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Farro has been around for centuries – it’s actually the world’s oldest cultivated grain. While Italians have embraced farro, and you will often see it on their menus (especially in Tuscany), it has only recently begun to catch on here in the states. I truly believe, once people taste farro, and learn of its nutritional advantages, it will only be a matter of time before it is widely embraced here in the good ole’ U.S. of A. I originally ordered my farro online, but it is cropping up in a lot of stores recently, including Trader Joe’s.
Farro is a cousin of wheat, but is substantially lower in gluten (not gluten-free!), and is more easily digestible. It also has twice the protein and fiber of wheat, a half-cup serving providing 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. Plus it’s a good source of vitamin B and magnesium.
Of course, the real questions is: how does it taste? That’s the beautiful thing: it is absolutely delicious! Imagine if brown rice and barley had a baby – a nutty-tasting, chewy baby. The texture is wonderful too – chewy but not tough, creamy but not sticky – kind of like arborio (risotto) rice. Farro is also a versatile grain – I use it here for hot cereal, but it is just as at home on your dinner plate: as a replacement for rice, as a pilaf, or mixed into your favorite soup.
Farro Breakfast Porridge
- 1 cup farro
- 2.5 cups water
- almond milk
Place the dry farro in a large saucepan over medium heat (careful – farro bubbles up a lot, so use a big pot!). Toast for a minute or two, stirring frequently.
Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover and allow to simmer over medium-low heat for 25-30 minutes without stirring. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove excess water.
Take 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of cooked farro and place in a bowl. Add almond milk, blueberries and walnuts to taste. You can also add a little bit of maple syrup or brown sugar for added sweetness.
Of course, you can add whatever ingredients you like – maybe apples and cinnamon, or maple syrup and walnuts. Leftover farro can be left in the refrigerator for a few days and easily reheats in the microwave. It can also be frozen. A quick online search will give you lots of ideas of what to do with the yummy leftovers.
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