Freekeh

Ever wonder how we have become so far removed from the foods of our ancestors?  In this day and age, it is more about convenience and less about nutrition.  Did you ever think, maybe our grandparents, great grandparents or even great great grandparents had it right all along when it comes to food?  While to them, cooking was a big endeavor that took a good amount of time to accomplish; we have the convenience of modern technology.  What used to take hours, now takes us minutes!  Therefore, I have to wonder, why aren’t we utilizing our modern technology to make quick AND nutritious meals for our families?

Enter freekeh.  Freekeh has been around for over 2,000 years.  2,000 years people!  It is a whole grain packed full with fiber and is low on the glycemic index.  Freekeh is harvested when it is still green and then gets toasted and cracked.   The cracking process is what speeds up your time in the kitchen.  Cracked freekeh will be ready to eat in 15-20 minutes!  Prepare it just as you would rice. 

Still not convinced?  The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has labeled it a super food.  Dr. Oz has named it one of the 7 essential foods for women over 40.  Finally, Queen O herself has featured it in her O: The Oprah Magazine,and we all know Oprah’s word is law! J 

 

RECIPES

Freekeh with Peas and Carrots

Serves 4-6

1 pkg kabtilo coarse freekeh
1 pkg skinless bone in chicken breast
1pkg frozen peas and carrots
pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
A pinch of cardamon
A pinch of garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil or butter ghee to sauté veggies  (more if needed for freekeh)

 

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Wash and strain freekeh until water is clear.

Add oil or butter ghee to a pot and sauté the peas and carrots (about 3-5 minutes).

Add the washed freekeh to the pot and if needed add more oil or butter ghee to coat the freekeh. add warm water (or vegetable stock for more flavor) to cover freekeh and veggies and add spices, mixing well.

Bring to a boil and wait for a few min before covering and turning heat to low,  simmer for 15-20 or until water has dried. 

Fluff with a fork and serve with salad and yogurt salad.

 

Freekeh with Butternut Squash and Cranberries

Serves 4-6

2 cups kabtilo freekeh
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
5 cups broth, or water
3 cups butternut squash, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1/2 cup hazelnuts or cashews, chopped

 

Wash and strain freekeh until water is clear.

Combine freekeh and broth or water in a pot.  Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute.

Reduce heat to low, add diced onion, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cover pot and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached.

While the freekeh cooks, prepare the butternut squash.  Toss squash in a bowl with olive oil.  
Spread on foil-lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until tender, but not soft.

Stir cooked butternut squash and cranberries into freekeh.  If desired, top with chopped nuts.

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