I recently went to Dos Toro for the first time and was offered farro as a substitute for rice. Being that the farro was brown and looked closer to a whole grain, I opted for the farro.
But What Exactly is Farro?
Farro is an ancient wheat grain. Contrary to popular belief, farro does not refer to one type of grain. Rather, it's Italian for "ancient wheat grain" and often used to describe three different grains.
The kind that's most commonly found in the US and Europe is emmer wheat. It's sold dry and prepared by cooking it in water until it's soft and chewy.
Before it's cooked it looks similar to wheat berries, but afterward it looks similar to barley. It's a small, light-brown grain with a noticeable outer layer of bran.
It can be eaten alone or as an ingredient in dishes like stews, salads and soups. It can also be mixed with fruit and cream and eaten in a similar style to granola or muesli.
Without further ado, here are the top health benefits of farro.
1. Farro is Rich in Fiber
One cup of farro contains 12 grams of fiber, so depending on your gender, you’ll be either a third or halfway to getting your daily allotment of fiber with a single cup of this super grain. That’s the fiber equivalent of eating four medium-sized bananas.
2. Farro Provides 28 grams of Protein
Protein is a macronutrient that’s considered to be the primary building block of the human body as it helps build muscle, tissue, and cells. While protein shouldn’t compose the majority of your daily nutrition intake, it’s true that it’s essential to good health. Eating foods packed with protein like farro will help you stay healthy, gain strength, and lose weight. One cup of farro provides 28 grams of protein, which is equivalent to a 3-ounce portion of sirloin steak.
3. Full of Antioxidants
Farro, like other whole grains, can be an important source of the antioxidants that protect you from harmful molecules called free radicals. Free radicals can cause cell damage that is thought to result in certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, stroke. If you’ve been trying to eat a few bars of dark chocolate a day or blending up some Goji berry smoothies, you now have another option for an antioxidant fix.
4. Low Calorie & Low Fat
Some varieties of farro are fat free – yes, you can get all those antioxidants, fibers, and proteins, without any fat grams. And if you’re counting calories, farro will be a go-to ingredient for you.
5. Farro is Loaded With Nutrients & Vitamins
Farro is an excellent source of nutrients like magnesium, zinc and some B vitamins.
So next time you’re given the option, think about opting for the farro — a much healthier alternative to white rice or other refined grains.