Pay attention, foodies. There’s talk of a new Superfood…Freekeh. Most often compared with Quinoa, the already established Superfood, Freekah knocks its counterpart out of the park with more protein, fiber and nutrients. It also ranks lower on the glycemic scale at 43 than quinoa’s ranking at 54. Compare them for yourself:
protein 14.9 g 4.4 g
fiber 12.9 g 2.8
iron 207 mg 10 mg
calcium 370 mg 17 mg
carbs 60.6 g 21.3 g
calories 353 120
Roasted over an open fire to loosen and easily shrug off its burned husks and straw from the seeds, freekeh is young, green wheat. The grain left inside, too wet to burn, is chewy, firm and has a smokey, earthy flavor. A couple of red flags, however…freekeh is not gluten free as is quinoa. It also has more calories and carbohydrates than quinoa.
Freekeh, great for delivering vitamins, has additional health benefits:
- Freekeh aids the digestive system enormously. In our world where 70 million people suffer from digestive problems, freekeh greatly reduces diarrhea and constipation symptoms.
- Freekeh also aids in weight control. People report feeling fuller longer…3 times longer than with brown rice.
- Freekeh has high levels of fiber and antioxidants, especially lutein and zeaxsanthin, that boost eye health particularly by helping to prevent macular degeneration.
- Freekeh aids muscular growth and endurance levels thanks to the amino acid, glutamic acid.
Amazon, of course, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are enjoy brisk freekeh business. Merely boil the young wheat grain for 20 minutes in a sauce pan or soak it overnight in water and it will become a welcome addition in stews, puddings, yogurt dishes and cakes. Mixing it with chickpeas (or any vegetable), garlic and parsley is another option. Freekeh is also delicious for breakfast with any combination of nuts, fruits, cinnamon, honey and, for a special treat, coconut milk.
Actually, there is little reason to choose between freekeh and quinoa. Both of these superfoods pack a wallop to your nutritional intake and are great on your wallet as well.