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Freekeh

FOOD & COOKING ARTICLE

FreekehHave you heard about freekeh? If so, you will know this ‘ancient grain’ is making big waves in the food scene thanks to its nutritional benefits and subtle smokiness. Below is a great recipe showcasing the supergrain and some information on why it is the health trend to watch out for.

Freekeh:

  • Has more protein per 100g than a boiled egg.

  • Has four times the fibre of brown rice.

  • Has been shown to possess prebiotic properties, meaning it fuels healthy bacteria throughout digestion.

  • Registers as low on the glycemic index which can help to control blood sugar levels and may play a role in weight management.

  • Is Free of GMOs.

  • Is a rich source of Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium and Zinc.

One recipe suggestion is this Freekeh Salad with Prawns, Shallots and Tenderstem which takes less than half an hour to make and is packed full of supergrain goodness!

Freekeh the New Ancient Grain that Packs a Nutritional Punch

Freekeh is the new super grain hitting the UK. The food trend for ‘new ancient grains’ has a groundswell of support in the USA and Australia and is just reaching UK shores where demand for other ancient grains such as quinoa and spelt is already well established. With a high nutritional content and popularity abroad, it’s time to take notice of freekeh.

Healthy, versatile and cooked in just twenty minutes, freekeh has a lot to offer. It can be added to soups, used in a pilaf, provide a base for a warm salad, served as a simple side dish and plenty more.

Unlike other grains freekeh has a subtly smoky, nutty flavour achieved through lightly toasting the young grains of wheat that have been picked whilst still green and at their nutritional peak.

Nutritional analysis has shown freekeh to have four times the amount of fibre compared with brown rice and almost twice the protein of white rice. Freekeh also ranks low on the glycaemic index, meaning it can keep you fuller for longer. Additionally, it is higher in magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron as well as possessing prebiotic properties.

Research carried out on the grain by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation has shown that when compared to equivalent diets containing white rice or couscous, those consuming freekeh showed “substantial differences in key metabolic and bacteriological variables2.” These differences are associated with a reduced risk of developing some degenerative bowel diseases including colorectal cancer.

Lauded as a superfood by cardiothoracic surgeon and popular American TV medical expert Dr Oz, Artisan Grains are bringing cracked greenwheat freekeh to the UK with 200g packs now available in Tesco stores nationwide RRP £1.49.

FREEKEH SALAD WITH PRAWNS SHALLOTS AND TENDERSTEM

Freekeh Salad with Prawns, Shallots and TenderstemFreekeh has become such a popular grain due to its ease of preparation and great nutritional qualities, this makes a deliciously simple supper full of goodness and flavour.

Ingredients

150g freekeh
1tbsp butter
8 shallots, peeled and quartered
200ml vegetable stock
200g tenderstem broccoli
150g cooked tiger or king prawns
Handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 lemon

Method

  • Soak the freekeh in cold water for 5 minutes, drain and rinse under running water, allow to drain well.
  • Melt the butter in a large pan, add the shallots and sauté over a medium heat for approximately 5 minutes until softened.
  • Add the freekeh and vegetable stock, simmer gently for 10 - 20 minutes, the freekeh needs a little longer and has a slightly chewy, nutty texture and taste.
  • Add the tenderstem, cover and cook for a few minutes, turn the heat off and allow everything to steam under the lid in the residual heat for another 5 minutes, then leave to cool a little.
  • Stir in the prawns, parsley and a good squeeze of lemon juice, season to taste.

Cook’s tip

  • Delicious served with a spoonful of natural yoghurt or crème fraiche and a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts.

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