Get your Freekeh on!
Before you read further, click HERE for this nostalgic song that fits perfectly with this recipe! All right, now you are set to go.
I know that Freekeh sounds a little bit funky, but it really is not! It is actually a grain that is considered a superfood (but then again, what’s not nowadays). I found this gem whilst hanging around at my local organic supermarket to grab some grains for breakfast and by the way, I don’t know about you guys, but I always spending way more money than I should in this sort of occasions. I always like to try new things. Well, here is my verdict: I like it because it does taste a little like bulgur, which isn’t really odd since both grains are practically family. And you guys know how much I love that stuff (remember this old recipe that I once wrote). From now on they will share that first place!
Back to this super grain. Freekeh (which is pronounced as Free-kah, hence the song) is wheat that is harvested while young and green. By roasting it over an open fire, the straw and chaff are burned and rubbed off. But on the inside, the grain is still too young and moist to get burned. After the burn, it is still firm with a lovely earthy, nutty and smokey flavour. Freekeh is not only super tasteful, it also has tons of nutritional benefits, maybe even more than Quinoa.
Freekeh is low in fat and high in protein and contains twice as much fiber as quinoa. It will keep you feeling satisfied long after your meal. Low on the glycemic index, Freekeh is a great choice for those who are managing diabetes or who are just trying to keep their blood sugar steady. On top of that, this power-packed grain is high in iron, calcium, and zinc. It acts like a prebiotic, promoting the growth of good bacteria to keep your digestive system happy and healthy.
Freekeh is easy to prepare and it works great in both savoury and sweet dishes. Try to replace your rice, quinoa or any other grain with Freekeh. It will give your dish a different taste palate. So, get your freak on!
Serves 2 hungry people
(or 4 not so hungry)
1 cup / 250 gr cracked Freekeh
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 shallot (minced)
1 tbs coriander seeds (grounded)
1/4 tbs fennel seeds (grounded)
1/2 tbs salt
1/2 tbs pul biber or chili flakes (omit if you don’t like the spicy or if you have kids to feed)
2 small fennel bulbs (cut in quarters)
1 pomegranate (deseeded)
handful of leafy greens
Heat up a knob of coconut oil or olive oil in a large pan over high heat. When the oil is hot, turn down the heat, add the garlic, shallot, coriander and fennel seeds. Keep stirring to prevent the spices from burning. When the ingredients are fragrant, add the Freekeh and salt. Give it a good stir and add 2 cups/500ML of water. Put the lid on and cook it for 15-20 minutes on low heat. Keep a close eye on it to prevent it from burning.
After 15-20 minutes the Freekeh should have soaked up all the water. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool in a large mixing bowl.
In the meantime, rub the fennel with some oil and roast them in a skillet till they turn golden. Wash your leafy greens, I used spinach, but you can pick any kind you want. Divide the Freekeh into two big bowls, add the fennel and leafy greens. Drizzle with some lemon juice and top it off with some (or a lot like I did) pomegranate kernels. And if you are not strict vegan, add some goat cheese.
Note: Read here how to deseed a pomegranate like a pro.