No, this is not some throwback to the 60s article, like wow, freekehlicious, man!
On the contrary, Freekehlicious is the Norwood based company responsible for bringing the ancient grain, freekeh, to health and specialty food outlets throughout the US.
Freekeh has long been recognized as a staple in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Freekehlicious is the premier importer of Greenwheat Freekeh, a product of Australia. Freekeh, in Aramaic, means “to rub,” referring to the technique by which freekeh is made. Once the freekeh is roasted, the wheat is rubbed to reveal the grain.
Barbara Fanelli, who was seeking healthy meal alternatives for her husband who has Type II diabetes, founded the company in 2010. She first heard of freekeh while watching an episode of Dr Oz. Her research produced two vastly different sources of freekeh – one from the middle East and another from an Australian producer. She sampled both products and found the Australian grain to be cleaner and of a superior grade. She began to import and distribute Greenwheat Freekeh and Freekehlicious was born.
The company sent me samples of their cracked and wholegrain freekeh, along with suggested recipes. But before I even tried the recipes, I loved the nutritional benefits listed on the product overview:
High fiber – four times the fiber of brown rice
High in protein content
High in calcium for bone health
Rich in lutein – important for eye health
Low GI – helps to prevent diabetes
Low in available carbs
Rich in prebiotic properties – important for fueling the growth of healthy bacteria
Sounds almost perfect, right? So off I went to try the recipes! The cooking process for freekeh is similar to quinoa. Cook up a big batch and store it in the refrigerator for use during the week. Cooked freekeh can be eaten warm, like oatmeal, or cold with yogurt. I tried it both ways for breakfast and loved it. You can add your favorite fruits, nuts, and spices.
Since I had quite a bit left over, and had company coming for dinner, I made the Freekeh Salad recipe that came with the samples. The recipe called for asparagus, beets, Portobello mushrooms, walnuts, and goat cheese. I omitted the beets and mushrooms as I didn’t have any and did not feel like running to the store. Dressed with a Dijon mustard, walnut oil, white wine vinegar vinaigrette, this was a wonderful accompaniment to our London broil. It would also work well as a side to chicken or fish. Recipes follow below.
Freekeh is 100% natural, free from all additives, coloring, chemicals, preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, and GMO.
I really loved the nutty texture and smoky flavor, not to mention the health benefits. And with all the eating that I do, I need all the help I can get! If something can be delicious AND healthy, it sounds like a winner.
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2 C cooked Freekeh
1 chopped apple
½ C dried cranberries
½ C apple sauce
¼ C apple juice
1 C of your favorite nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds), chopped
Cinnamon, to taste
In saucepan, cook apples, apple sauce, and juice on low heat (prepare mixture to your personal taste & texture). Add cinnamon and dried cranberries. Cook for 5 minutes. Add nuts and simmer 2 more minutes. Pour over cooked Freekeh.
For cold Freekeh breakfast:
Top cooked Freekeh with plain or vanilla Greek yogurt, drizzle with honey or pure maple syrup, add slivers of banana, any type of fresh berries, and chopped nuts.
1 C uncooked wholegrain Freekeh
3 C water
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Bring water and Freekeh to a boil and simmer for approximately 40-45 minutes. Yields 3 cups.
2 C cooked Freekeh
1 bunch pencil asparagus, blanched & chopped
3 fresh roasted or boiled beets, diced
1 portobello mushroom, chopped
¼ C chopped walnuts
3 TB goat cheese
½ C walnut oil
3 TB white wine vinegar
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 TB fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper, to taste
Combine cooked Freekeh with asparagus, beets, mushroom, and walnuts. Blend dressing together and pour over salad; toss. Top with goat cheese.
Terry Krongold is a life-long passionate baker. In addition to a full-time job in the pharmaceutical industry, Terry has been involved with food for many years, including co-ownership of a dessert catering company in the late eighties called I Love Cheesecake, specializing in fine cheesecake and unique desserts. Terry is the author of The Cook’s Tour, a blog focused on food, baking, and travel. When not working, writing, or baking, she spends time planning vacations around restaurants to visit. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.