Farro, a nutrient-packed grain, filled with healthy benefits, the perfect side dish and a great plant-based grain alternative.
Why is Farro not as popular as oats, corn and rice? Unfortunately, I cannot answer that question. Sometimes I feel as if we are not a little bit more curious we won’t know what our local supermarket stocks on its shelves. So why not look around a little more and check out what’s new.
You will not find this healthy grain next to white rice. Not even next to bulgur wheat or cornmeal. It is often mistaken for spelt which is somewhat an unpopular grain. But again, the taste is similar and the recipes interchangeable. Yes, you can replace farro with spelt and vice versa in recipes.
So, what is Farro?
Farro is a staple in Europe, commonly and presently grown in Italy, one of the major producers. This whole grain is a favorite of vegetarians and is a great source of healthy nutrients. Nutty in flavor as do many other grains, its texture is chewy and puffs up like rice when cooked. One single grain looks like a giant grain of brown rice.
Similar to many grains, Farro is easy to cook and high in fiber. It is a versatile grain that can be added to soup, salads and served as a side dish. It is even prepared as a hot breakfast, like oatmeal.
How to cook Farro?
It is usually recommended to soak the grains for faster cooking. A simple recipe for Farro is to cook it like rice. You can season the cooking liquid with salt and pepper but the most flavorful way is to add either chicken broth or vegetable broth. Either combination will be good.
You can also opt to add other types of ingredients such as meat, vegetables and even fish depending on the type of recipe. Vegetables and cheese are great add-ons if you are making a salad. Whatever creative ideas you have, make sure you have all your ingredients ready. If you are following a strict diet, this is a great option for plant-based side dishes.
Can’t find it? Here is an easy way to shop for Farro:
The best way to find this healthy grain is to look in the organic or gourmet food section of your local supermarket. Because it is considered a specialty grain with many health benefits you may even find it in specialty stores and specialty food sections in grocery stores.
Farro may not be sold in huge bags or the packaging may not be big at all. Look for a bag similar to the ones below or just get it from Amazon.