How cool is it that we live in an age where superfoods, ancient grains and organic produce is becoming easier and easier to find? I understand there is a level of accessibility to some of these ingredients but this fact largely remains true.
As someone who frequently speaks on the topic of food sensitivities, gluten comes up frequently as a component of wheat that is highly inflammatory and troublesome for many to digest. It is often positioned as the devil and blanket sweeps of elimination are often made without question or experimentation.
But does that mean everyone must eliminate all gluten-filled grains from their diet? No.
One must always consider a personalized approach. This is what I love most about holistic health as compared to conventional dietary tactics, which love to make harsh, generalized rules and restrictions that don’t consider the individual.
It is incredibly important to take the time to build out an eating pattern that studies each singular food (and how much of that food) and how it works with your personal body.
If we look at gluten and more specifically wheat, it is all too easy to assume that all forms of wheat – including refined “white” wheat, whole wheat, spelt, kamut and freekeh as well as all of its forms such as flakes, kernels and flours – do not work in the body simply because they contain gluten. But the grains contain different nutrient profiles and each of us has different states of digestive health.
At first read, this may sound overwhelming but it should be read as liberating! This means there is a greater chance of more foods on your plate that won’t trigger pain and symptoms.
Ancient forms of wheat, like freekeh, are one of those ingredients that are more commonly found on the shelves. But that doesn’t mean you know how to cook or prepare them.
Freekeh is wheat that is harvest when young and provides more protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals than mature wheat. It is an excellent source of magnesium and selenium, a good source of vitamin E, zinc and phosphorous and a source of iron copper, B1, B3, B5, B6 and B9. It contains 5 grams of fibre and 8 grams of protein per quarter cup.
Greenwheat freekeh can be used as a side or main dish or it can be added to soups, cold salads or vegetarian or vegan meals. And it makes a hearty breakfast. All of the nutrients make freekeh a freakin’ good dish! Sorry, I had to 😉
Use the following recipe with a Mexican flair as a side or main dish to try out and enjoy the benefits of freekeh.
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup whole greenwheat freekeh
- ½ tsp pink salt
- 1 cup organic corn kernels
- ½ cup grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup red onion, diced
- 2 cups cabbage slaw
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ tsp pink salt
- 1 avocado
- 2 garlic cloves
- 6 cilantro stems and leaves
- 1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Add water, freekeh and salt to pot and bring to boil
- Turn down heat and simmer for 40 minutes, let stand for 5 minutes
- While freekeh is cooking, add all dressing ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, adding a splash of water if too thick
- Once freekeh is cooked, drain any excess water
- Stir in corn, tomatoes, onion and slaw
- Pour all of the dressing onto the freekeh mix and stir until well incorporated
- Optional: garnish with cilantro leaves
- If you like it spicier add another jalapeno or leave some of the seeds in
- If you can tolerate dairy, top with feta cheese