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?

postsiggie4 copy

 

 

top photo credit: The Purple Foodie via photopin cc

Why I Love to Wake Up With Stonyfield

wake up with stonyfield via www.mindfulmomma.com

One of my favorite, organic brands is celebrating its 30th birthday! Stonyfield Organic has been a staple in my kitchen for longer than I can remember (seriously, it's been a good chunk of those 30 years!) Besides the fabulous yogurt, I've always appreciated that the company supports family farming and so many health and environmental … [Continue reading]

Organic Apples and Diet Coke

Organic Apples and Diet Coke www.mindfulmomma.com

Sometimes I feel like such a sham. I stand on my blog pedestal preaching the benefits of organic farming and the dangers of toxic chemicals. I spew out tips for how to green your laundry room and create less waste in your home. Yet if you saw me in real life, you’d know I don’t practice what I preach all the time. The truth If you … [Continue reading]

“Instead Of” Snacks

NatureBox Snacks via www.mindfulmomma.com

"Don't eat too many snacks or you will spoil your dinner."  Yeah, yeah, that's what my mom always said too. Times have changed though - and whether Mom likes it or not, we've turned into a generation of snackers. Snacks have come a long way from the Oreos, Doritos and other junk that provide no nutritional benefits whatsoever. Now we … [Continue reading]

EWG’s 2013 Dirty Dozen Produce Guide is Here!

2013 Dirty Dozen produce guide (photo pin cc)

As much as I love supporting organic agriculture, my budget and busy life don't allow me to buy organic all the time. Sometimes organic prices are simply out of reach (red peppers for $7 per pound?!) or I'm in a hurry and need to pick groceries up at the nearby supermarket which doesn't have a very good organic selection. It's reality … [Continue reading]