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What Is Farro?
Originating from ancient Mesopotamia, farro is a term used to describe any of the three ancient wheat grains: einkorn, emmer, or spelled. However, in the United States and Europe, the term farro generally refers to emmer wheat.
Although farro has long been popular in other parts of the world, especially Italy, for a long time farro is increasing in popularity in the United States as a nutritious substitute for other common grains. It is known for its unique nutty flavor. It is also packed with nutrients and provides more health benefits than many common cereals.
- Pearl farro takes the least amount of time to cook and is probably what you will find in the store.
- You can cook farro on the stovetop, but it also cooks great in an Instant Pot.
- If you buy whole or semi-pearl farros, you should cook them a little faster: you can soak the beans for an hour or overnight to speed things up. However, we recommend always using pearl farro in your recipes.
Cooking Farro in an Instant Pot
Instant Pot farro is no faster than the stovetop method. Why do we love it? It’s totally hands-off, which means you don’t have to care for it like you would a normal pot on the stove. It also frees up the stove so you can use it to prepare your main meal. It might not sound revolutionary, but Alex and I love tossing beans into the Instant Pot and then using our main focus for the rest of the meal.
Here are the basic steps on how to make Instant Pot farro:
- Place farro, water and salt in the Instant Pot.
- Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes.
- Natural release for 7 minutes. Open the Instant Pot and drain any excess liquid.
Why Should You Use Farro?
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
Although no studies have specifically looked at farro and weight loss, there are a number of factors that suggest that farro could help you maintain a healthy weight. Specifically, farro is loaded with fiber and protein. Studies show that increasing fiber intake can help prevent obesity.
Meanwhile, protein is associated with creating a feeling of fullness, which can help prevent overeating. And studies show that eating three servings of whole grains like farro per day is associated with a lower BMI in humans.
Not all grains are created equal. Farro, in particular, is loaded with nutrients, making it a good alternative to the “empty carbohydrates” that many diets warn against. In fact, it’s an excellent source of plant-based protein, making it a great option for vegetarians and vegans to add to their lifestyle. Farro is also an excellent source of Iron, Magnesium and Fiber
Is farro gluten-free?
Farro is made from wheat, so it is not gluten free. Make sure to stay away from farro if you have a strict gluten free diet. If you’re looking for a gluten free substitute for farro, you can use Brown rice, Millet or Quinoa.
How to serve farro?
You will love using it as a side dish, but you will also enjoy it as part of the main dish. Here are some of the more popular ways to use farro:
- Garnish with vegetables: season with garlic and herbs. Serve with salmon or shrimp. With mushrooms and Parmesan cheese: exquisite!
- Use it in place of rice. Season the farro with salt and use in place of curried or stir-fried rice.
- In a salad, for example, use the chewy grain with tart cherries and goat cheese.
- In a soup: add chewy farro to a soup. For this dish, you don’t even need to cook it first!
How to store leftovers
Do you have leftovers to save? It is best to use environmentally friendly and plastic-free alternatives for food storage.
- Plastic wrappers and bags cannot be recycled and end up in the trash and eventually on land or in the ocean. Containers are known to leak hormone-disrupting chemicals into food. A better solution is to move away from plastic entirely and find alternative ways to store leftovers.
- There are many alternatives for storing your food scraps: glass jars, glass containers, bowls, paper, cloth, and beeswax wrap.
- Stainless Steel: Transfer overnight leftovers directly to a stainless-steel bento box for lunch the next day.
- Ceramic crock: If you have leftover carrot, celery, fennel, or raw asparagus sticks, soak them in water in the refrigerator to keep them crisp. A ceramic pot works well for this. Just be sure to change the water daily; use old water to water your indoor plants so it doesn’t go to waste.
- Cooking Pot: The simplest solution of all: just leave leftover food in the pot it was cooked in. Facilitates reheating the next day.
- Aluminum foil: Aluminum foil can keep salad greens, as well as celery and broccoli, crisp. Wrap them tightly and pop them in the fridge, and they’ll keep for weeks. Try to reuse the aluminum foil as many times as you can, taking care to unwrap and rinse to remove any food residue. I avoid using aluminum foil to cover the dishes; Although aluminum foil can be recycled, many recyclers don’t bother, so do what you can to extend its life.