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for up to one hour or until the grain is tender. Once cooked, add to your recipes or meals!
Try one of these wheat recipes: