The origins of farro can be traced to the ancient Fertile Crescent, where many tombs of Pharaohs have been found to contain seeds, presumably as provisions for the king in his afterlife, according to custom. The Roman army enjoyed this staple before they marched off to duty. In addition, it has been cooked in Italy for centuries in a wide variety of dishes from risottos to salads.
Type of Farro
Even though it is referred to as a whole grain, farro can actually reference three different grain types: piccolo, medio and grande, which are respectively, einkorn, emmer, and spelt. In the USA, the most sold is emmer, or farro medio.
Apart from these types of grain, farro can be differentiated based on the nutrient value as well. Whole farro contains all the nutrients of the grain. Semi-pearled has most of the bran removed but still retains some amount of fiber. Pearled has no bran at all and requires the least time in cooking.
Preparation Before Cooking
Farro is sold while it is dry and, like rice, it becomes soft when put in water, soaked and cooked. However, it still retains its crunchiness. This quality makes it an ideal grain for people who eat it plain or with milk.
Benefits of Farro
Researchers have shed some interesting light on the nutritional and health properties of this food. They include the following:
- Reduces stroke risk by 30 percent
- Lowers heart disease risk factors, high blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Reduces risk of Type 2 diabetes by 20 to 30 percent
- Helps maintain weight
- Reduces risk of asthma
- Provides intake of more dietary fiber, essential for proper digestion
- Helps fight obesity
- Prevents the chances of inflammatory diseases
Other Health Benefits
High Fiber Content
The high level of fiber makes it good for the heart, aids digestion, and is supremely beneficial for prevention of spikes in blood sugar levels. Additionally, if it is unprocessed, meaning that the bran and germ are still intact, ensuring that the digestive tract swells up, and gives you a feeling of satisfaction that stays much longer than other types of grain.
Being 100% whole grain, farro has resistant starch, antioxidants, and oligosaccharides, as well as phenolic compounds which are concerned with anti-ageing.
Next time you want a healthy starch as part of your meal, consider the ancient grain of farro. It can be used in a variety of ways, including serving as a substitute for rice. Stop by Sensational Shakes and take a bag home today.