Spelt Berry Salad with cranberries


When I first posed the idea of running a whole foods holiday carnival with some blogging friends of mine, I decided early on I wanted to do the salads. For the one and only reason of stretching myself and doing something new. At the time my family and I were completely grain free. Now I can say we’re about 80% grain free and still gluten free as many members of my family do amazingly better sans gluten.

So my recipe may surprise you.

A. Lot.

While googling fall salads I came across one based on wheat berries. It was beautiful and festive, but I quickly moved on. Everything else I found was heavy (combined with a heavy holiday dinner – ummm, no) or much of the same boring green salads we’ve all come to know and love.  I also know many of my readers have no problems with wheat or gluten, and it’s not something I think everyone should go without because not everyone is intolerant to gluten. So without further ado, I bring you….

Spelt Berry Salad

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Whole Foods for the Holidays: Spelt Berry Salad {recipe}

Course: Salads and Dressings
Author: Donielle


  • 1 cup spelt or wheat berries
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or one cup fresh – but dried actually works best with this recipe!
  • 1 large fugi or similar tasting, apple
  • juice from one large orange or about 1/3 cup
  • 1/2 cup pecans soaked and dehydrated
  • 3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  • For the spelt berries, what you’re going to want to do is soak them the night before you cook them in warm water and about 2 Tbsp whey. This will make them more digestible and lessen the phytic acid within them. Once soaked for at least 12 hours, simmer for one hour, or until soft yet chewy. Strain and rinse.
  • As you begin assembling the salad, juice the orange and place into a bowl with the dried cranberries. (the reason dried berries work better – they soak up the goodness and flavors of the oranges)
  • Chop the pecans and cut the apples into small, bite sized pieces, leaving the skin on.
  • Strain cranberries out of the orange juice (keep the juice!) and gently mix together the spelt berries, apple, and cranberries in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Lightly whisk together the raspberry vinegar, oil, reserved orange juice, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir into the salad mix and let sit for at least 30 minutes. You can also make this the night before and save yourself time during the day of a large holiday meal!
  • Serve cold or at room temperature, and by itself or with a few accompanying greens.
  • The slightly sweet and citrus flavors lighten the flavors of the meal in a very simple, yet effective way!


Gluten Free Option: Forego any grains completely! Mix all ingredients together and gently mix with a few cups of fresh salad greens right before serving. You could also try using oat groats instead of spelt berries.



The best part about this Real Foods progressive dinner is that you get to participate as well! Link up any new or old recipe below! (you can also link up to the previous weeks courses: soup and appetizers)

How to leave a link:

  • Copy and paste your permalink (direct url) into the form below along with your name and recipe name
  • Links can be new or old, but leave a link back to this post within it. If it’s an old post, you might want to let your readers know that you’re participating so that they can see all of the recipes posted as well.
  • Recipes must be made with “real” food, not composed of boxed, canned, and processed foods.


Donielle Baker

Donielle Baker

owner and editor of Natural Fertility and Wellness at Natural Fertility and Wellness
I believe women can learn how to heal their bodies & balance their hormones through natural methods. An advocate for natural health, I have a passion for nourishing/real food nutrition and natural living. My personal background includes both infertility and miscarriage and I started Natural Fertility and Wellness in 2008 in order to share all of the information I found helpful in my journey to heal from PCOS and overcome infertility.
Donielle Baker
Donielle Baker
Donielle Baker
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  1. Katie @ Riddlelove

    Yum, your salad is beautiful and I bet it’s delicious! I’m going to try it. 🙂 I’m sharing my California Autumn Salad. I love this blog hop!

  2. Stacy @ Delighting in the Days

    All those salads look so good. Thanks for hosting Donielle. I’m always happy to find new salad recipes!

  3. Jen @ Miss Organic's Kitchen

    I am going to have to try your salad. It looks yummy! I would have never thought of pairing wheat berries with a fruity dressing, but it has my mouth watering looking at your pictures!

  4. Tanya

    Wow, this salad looks really good! I have never made a salad based on a whole grain like this before. (I am normally a boring green salad kind of girl.) This one sure looks great and I actually just bought whole spelt berries today. Yay!

  5. Healthy Republic

    Delicious salads! I love spelt and I don’t think I can wait for the holidays to try it this recipe!

    Thanks for sharing!


  6. Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen

    It looks so beautiful! I am still sans gluten right now, but if I ever return to wheat, as I hope to some day, this would be on the list to try for sure!

    • donielle

      @Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen, I bought some oat groats the other day and I think I’ll try it with those soon as I enjoyed it (I don’t notice a difference off gluten or on – this was the first gluten meal in 3 months for me – but I still think it’s just way easier to eat GF when the rest of my family is!). Though I’ll halve the recipe as this made a lot and the rest of my family isn’t into ‘fruity’ salads!

  7. Heather @ Not a DIY Life

    I made this today. I didn’t have spelt, so I used bulgar wheat. It was great!! Can’t wait to share with the extended family on Thanksgiving!

  8. Lisa @ Real Food Digest

    Thanks for hosting the carnival Donielle.
    Your salad looks delicious. All the salads look so good – it’s so nice to have them all in one place!

  9. Lisa

    I haven’t been able to locate raspberry vinegar at any of my local stores. Can you tell where I might be able to find this item or could I use some other kind of vinegar? Thanks! Looking forward to making this salad.

    • donielle

      @Lisa, I would just use any other kind of fruit or sweet vinegar. I have some citrus balsamic vinegar too that I think would work well too, so maybe you could even find something to that extent? Otherwise even a splash of apple cider vinegar would be sufficient!

  10. Lisa

    Would it be okay to soak the wheat berries in 2TBSP lemon juice instead of the whey? Thanks for your response.

    • Donielle @ Naturally Knocked Up

      @Lisa, Yes – any acidic medium would work just fine. Lemon Juice, apple cider vinegar, yogurt, kefir… all would work just as well.

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