My New Quinoa! Meet Freekah

My New Quinoa! Meet Freekah

You’re gonna love Freekah if you love, quinoa, rice or barley. However, if you’re gluten-free— skip this article and recipe!

What Exactly Is Freekeh?

First things first, it’s pronounced free-kah. And, in short, it’s wheat.

Freekeh (sometimes called farik) is wheat that’s harvested while young and green. It’s roasted over an open fire, then the straw and chaff are burned and rubbed off. The grain on the inside is too young and moist to burn, so what you’re left with is a firm, slightly chewy grain with a distinct flavor that’s earthy, nutty, and slightly smoky.

Think of freekeh as a “new” ancient grain. It’s been a staple in Middle Eastern diets for centuries, but only recently started surging in popularity stateside. I want to give my client, Beth L. a BIG SHOUT out for introducing it to me during my 1-1 3-Day Detox To Destiny Retreat. I absolutely LOVE IT!! And for good reason! Aside from tasting delicious, it’s loaded with nutritional benefits.

The Freekeh vs. Quinoa Nutritional Smackdown

When it comes to nutritional benefits, there’s no question that supergrain freekeh has the upper hand. It dominates quinoa (and a lot of other grains).

Freekeh is low in fat and high in protein and fiber. Serving for serving, freekeh has more protein and twice as much fiber as quinoa. (A 42g serving of freekeh has six grams of fiber and six grams of protein, versus quinoa’s three and five-and-a-half, respectively.) This means freekeh keeps you feeling full long after you’ve eaten it, so it’s a smart option for anyone focused on weight loss  . Freekeh is also lower on the glycemic index (wholegrain freekeh GI = 43), making it a great choice for people managing diabetes or those just trying to keep their blood sugar steady. I just verified Iam hypoglycemic, hence Iam even more aware of my foods and eating patterns so I can keep it in check. To top it off, this power-packed grain is high in iron, calcium, and zinc, and acts like a prebiotic, promoting the growth of good bacteria in your digestive system.

It’s finally starting to show up on supermarket shelves. If you can’t find it at your regular supermarket, check the local health food store. If you can’t find it at all, simply substitute rice or quinoa and skip step #1.

Freekeh may come whole or cracked but the cracked cooks up much faster so that’s what this recipe uses … and we L-O-V-E FIT FRESH FUN FAST FOOD! Dont we?!!!!! YES WE DO!

 

Freekeh Pilaf

Serves: 4

Serving Size: 1 bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cracked freekeh
  • 2-1/2 cups water or veggie broth (my preference)
  • 2 cups wax beans
  • 2 cups of sliced mushrooms (any variety)
  • 2 cups carrots
  • 1 cup of cannoli beans
  • 1T grape seed oil
  • himalayan salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1T each of minced fresh rosemary, sage & thyme
  • 12 ounces cooked chicken breast, fish, or tempeh

Preparation:
1. Add freekeh and water/broth to a medium saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 20-25 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat.

2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F. Toss veggies with oil and herbs and spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 30-40 minutes until softened and lightly charred.

3. In a large bowl, combine freekeh with veggies and toss with protein of choice.

Note: Nutrition information does not include protein, as the information will vary depending on what protein option you select and how it was prepared.

Serving Suggestion: Garnish with a sprinkle of parmesan to set it over the top

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