By: Nikki Nies
Freekeh—interesting word eh? Looks like someone had trouble spelling freaky? Well, that’s what I though the first time I saw that word. In actuality, it’s the new “in” healthy item. I saw that word a while ago, but I couldn’t remember what it was, so I looked it up. Freekeh (free-ka) can also be spelled farik. So where has this new green wheat come from?
I’ll give you low down: It’s a middle eastern grain, predominantly used North African, Levantine, Arabian Peninsula, Palestinian and Egyptian cuisine. In traditional cuisine, freekeh is prepared with bone marrow soup from Tunisia or found in an Egyyptian home in the form of pigeon stuffed with freekeh. It’s been around longer than I can quantify. Freekeh is mentioned in an early 13th century Baghdad cookery book as farīkiyya
It’s also GMO and free of chemical use. Since freekeh’s harvested at a young age, unlike more mature grains, it contains more vitamins, minerals and protein. It contains more fiber than brown rice, four times more than brown rice to be exact. With more exposure and time, the hopes are to expand the freekeh line, producing freekeh from wheat as well as green barley and green triticale.
It’s promoted as good grain for those with diverticulitis, diabetes (with low GI) and colorectal cancer. It’s up for grabs how healthy this dish is, but only time will tell. I’m definitely going to check it out next time I’m grocery shopping. Let me know what you think! How have you tried this grain?
Check out the nutritional information on freekeh, are you surprised by its profile?