What’s So Great About Freekeh?

What’s So Great About Freekeh?

Wow, you really do have to enjoy your 15 minutes of fame because before you know it, you’re over! You know how neon is the new black, 50 is the new 40 and not working out is the new working out (that last one may just be me)? Well, freekeh is the new quinoa. So long quinoa, we hardly knew ya.

According to a January 2012 article in the Wall Street Journal, “Freekeh is the name used for wheat that’s harvested when still green, then fire-threshed (literally set on fire) to give it a smoky intensity and pliant pop.” It recently made Bon Appétit Magazine’s list of “pantry staples for healthier eating.” Foodies say freekeh is “perhaps the fastest up-and-comer in the ancient grain crowd.” Look away quinoa.

Mentioned in biblical texts (hence the “ancient” grain status), freekeh is primarily produced in the Middle East and it’s that burning or “fire-threshing” stage that gives freekeh its unique smoky, toasted flavour. Like other ancient grains (including quinoa… remember quinoa?), freekeh has a nutrition profile that lands it squarely on many experts exclusive list of super foods. According to www.nutritionunplugged, “This is a high-fiber, high-protein grain that is more nutrient-rich compared to many other grains. There’s something about being harvested while the durum wheat is still young that makes it such a nutrient powerhouse.” I checked it out and it turns out freekeh is low in carbs, low on the glycemic index, higher in protein and fibre than other grains (4 x more than brown rice), and is natural and not genetically modified, a plus for all of the ancient grains. According to www.culinarykosher.com freekeh is also “rich in prebiotic properties, is said to be excellent for managing diabetes and may diminish the risk of colorectal cancer and diverticulitis.”

So if you’re tired of quinoa (or never really got on board in the first place) and looking for a hearty, healthy grain alternative to replace your basic side dish starch, freekeh has a lot going for it. Protein, B vitamins, fibre galore and a nutty, smoked taste. But while some experts think the process of turning young, green wheat into freekeh denatures the gluten, making it safe for celiacs, the jury is out for now. On that front quinoa wins! Maybe his time in the spotlight isn’t quite over just yet. Now, who’s going to break the whole 15 minutes thing to Justin Beiber?

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2 Comments

  1. Bonnie Matthews
    June 22, 02:28 Reply

    Yep, Freekeh is fabulously delicious. I featured freekeh on The Dr. Oz Show as part of my 120 lb weight loss story and it’s finally getting more recognition as being a great healthy grain! What’s so great about freekeh you ask? it’s got 8 g of protein and 4 g of fiber per serving! In fact I wrote a cookbook with my healthy recipes called “30 Ways to Freekeh!” nice blog! so glad you are helping spread the word

  2. Sharla
    July 12, 19:24 Reply

    I am a lover of quinoa and have never tried freekeh, excited to add it to the list of superfoods, can never have too many 🙂

    i will caution on deterring people from learning to enjoy quinoa. new foods require putting in the time to learn how to enjoy them and incorporate them into your diet. if you don’t know how to enjoy it, the accountability for that is on your shoulders.

    freekeh is the new quinoa, like an orange is the new bicycle.

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