Healthy appetite: Go with the grain

There is little we love more at appetite HQ than the latest health-giving grain, and this month we have mostly been feasting on freekeh.

Freekeh is very much part of the food trend for ‘new ancient grains’ and is just reaching the UK after making its mark in the US and Australia.

Healthy, versatile and cooked in just 20 minutes, it can be added to soups, used in a pilaf, provide a base for a warm salad, served as a simple side dish and plenty more.

Unlike other grains, freekeh has a subtly smoky, nutty flavour achieved through lightly toasting the young grains of wheat picked while still green and at their nutritional peak.

It has four times the amount of fibre of brown rice and almost twice the protein of white rice. Freekeh also ranks low on the glycaemic index, meaning it can keep you fuller for longer. Additionally, it is higher in magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron, as well as possessing prebiotic properties.

Research carried out on the grain by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation has shown that, when compared to equivalent diets containing white rice or couscous, those consuming freekeh showed “substantial differences in key metabolic and bacteriological variables.” These differences are associated with a reduced risk of developing some degenerative bowel diseases including colorectal cancer.

Greenwheat freekeh is all-natural, GMO free and grown in Australia. The cracked version allows for a softer texture and quicker cooking than whole grains.

Lauded as a superfood by cardiothoracic surgeon and popular US telly medic Dr Oz, Artisan Grains freekeh is sold in 200g packs in Tesco, RRP £1.49.

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1Prawn and Freekeh salad
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2Tenderstem, rye kernel and tarragon salad
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3Chicken and apricot tagine

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