It seems like every day we’re hearing about a new — but actually old — grain. We’re all for rediscovery, so let’s learn about freekeh!
What is Freekeh?
Freekeh (pronounced free-kah) is a roasted green wheat that is harvested while the seeds are still soft. It is stacked, dried, and then the chaff is burned away. Because the seeds are soft and moist, they are roasted and not burned. Once roasted, it is dried in the sun and the seeds are rubbed for uniform flavor. This rubbing process is where the original Arabic name comes from: farik means “rubbed.”
Freekeh is eaten mainly in the Mediterranean, North Africa and Middle East. As interest in ancient grains has grown in the United States, so has its popularity.
How to Enjoy Freekeh
Freekeh can be swapped in for bulgur, quinoa, or other grains in most any recipe. The flavor is subtly smoky, making it a great pairing for chicken, lamb, fish, or tomatoes, as in our Tomato-Basil Freekeh Salad.
You can find freekeh with the other grains, typically on the same shelf as quinoa, teff or kamut. In some stores, you can find it in the bulk department, which makes it easy to try a little at a time!
Here are some great ways to eat freekeh.
· Swap for rice or quinoa in stuffed peppers.
· Combine with beans or chickpeas to make veggie burgers.
· Add to chili or other soups for extra heartiness.
· Use to make a breakfast porridge with fresh fruit.
· Serve with roasted vegetables for a meatless meal.
· Use instead of bulgur for a different take on tabbouli.
· Create a grain salad with baby arugula and sweet corn.
· Add to meatloaf, burgers or meatballs to stretch your meal further and add flavor and texture.
· Grind and use as a crunchy coating for baked fish or chicken.
Grab a bag of freekeh and give it a try!