Let’s Get Freekeh



Nutritionists are almost unanimous when it comes to espousing the health benefits of whole grains. So today let’s talk about one of the healthiest whole grains out there – freekeh.

Unlike refined flours, whole grains have their germ, endosperm and bran intact, providing fibre, plant protein, complex carbohydrates,  fats and oils and a multitude of  vitamins and minerals.   

Whole grains are one of the best foods you can put in your body; even if you are gluten intolerant, there are still a number of whole grains that offer amazing nutritive benefits: corn, buckwheat, rice, amaranth, oats, quinoa, sorghum, millet, wild rice, hato mugi, montina and Teff are all gluten free. It should be pointed out that gluten is not “bad” for you unless you have celiac disease – which only affects about .75% of the population – or  have allergic reactions or sensitivities to wheat, about .4% of the general population. If you suspect that you might be celiac or gluten intolerant, check with your physician before changing your diet.




One of the healthiest and most delicious ancient grains available to us is Greenwheat Freekeh. Freekeh is simply wheat that is harvested while still soft and green, as opposed to fully mature, hard wheat. Freekeh has been prepared since biblical times in the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula, as well as North Africa and neighbouring countries. Traditionally, the young wheat is harvested and piled in the sun to dry a little, stalks, grain, leaves and all. The piles are set on fire and because the wheat grains are high in moisture they don’t burn, but rather get slow roasted and smoked, resulting in a grain that has maintained more nutritional value than regular wheat, but also has an amazing nutty, smokey, grassy flavor. Indeed, when you first open a package of freekeh, the aroma is reminiscent of freshly baled hay, maybe perfumed by a nearby campfire.


Freekeh comes whole or cracked, like cracked wheat, and cooks up quickly, al dente in about 20 minutes.  Once cooked you can use it wherever you would use bulgur;  in dishes like tabbouleh, in muffins, mixed with yogurt and fresh berries.

It also works well as a hot breakfast cereal, though a little more water and a little longer on the stove will give you a more porridge like consistency, rather than sitting down to a bowl of grains. Served with a little milk and maple syrup, it’s a delicious and healthy way to get your day going. Also, because of it’s high fibre content, it will help to make you feel full a little longer, ultimately reducing hunger pangs or junk food cravings. And then, maybe for lunch….




Freekeh Soup


4 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup freekeh

1 onion, chopped

1 cup chopped carrot

1 cup chopped zucchini

5 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper to taste

dill and lemon zest for garnish



Sautee onions in oil until soft and slightly caramelized. Add freekeh and stir for a few minutes. Add carrots. then add stock and simmer for 20 minutes or until freekeh and carrots are tender. Add zucchini and season with cumin, salt and pepper. Remove from heat so zucchini doesn’t overcook, it will cook just fine in the residual heat. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped dill and lemon zest.

For more creative and delicious  ways to get freekeh with your diet, check out some of these recipes.

For more creative and delicious  ways to get freekeh with your diet, check out some of these recipes.

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