What is Freekeh?

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What is freekeh? Read why freekeh is such a fabulous grain and a building block of the Mediterranean Diet. Buy excellent roasted organic freekeh here.

Dry freekeh in a blue dish

What is freekeh?

Freekeh is an ancient whole grain originating in the Middle East. It’s a grain of roasted young green wheat, chewy and substantial to the bite. It is considered one of the healthiest of grains you can eat. Turns out it’s also one of the most delicious! Freekeh is a  toasty flavor that lends itself well to pilafs and salads. Incorporating freekeh into your regular rotation is easy!

Green wheat field with blue sky

Is freekeh nutritious?

Far more nutrient-rich than other grains like rice (which we love like this), freekeh is a powerhouse:

HIGH in: fiber, prebiotics (for a healthy gut!), and plant-based protein

LOW in: carbs and calories, with a low glycemic index making it great for those managing diabetes.

Pouch of organic freekeh

How to cook freekeh.

To prepare freekeh, think of it as you would other grains like rice or bulgur, cooked into fragrant pilafs. Use water, vegetable stock, chicken stock or a combination of liquids to cook freekeh. The cooked texture of freekeh is chewy and dense.

Freekeh is best cooked at a 2.5:1 ratio of liquid to grain. So for every cup of freekeh, use 2 1/2 cups liquid plus 1/2 teaspoon salt. Freekeh will gain lots of flavor with that little bit of salt added to the cooking liquid before cooking, rather than after the freekeh is cooked. Cooked freekeh can be eaten savory with other flavorful additions such as cooked vegetables or poultry, or as a cereal like oatmeal, with milk, honey and fruit.

Freekeh also makes a fabulous cold salad. Dress it with your  favorite vinaigrette–mine is rice vinegar, garlic, and olive oil. Sliced sweet onion or scallions are a must! Include fresh leafy greens such as arugula or spinach, plus cooked chickpeas, white beans, or lentils.

See the recipe below for full instructions.

Freekeh chickpea salad on an oval platter

 

Freekeh chickpea salad on an oval platter
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Simple Freekeh Recipe

By Maureen Abood
Cook freekeh as you would rice. Ramp freekeh up with sauteed onions and vegetables, chickppeas, or cooked chicken and topped with nuts. Freekeh is also delicious served cold, as a salad dressed with vinaigrette and vegetables.
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In a small saucepan with lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the freekeh and stir to coat with olive oil, gently toasting the freekeh.
  • Add the water, vegetable or chicken stock and salt. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  • Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Fluff the freekeh. with a fork. Serve, or add any additions such as chickpeas, sauteed vegetables or chicken at this point, and serve.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Maureen Abood
Servings: 4
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

 

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Maureen. I serve freekah as the base layered with chicken, a lot of carmelized onions and toasted nuts. It’s one of my family’s favorite Lebanese meals.

    I love your website and emails! You helped me perfect my fatayar and now I make them with ease about once a month. So thank you very much.

    BTW, my moms best friend in Detroit was Henrietta Abood (her first husband was a Gannon and second was a Rowady. She was widowed twice.) She and my mom are deceased. Henrietta’s son is a lawyer in Detroit, Dennis Gannon. Also, my nephew and his wife, George and Amy Joseph from Cincinnati, met you a few years ago Up North.

    Thanks for sharing your recipes and great Lebanese stories

    1. Carolyn thank you for what sounds like such a delicious way with freekeh! Kind of a combo hushweh dish. SO happy about the fatayer, a great tradition and so so so delicious. Oh my gosh we just love George and Amy! Beautiful family history and it sounds like we’re cousins of sorts….Small world after all!