coconut & kale wheat berry salad

Remember when I mentioned in my last Friday Faves that I'm currently in love with Heidi Swanson's Coconut and Kale Salad from her cookbook Super-Natural Every Day?   I am still obsessed with the combination of coconut and kale, and today I put a new spin on her salad by adding cranberries, chickpeas, and sliced almonds.  You guys, it's delicious. 

This salad, without a doubt, ranks in the top 5 of my favorite salads of all time list. Yep, I keep lists of my favorite recipes in my head. In case you're wondering, other serious contendors are my Autumn Salad with Maple Roasted Butternut Squash, Beet and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad and my BLT Chopped Salad with Herb Yogurt Dressing.  The fun thing about all three of these salads is how different they are. The butternut squash salad is obvious appropriate for fall and even into the winter as it incorporates squash and pomegranate perils, the Beet Arugula Salad is what I do when I spy beets at the farmers market, and the BLT Chopped Salad is a perfect way to use summer sweet corn. Meanwhile, this delightful Coconut and Kale Salad can really be enjoyed all year long, in my opinion.

I'm new to the world of wheat berries, and find myself really loving them.  They are hearty, chewy, and nutty in flavor with one downfall: they take up to an hour of cooking time!  Compared to 15-20 minutes for quinoa or even 10 minutes for couscous, the wheat berries put a real damper on my quick weeknight cooking.  To solve this problem, I whipped up a big batch of them over the weekend and put half in the freezer and used half for this salad.  Crisis: averted. 

I really loved the flavors going on in this salad.  While there is very little seasoning this salad as there's no true dressing, I found there was still a lot of flavor.  The garlic had a lot to do with that, along with the coconut oil.  Of course the cranberries, kale, almonds, and garbanzo beans all add their own bit of yum to it as well.  Oh and the shredded unsweetened coconut!  Do not forget that.  And I would definitely not use sweetened coconut...try the unsweetened and you will thank me. 

Coconut and Kale Wheatberry Salad | greens & chocolate

coconut & kale wheat berry salad

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  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 3 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large bunch curly kale about 3-4 cups worth,(I used purple curly kale), washed and leaves removed from stems
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • salt to taste


  • Combine wheat berries, water, and salt in saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover.
  • Let simmer and check them after 30 minutes. Depending on the brand you buy, they will take up to 25 minutes longer. I used Bob's Mill and they took the entire 55 minutes.
  • Drain and then toss with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Set aside.
  • In large saucepan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
  • Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the kale.
  • At this point, I try to give it a good stir to get the coconut oil distributed throughout the kale.
  • Then add ~1 tablespoon of water and cover saucepan with lid.
  • Let steam for 1-2 minutes, until leaves are slightly wilted.
  • Remove from heat. Season with salt.
  • In large bowl, combine wheat berries, kale, cranberries, almonds, and coconut.
  • Stir well and serve.
  • Enjoy!
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  1. This salad is right up my alley! Adding chickpeas was a great idea. Helps give it some substance!
    I need to check out Heidi's book. I've heard it's a good one!

  2. IN LOVE with this salad! I just recently found a deep connection with wheat berries. I put them in just about everything now! I'm totally throwing this into my lunch menu this week. Pinned! xo

  3. I'm obsessed with Heidi's books! I think I cook out of them at least once a week. So good!

  4. I love wheat berries too -- but yes, the cooking time is long for me. This salad looks so tasty -- I love kale. Mmm.

  5. I love Super Natural- or anything from Heidi. This salad looks amazing. I have a coconut in the oven right now cracking, but we generally gobble it up so fast I have to squirrel some away to cook with it. It's true about the unsweetened natural coconut. I never liked coconut until I tried the real deal. Salad looks delicious, great combination of flavors.

  6. Definitely definitely going to try this salad! I keep meaning to try wheatberries but I have such a hard time finding them! I love all the flavors you have in here!

    1. Lena,
      I found mine at my regular grocery store (Cub in Minnesota). I've also seen them at Whole Foods and I *think* Target. If you still can't find them, you could definitely use another grain like faro or bulgur!

  7. This dish looks amazing! I've never had wheat berries but I definitely should. I have a salad top 5 in my head as well. 🙂