When I decided to make farro as my whole grain today, I didn’t realize that I was actually making emmer. First off, when I scooped the beautiful brown grain out of the bulk bin, it said on the label “Emmer Farro” so you can see why I was confused. As I did a little more research, it turns out that farro is more of a general term used by Italians for whole grains from the wheat species. This includes spelt, einkorn, and emmer. Emmer is primarily the form that is grown in Italy, and that is why people think it is one in the same. Emmer has a nutty chewy texture and can be sprouted to make bread, ground into flower, or cooked up like any other whole grain. Emmer is far less cultivated than other forms of wheat, especially in the United States. In turn, it hasn’t been subject to genetic modification and over processing the way that most wheat in our diet today has. Because of this, many people who cannot tolerate wheat CAN tolerate emmer, it does however, contain gluten.
Speaking of cultivation, when I purchased the emmer, I noticed it was grown in Washington. This makes me happy when I can eat locally, and as I did research online, I realized that the producers, Blue Bird Grain Farms, are the only growers of this lovely organic heirloom grain in the US!
I decided to get a little fancy; being it was the last day of the whole grain challenge. First, I baked an acorn squash with a little butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and sea salt. Next, I cooked some French lentils, and the emmer farro. Then I sautéed some garlic, the emmer and lentils with olive oil, added fresh thyme, dried cranberries, spinach and some balsamic vinegar. Finally, I stuffed the squash with this filling. Talk about a beautiful plate and a perfect meal. It was savory and sweet and so amazingly delicious.
I hope that you readers enjoyed the whole grain challenge as much as I did! I feel amazing after this whole grain-eating week. I have a ton of energy thanks to all these complex carbohydrates and I haven’t been snacking so much throughout the day. I have felt full and satiated, thanks to all this fiber and protein. I know that I will have plenty of energy for my race on Sunday because I have a fridge full of leftovers to eat. Please leave a comment and let me know what other whole grains you love and how you like to eat them.