Updated: Nov 11, 2019
I know there are a lot of people on this low-carb/keto wagon and it’s a great thing; but so is a wonderful grain called FARRO. Also known as emmer in some parts of the world its highly used in Mediterranean and middle eastern dishes and is appearing on a lot of menus. If you haven’t heard about this yet, it’s the perfect time to add it to your meals.
I’ve been using Farro for the past few years. I found it in a magazine recipe for a salad that I still make to this day. I fell in love with farro as soon as I had it. It’s slightly chewier than rice with a firm bite and the superpower punch of quinoa. It’s relatively inexpensive and goes a long way. It’s the perfect addition to any grain bowl.
Farro is a whole grain, similar to barley, quinoa or wheat berries. It does contain gluten, but when cooked properly, the gluten can be pre-digested if sprouted or fermented. Even soaking the grain before cooking can help break down the gluten.
Benefits of FARRO
Eating whole grains is important for a balanced diet. It can provide benefits like:
Reducing the risk of strokes
Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes
Lowering heart disease risk factors like high cholesterol and high blood pressure
Aiding in digestion
Farro has lots to offer including high fibre, B vitamins, zinc, iron and a good boost of protein.
You’ve probably had Farro without even knowing it as when it’s ground it makes semolina flour, which makes one of the best homemade pastas.
So how does it stack up to other grains?
A high level of fibre makes a healthy heart, a happy gut and helps to stabilize blood sugar. With a whopping 8 grams per ½ cup, it’s 4X the amount of rice.
Farro will fill you up since it’s a whole grain- including the bran and germ. Keeping you full for longer than other grains. Adults need 24 grams of fibre per day, so the more the merrier!
Fibre does more than keep you regular. It is good for preventing constipation but also helps in clearing plaque build-up in your arteries, curbs hunger pangs and provides a healthy gut garden. Farro is broken down slowly, providing stable energy levels throughout the day.
Farro is an excellent source of plant-based protein, providing 8 grams per ½ cup, similar to legumes. Farro can become a complete protein when paired with legumes and beans.
While most antioxidants are fruits and vegetables, Farro contains lignans, which can reduce inflammation.
Lignans are plant compounds that when metabolized have a positive reaction to inflammatory proteins in the body, lowering bad cholesterol and reducing the overall risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Have I peaked your interest?
Just a couple more things, Farro is also:
High in B vitamins, especially B2 and B3
Provides mineral power in iron, zinc and magnesium
Improves gut bacteria
Now that you want to eat it, how do you cook it?
How to cook Farro
Similar to cooking rice the cooking ratio is 2:1 , water:Farro but I normally just cook it like pasta - boil for 15 minutes and drain.
Bob's Red Mill Farro is the easiest to find in stores.
Here's one of my favourite recipes for using farro, a simple tossed grain salad: