Named by the Huffpost as the new quinoa and as a superfood by Oprah and Dr. Oz, Freekeh has been creating a buzz with health food enthusiasts everywhere. Many of us however, are still wondering: what exactly is freekeh?
Freekeh (pronounced freak-ah) is a cereal grain from the Middle East that people are freaking out over (pun intended). Sometimes referred to as “farik” or “frik,” it is an ancient grain whose consumption has been traced back centuries in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.
This unique wheat, harvested early on in its life, has many health benefits including five grams of fiber and eight grams of protein per serving compared to the three grams of fiber and six grams of protein per serving in quinoa.
After preparing freekeh for the first time, our verdict is a unanimous “YES.” Freekeh has a nutty, smoky flavor and a chewy, substantial texture. It is filling and hearty and tastes similar to barley. The vegetables, spices and broth that make up this dish add another dimension to the grain and add a bold flavor. A must try for anyone looking to get their freekeh on.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
1 ½ cups cooked whole grain freekeh
2 cups cauliflower or broccolli
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup of vegetable or chicken stock
5 cloves sliced garlic
10 fresh basil leaves
1 large sprig of rosemary
Optional toppings: parsley, oregano or grated cheese.
1. Place ½ cup of freekeh and 1½ cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook until the water has boiled off (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes.
2. In a separate pan, heat the oil until it glistens. Add garlic, rosemary and basic. Cover and cook on medium for five minutes. Uncover, add vegetables and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or until desired tenderness.
3. Remove from heat and add to cooked freekeh. Salt and pepper to taste.