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Freekeh: the new quinoa

  1. Grains on your plate: tasty and nutritious. The nice thing is that 'new' grains are constantly being discovered, such as quinoa, teff and einkorn. And have you heard of freekeh?

  1. Freekeh is wheat that is harvested unripe. The still green grain is dried with chaff in the sun. Then it is rubbed, roasted and broken into small pieces. The result: a grain, just like teff and quinoa, with 'bite' and a nice roasted flavor. Ideal for salads, for example.

From the Middle East

  1. The origin of Freekeh is in the Middle East. It is also referred to as farek or frikey. In itself there is nothing new about freekeh, after all it is just wheat and it has been prepared in these areas for centuries. But for us Westerners it is a nice extension of the repertoire. Early harvesting and in particular roasting is what makes freekeh so special. It has a firm bite and the nutty, toasty flavor is delicious.

How do you prepare freekeh?

  1. The basic preparation for freekeh: add one part freekeh to two parts boiling water with a little salt and a drop of olive oil. Bring to a boil and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes. If you have unbroken freekeh, the cooking time is about 30 minutes. Freekeh is widely consumed in Egypt, for example as a filling in soups and stews. In Palestine, freekeh is the basis for a soup (shurba-al-farik), with chicken, onion, carrot, garlic and lemon juice. You can use freekeh just the way you use rice, couscous or quinoa. But it is also very tasty in salads (with feta and mint and finely chopped tomato and cucumber), as stuffed tomatoes or peppers (with minced meat, cinnamon and pine nuts) and in soups. Another tip: let some freekeh cook with your oatmeal. That gives it a taste of its own!

Is freekeh healthy?

  1. Yes, it is a healthy choice within the grains. It is an unprocessed whole grain grain rich in fiber, protein and minerals. Freekeh contains B vitamins and more calcium, iron and potassium than brown rice. Being a grain, this naturally makes it high in carbohydrates. So take small portions if you want to watch the carbohydrates.


  1. For people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, freekeh is absolutely not suitable, because it consists of wheat. On the internet you can read here and there that it would be suitable, because it is harvested so early, so that the gluten is not yet properly developed. If you can tolerate a small amount of gluten, you might want to give it a try. You can buy Freekeh in health food stores. A

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