In this blog series, Anne explores the world of whole grains, one at a time. A whole grain is one in which all the essential parts (bran, germ and endosperm) and naturally-occurring nutrients are in tact and in their original proportions. These grains are unrefined and have been only minimal processed, i.e. cracked, rolled, crushed.
We love whole grains for their nutrition and so much more! They're affordable; they make excellent pantry staples; and they're delicious! Read on for how we work with whole grains in the Red Stick Spice Company test kitchen.
Farro, aka Emmer, is a ancient strain of wheat. Over the centuries, farro fell out of favor. Farro lost out to durum wheat because of durum's higher yields and easier hulling. Today, however, farro is increasing in popularity and becoming a gourmet treasure.
Farro cooks up like a heartier, "meatier" (if you will) oatmeal. The texture is meant to be al dente and the flavor is mild and grainy, so it takes to lots of flavor profiles. Prepare it with milk, cinnamon and honey, and top it with fruit for a breakfast treat. Cook it in chicken stock with onion and garlic for a savory side.
When shopping for farro, be sure the label says "whole farro," and avoid the term "pearled." While farro is not gluten free (it's a form of wheat), it is lower in gluten than traditional wheat. Four ounces of uncooked farro boasts seven grams of protein--more than brown rice. A serving of farro will deliver eight grams of fiber and a healthy dose of magnesium which has been shown to alleviate cramping and tension.
And there's more good news: Farro is DELICIOUS! Try our pine nut and golden raisin-studded Moroccan Farro spiced just right with our Moroccan Blend. Excellent on its own on as a side dish. Check out how we use this recipe in Elen's Street Bowl, a nutrition powerhouse packed with flavor.
Tried Farro? Tell us how you use this ancient grain in the comments below.