Friday, January 24, 2014

Health Benefits of Farro

So....what exactly IS farro? It originated in the Middle East and was used everywhere during the Roman Empire, and has since played a vital part in Italian cuisine. It has a nutty, earthy flavor, and a supple texture that's chewy on the outside, with a firm center. It's also awesome for your health:

-Fiber-filled. One cup has about 8 grams, brown rice only has 5 grams! Fiber is important because it will keep you fuller for longer, helps you go to the bathroom but the most important thing is that it also helps to lower cholesterol.
-Its complex carbs will break down slower keeping your energy up for longer. Aka, have it for lunch and you won't be reaching for a candy bar or energy drink at 3 in the afternoon. The complex carbs also stimulate your immune system and helps regular blood sugar levels.
-Vitamins A, B, C, and E
-Zinc which is great for boosting your immune and cardiovascular system. Zinc has also been show to prevent cancers and diabetes.
-Low in gluten, making it easy to digest. Although not completely gluten free so if you are very sensitive to gluten, you might not be able to enjoy farro. Sad face!
-High in magnesium which is an essential daily nutrient. It can reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and inflammatory diseases. It also helps relieve tension and menstrual cramps.
-Contains lignans giving it antioxidant properties.

You can find farro almost anywhere nowadays. I get it at Shaw's or Stop & Shop.
It's very versatile, like most grains. You can use it instead of oats for your morning oatmeal, you can put it in salads instead of pasta, you could also use it in place of rice even in dishes like risotto! Throw it in soups and even desserts. Try one of the following recipes:

-Farro with Pistachios
-Roasted Fennel & Farro Salad

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