3 Reasons to Add Farro to Your Diet

3 Reasons to Eat Farro via mindfulmomma.com

There’s been a new grain in my dinnertime rotation lately and I thought you might like to learn about it. Actually, it’s not a new grain at all – it’s an ancient grain called farro.

Farro (prounced FAHR-oh) is a strain of hard wheat, also known as emmer wheat, that has been a favorite in Italy since ancient Roman times. I’ve eaten it in restaurants plenty of times but never ventured to make it at home until recently.

Here are three good reasons to try out farro:

1. Higher in fiber and protein than brown rice

Farro, like many other ancient grains, is a nutrition powerhouse.  Although it isn’t a complete source of protein, like quinoa, 1 cup cooked farro contains about 8 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein vs. 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein for the same amount of cooked brown rice.

Farro is rich in magnesium and B vitamins, as well as cyanogenic glucosides that help stimulate the immune system, regulate blood sugar levels, and lower cholesterol.  In addition, farro is a good source of lignans – naturally occurring antioxidants which can help lower the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

2. Easier to digest than commercial wheat

Farro is lower in gluten than commercial wheat varieties. Because of that people with mild sensitivities to wheat may find it easier to digest farro. Of course, anyone with celiacs disease should steer clear.

Since farro is a whole grain, it breaks down more slowly, keeping you feeling full and your energy level stable for longer periods of time.

3. Kid-friendly alternative to pasta and rice

Farro has a roasted, nutty flavor that I absolutely love and it’s mild enough that my boys gobble it up too. The grains are larger than rice so each bite has a nice chewy texture. It’s a welcome change from pasta and rice night after night!

Where to buy farro

You can find farro in the bulk bins at natural food stores like Whole Foods or your local coop and even some foodie-focused grocery stores.

Here are a couple of packaged options (affiliate link):

Bob’s Red Mill Organic Farro – Certified USDA organic. Takes about 30 minutes to cook.

Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Farro  – I’m hooked on this quicker cooking version of farro that claims to be par-cooked using a process that does not compromise the nutritional value. Cuts typical cooking time of 30 to 50 minutes down to 10 minutes.

Farro Meal Bowls with Roasted Beets by Cookie Monster Cooking

Farro Meal Bowls with Roasted Beets by Cookie Monster Cooking

A few farro recipes

We enjoy farro plain as a side dish and it’s also great stirred into soups. When you start to dig around, there are tons of delicious-sounding farro recipes to be found.

Farro Meal Bowls with Roasted Beets by Cookie Monster Cooking

15 Minute Farrotto with Sage & Butternut Squash by Nourish Network

Vegetarian Italian Farro Soup by The Chic Life

Asiago White Beans with Farro, Kale & Tomatoes by Pinch of Yum

Have you tried farro? What do you think of it?

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top photo credit: The Purple Foodie via photopin cc

About Micaela

Micaela Preston is a marketing and communications consultant specializing in natural, organic and eco-friendly products and the health and wellness space. Micaela is available as a social media manager, green lifestyle writer, public speaker, brand ambassador and marketing manager.

Comments

  1. Do tell!! I love the idea of another grain like this. I wonder if you can cook it in a rice cooker like quinoa?

  2. Sounds like a winner! Variety is best when it comes to produce or grains, that’s what I say. As a nation, we really need to branch out from regular old wheat.

  3. I’ve made farro in a rice cooker and it’s delicious. Good to know that it has so many nutritional benefits! I’m going to try adding it to soup next. Have you tried that Micaela?

  4. Thanks for the info and recipe links. I’ve never tried Farro myself. What is your favorite way to serve it?

  5. I have lots of yummy recipes for farro pinned but can not for the life of me find it. I will have to keep looking because that farro with beets you posts looks awesome.

  6. I have heard alot about farro but never used it. It sounds yummy!

  7. I’ve never tried farro but love yummy grains. Thanks for sharing a recipe, I’ll have to get some next time I’m at the supermarket.

  8. I’ll have to pick up some farro the next time I go to the store. We’ve been trying to phase rice out of our diets due to high levels of arsenic found in all rice, conventional and organic. I like the Whole Foods brand Super Grains blend but it would be nice to find another rice alternative that we like.

  9. I make and eat farro at home alot when I can find it. (My southern town doesn’t offer alot of healthy choices). I just use a little butter and sprinkle feta & parm on it. Delicious!

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