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October 21, 2013

It’s Time to Freekeh

by Anne Paddock

Every time I cook up a packet of Organic Freekeh – all natural roasted green wheat – I think of the 1978 hit song by Chic – Le Freak because that’s exactly what I do – freak out . Yes, I really do sing that song changing “freak out” to “freekeh” in my head – Ahh, Freekeh, Freekeh, c’est chic!...(out loud if no one is home) and then freak out over the flavor (nutty and smokey) and texture (firm and chewy) of a big bowl of Freekeh, especially when mixed with steamed broccoli florets and stems or fresh sautéed asparagus.

Freekeh is also delicious mixed with dried cranberries and toasted pecans or tossed with grilled tofu, pineapple, chopped scallions and sweet grape tomatoes. There are literally dozens of ways Freekeh can be prepared with the only limitation being your imagination. It’s versatile and easy to work with, cooking up in 20-25 minutes. Freekeh is also a healthy option in recipes that call for rice or couscous, since freekeh is easy to cook and is  a complex carb that has 3 times the protein.

374508_591705217526241_1732614351_n-1Freekeh is an ancient grain – wheat that has been harvested when young  and still green – that is roasted and put through a rubbing process during production to give it its unique flavor and texture. Popular in the Middle East for thousands of years, Freekeh is gaining popularity in the United States as people discover the taste and nutritional benefits.

Freekeh Foods of Minneapolis, Minnesota offers three different kids of organic, kosher, and Non-GMO project verified Freekeh:  Original, Tamari, and Rosemary Sage. Grown in the United States, Freekeh is a nutritional powerhouse with 6-8 grams of protein, 4-5 grams of fiber, 0 – 150 grams of sodium (depending on the flavor), and 0-1 gram of sugar per 1/4 cup serving. Freekeh is also full of vitamins and minerals – iron, niacin, B6, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, and magnesium – making Freekeh a high nutrition grain.

Freekeh Foods Freekeh is available nationwide at grocery stores and health food stores including Shop Rite, Wegman’s, Stop & Shop, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, and more. Go to the company website to use a zip code locator to find a store nearby. Or, order on-line directly from the company’s website: www.freekehfoods.com where six 8 ounce resealable pouches cost $14.40 plus shipping ($6.95 per order), or through Amazon where a single 8 ounce packet is $3.50 with free shipping for Prime members.

The company’s website lists a variety of recipes and In March, 2014, the company’s full color hardback cookbook – The Freekeh Cookbook – with 96 recipes will be published by Skyhorse Publishing and be available in bookstores, on-line retailers, and through the company’s website.

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