You may have tasted various types of grains including barley, malt, and wheat, but have you tried the sumptuous candidate with Italian origins, ‘the Farro’? While the Farro is far from a staple in many households, Farro is popular in parts of Europe, The Middle East, and parts of Asia. When you are tired of using the white rice as the main staple of your meals, try Farro and delight your bored taste buds!
Basics of Farro
Farro grains can be cultivated in poor soil conditions. They are resistant to fungi, and the yield is lesser than other grains. The texture and taste are close to that of modern wheat. It is available in three grades- cracked, medium and long.
A Nutrient Rich Grain
Farro offers you a lot of nutrients, which sometimes include:
- It serves as a natural source of complex carbohydrates. The carb in Farro is beneficial.
- Farro contains twice the protein of regular wheat.
- It contains a generous amount of dietary fiber, in fact, better than many other grains.
- Farro has essential minerals like magnesium and zinc.
- Apart from these nutrients, Farro is also replete with phytonutrients and antioxidants. Farro contains gluten, but the gluten is easy to digest.
[ Read: Health Benefits Of Triticale ]
How To Use Farro
The best way to prepare Farro for eating is soaking and cooking. It has a firm and chewy texture. The unique texture ensures you can cook it in many ways. You need to boil it in water where the water should be twice the amount of Farro. Cooking on low heat for half an hour or a little more would suffice. When you cook whole Farro using more liquids is advisable and cooking time is likely to be more.
In Italy, Farro is added to the soup. It is also used to make bread and pasta. There are instances of using it in places of grains like quinoa and barley. There are many ways to prepare Farro. You may use it to make breakfast cereals and blend with various vegetables for flavor. It can also be used with salads and desserts.
Buying The Grain
While it is not as commonplace as malt or wheat, Farro can be found in a lot of health food stores, and you can also buy it online these days. Buying semi-pearled Farro is ideal as it is easier to cook. However, keep in mind that the semi-pearled version of the grain contains less amount of nutrients than its original version.
Farro Health Benefits
Like other whole grains, Farro also has several health benefits. Some of the major benefits of farro include:
1. Complex Carbs
The low-yielding wheat variety has complex carbohydrates like cyanogenic glucosides that stimulate your immune system and regulate blood sugar. It also helps reduce cholesterol. One cup of Farro has close to 8 grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber, which is easily four times that of brown rice, which in itself is considered high in carbs!
2. High In Antioxidants
Compared to regular wheat and other grains, Farro contains a higher amount of antioxidants. The grain contains cyanogenic glucosides that work wonders for your general health. So, eating it can help boost your immunity levels and protect from the free radicals in the long run.
3. Source Of Fiber
Like whole grains, Farro keeps you full for longer and helps avoid hunger pangs. It is, therefore, ideal for those people who are keen to lose all that excess flab. A cup of prepared Farro has 10 grams of fiber approx. Eating fiber-rich foods help boost digestion and enhances metabolism. Farro’s extremely complex carbs break down slow. This means the energy levels in your body remain stable.
4. Source Of Protein
Even Nigella Lawson, the food star, swears by this overnight sensation that has all its bran intact, making it a nutritious and wholesome food. Although it is not a complete source of protein, Farro has a good amount of protein. It can be ideal when you do not want to intake animal meat yet do not want to miss out on protein.
5. Not Heavy In Calories
If you want to have a meal or breakfast with whole grain while staying low on calories, Farro fits the bill. Half a cup of cooked Farro offers as little as 100 calories. This is lower than what you get from the same serving of quinoa and brown rice. If you are on a weight losing regimen and need to spice up your diet. Then bring home some Farro to break the monotony of oats and the regular cheerios.
6. Low On Fat
Farro is also low on fat. In a cup of cooked Farro, you will get just 2 grams of fat, which is close to what you get in more mainstream grains like brown rice. This makes it ideal for overweight individuals. Farro can be consumed in a salad as a breakfast or mid day meal, being low in fat, you can even spoon up two bowls of the sumptuous salad.
7. Wealth Of Vitamins And Minerals
You will be pleasantly surprised that one cup of Farro a day is all you need to give your body the mineral boost it needs. What’s more? Since it is high in magnesium, it also helps treat symptoms of tension and eases menstrual cramps. What’s more, it has no side effects at all!
Farro tops the list of health food when it comes to nutritional content. One cup of this less known cereal gives you 24% of the iron content that your body requires daily. It also contains Vitamin B3, and zinc which means better cardio health and better immunity.
A Popular Farro Recipe You Can Try
You can prepare Farro in many ways and searching the web will help you learn numerous innovative Farro Recipes. There are options, both for vegetarians and non-vegetarians!
One Pan Farro With Tomato
Here is one delicious and healthy Farro recipe that is easy to prepare.
You Will Need
- 1 cup semi-pearled/whole Farro
- White onion
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red pepper flakes
- Coarse sea salt
- Olive oil
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Basil leaves
- Even when you prepare semi pearled Farro, a little pre soaking helps. So, soak the Farro in water as you make the other ingredient ready. In case you use whole grain, soak for the night and cook in the morning.
- Cut the onion and slice into fine pieces.
- Then slice the garlic cloves into tiny pieces.
- Then cut each tomato into 4 pieces.
- No, add oil to a deep pan and heat it.
- As the oil heats up add the pepper flakes and some salt to it.
- Simmer the pan and heat and stir fry for a few minutes. Add the vegetables to the pan.
- Add the soaked Farro and cook at very low heat for 30 minutes or so.
- After that, you will find the water has been soaked entirely.
- Serve the dish in the bowl and before serving you may sprinkle some olive oil and grated cheese on top.
While eating Farro proves to be a relishing experience and cooking options are aplenty, you should take a few cautions while preparing the food. People with celiac disease should not eat it. Those with high gluten sensitivity should not eat it either.
With the above mentioned Farrow health benefits, it is worth considering while reviewing your diet. What’s more, the super food is not as bland as other diet food, and you make sumptuous dishes using it. Farro is delicious in a hot broth and goes wonderfully well with peaches and apples. So, what is holding you back, bring home a sack today!
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