Update: Found this Simple Origins brand of Organic Farro at Heinens today (10/28/13) on sale for $3.99. You may want to try this one at a much lower price.
I had heard about farro and saw it in the grocery store but I didn’t know what to do with it. Like you… I don’t want to waste the money buying something in the grocery store to let it sit on my pantry shelf. Last Easter when I was preparing my Easter menu, I came across a risotto recipe that suggested substituting farro for the arborio rice, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make our butter laden risotto dish just a little healthier.
Farro is a wheat grain so is not for the gluten free group but it has become a staple for us in our weekly menus. It is a whole grain and provides a healthy boost of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Grains are also rich in carbohydrates—the body’s main fuel supply—so we need a fair amount daily (despite what low-carb/no-carb gurus say). Plus, for those making sure to get their protein (you know who you are, HS), farro offers 7 grams of protein in 1/4 cup dry.
It is as easy to make as rice and you can just use the 2:1 ratio of grain/water just like you would to make rice. I use my Breville steamer to make my farro, just lIke I use it to make brown rice, quinoa, and steam my veggies. It is just so easy to use a steamer and then you don’t have to stand over the stove and watch it. I prepare my farro early in the week and then it can be used in so many different ways during the week.
I call this a “grain/pasta” because I would like you to use this just like you would use a rice or a pasta. You can throw it in a cold salad or just eat it as a side dish.
“Lil” loves her regular white pasta but now would just rather eat of big bowl of steamed farro with some butter and maybe some parmesean cheese on it. It has a somewhat nutty flavor and it remains very “al dente” which in Italian means “to the tooth.” To me, it just means you have a very hearty dish to eat and it is very tasty. You can add more flavor to the dish by adding veggies, replacing the water with chicken or vegetable broth while cooking or using it in a soup or risotto. Also, if you prefer it a little softer, you can a) let it soak in water for an hour or so before you cook it or b) add another 1/2 or 1 cup of water to your ratio.
If you need some inspiration for a dish you could try this recipe from a Blog I follow, Healthy Girls Kitchen. She is Cleveland Based too and has a great website/blog. You should follow her too! http://www.healthygirlskitchen.com/2012/05/addictively-good-farro-tabbouleh.html
Thanks for reading, following and please leave me a comment below! I would love to hear if you plan to try Farro this week :)
Happy, Healthy Eating!