Frugal, Healthy Upgrade to a Summer Favorite: Cold Spelt Salad

Cold Spelt Salad

I was pleased to be able to figure out a number of healthy upgrades to our family’s standard camping fare for our recent trip to the deep woods.  (See our healthy camping menu plan here.)  One no-no item we always fall back on when cooking over a fire is potato chips. This year I decided to substitute potato salad with homemade mayo and this cold, cooked grain salad.  A summertime favorite (and another possible camping option that we often used) is pasta salad; this option gives all the flavor and portability without the white flour, and it is less expensive compared to whole grain pasta.  (Credit for the cold grain salad idea goes to Wardeh at GNOWFLGLINS; hers are a main course with meat.)

Like my pasta salad variations, a cold grain salad can have many faces and flavors. The one we’ve enjoyed most is pictured above.

If taking real food on the go is a challenge for you, you’re not alone. Join thousands of other happy owners of Healthy Snacks to Go, an eBook that is helping real foodies everywhere keep their families nourished (and kids happy) even when they need to pack a snack — without resorting to processed junk food or expensive health food store treats. With over a dozen different “bar” recipes alone, including many that are grain-free and contain zero refined sugar, I guarantee you’ll find a new family favorite in Healthy Snacks to Go.


Recipe:  Cold Spelt Salad

  • cooked spelt berries (soaked overnight, covered with water and simmered for an hour after boil)
  • carrots
  • pea pods
  • red onion
  • cubed cheese
  • broccoli
  • green olives
  • garbanzo beans
  • homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing

I think all the veggies are interchangeable with whatever you have on hand, but that red onion really makes it tasty.  Spelt berries are a new thing for our family, and I have to tell you – we didn’t think we’d like this salad.  My husband and I tasted the cooked grains and thought they were pretty chewy.  We didn’t have high hopes for the final result!  But once all the flavors meld together (it’s best to prepare in advance and cool for at least an hour), it’s a refreshing summer side dish (and we don’t even mind the chewiness one bit).

Cold Spelt Salad

What is Spelt?

Spelt is just an ancient relative of wheat, probably what folks in the Old Testament actually ate when the Bible speaks of wheat.  You can buy whole spelt berries at a health foods store, and it also grinds into a flour that is so good in cookies and biscuits (the only things I’ve tried so far).  You could certainly make a cold, cooked grain salad with any whole grain, like millet, rice, or wheat berries.  I’m tempted to try barley but a little nervous that it would be too mushy, for lack of a better descriptive term.  Any thoughts?

If you have success with a cold grain salad variation, please leave a comment to share with all of us. It’s fun to experiment with adaptable dishes like this!

If you’d like to hear more about healthy campin’ food and our wild adventure, sign up for an email subscription or grab my reader feed.

If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.

Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

I’m always pleased to participate in Pennywise Platter Thursday at The Nourishing Gourmet, Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap, Friday Feasts at MomTrends, Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade, Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum, Ann Kroeker’s Food on Fridays, and Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale.  For more “cool food” ideas, see Life as MOM’s Ultimate Recipe Swap.

Powered by
Click here for my disclaimer and advertising disclosure - affiliate links in this post will earn commission based on sales, but it doesn't change your price.

10 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. says

    I like quinoa salad. Its a little lighter than say spelt salad would be (or at least, less chewy). I throw in veggies depending on whats at hand, but raisins are always a good addition, as are nuts, and roasted sweet veggies like parsnips, and sweet potatoes are delicious (of course, turning on the oven isn’t what you want to do in the summer, but it could probably be done in a toaster oven. turnips were not so good in it).

    Looking forward to trying your version.

  2. Rita says

    We love this salad! The first time I made it with quinoa and it was good. But my hubby prefers it with wheat berries. So yummy!

Take a Bite (of conversation)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *