Whole grain cereals are richer than refined grains in several nutrients including fibers.
Adding more healthy whole grains to a diet has its benefits.
One particular type of grain that has become a favorite among a lot of people is farro.
Farro is an Italian cuisine staple ingredient and is made up three highly nutritious wheat varieties.
The wheat varieties that make up farro are considered to be some of the oldest known wheat varieties, and they have been consumed since ancient times.
Farro has a chewy texture and a nutty flavor. It could be used for risotto and other interesting recipes.
I decided to try out one of these interesting farro recipes but wanted to know if farro was a whole grain?
Farro could come as whole grain, but could also be processed to give pearled and semi pealed farro.
These three forms of farro vary slightly in taste, texture and the duration it takes to cook them.
Read the following to find out more about these three forms of farro.
Types of farro
Whole grain farro
Whole grain farro means that all of the bran, germ and endosperm layers of its grains are still intact.
Compared to the other form of farro, whole grain farro has a stronger flavor and a more chewy texture, and because they still have all their bran intact, the nutritional contents are also greater than the other forms of farro.
However, whole grain farro takes long to cook, and you may have to soak them overnight to be able to cook them properly.
Removing most or all of the the bran layer of farro produces pearled farro.
Farro loses some of its fiber content during the pearling process.
Pearled farro is therefore the least nutritious of the three types of farro and also the least flavorful.
However, they take the shortest duration to cook and do not really need to be soaked overnight as with whole grain farro.
When compared to the other forms of farro, Semi pearled farro is somewhere between whole grain farro and pearled farro.
In semi pearled farro, some amount of the bran is removed. This also decreases its nutritional content.
Compared to pearled farro, semi pearled farro is more nutritious but takes a longer duration to cook.
However, semi pearled farro takes a shorter time to cook than whole grain farro but has a lesser fiber content and flavor than it.
Whole grain farro vs pearled farro
Pearling of wheat is often carried out before milling.
It involves removing some or all of the bran layer off wheat grains.
Farro could come in whole grain, pearled or semi pearled form.
Whole grain farro has all the grain layers intact while in the pearled varieties of farro, some or all of its bran has been removed.
This creates a lot of differing properties between the two forms of farro.
The bran of farro is rich in fibres and minerals, removing this layer through pearling reduce the nutrient composition of the grain.
Whole grain farro therefore contains more nutritients compared to the other form of farro as it still has its bran intact.
The pearled farro also becomes faster to cook and doesn’t require soaking over longer duration as in whole grain farro.
Whole grain farro also has a stronger flavor compared to the pearled and semi pearled farro.
What is a whole grain cereal?
Grains are the seed of cereal crops such as rice, wheat and sorghum.
All the grains of cereal crops have three layers; the germ, the endosperm and the bran.
The endosperm is the part made up mostly of starch. the germ is the part that grows into a new seedling when planted and it contains vitamins, minerals and proteins.
Genetic material could also be found in the germ layer.
The bran is the fibrous part and also contains minerals too.
When all these three layers are present in a grain, it is known as whole grain.
Whole grain is therefore richer in fiber and minerals compared to refined grains
The process of producing refined grains involves stripping whole grains off their nutrient rich bran and the germ.
This refining process is known as milling.
Refined grains therefore have the bran and germ layers removed leaving behind the endosperm which is starchy.
Varieities of wheat that make up farro
As earlier stated, there are three varieties of wheats that are commonly referred to what is called farro. These varieties of wheat are as follows.
Einkhorn (Triticum monococcum): also Known as farro piccolo in italian cuisine
Emmer(Triticum dicoccum) : Farro medio.
Spelt (Triticum spelta): known a farro grande in Italian cuisine.
Does farro contain gluten?
Gluten is group of proteins found in cereals, it is also what gives these grains their soft, chewy texture.
Farro is a cereal and therefore contains gluten
Diet containing this protein could be a problem for people with celiac disease or non celiac-gluten sensitivity, and may cause them to have digestive symptoms as well as other symptoms.
Farro nutritional content
Most of farro is made up of carbohydrates.
It is also packed with a lot of other essential nutrients
Farro is rich in fiber, Farro boasts of a fiber content that is higher than a lot of other grains.
It is packed with mineral, vitamins and antioxidants as well as proteins vitamin B3, magnesium, zinc, iron.
Farro is also a good source of plant based protein.
- Farro is nutritionally exciting grain. It is rich in fiber which helps in digestive health, it also contains several other nutrients including plant proteins.
- It is made up of three ancient wheat varieties, emmer, einkorn and spelt.
- Farro could be whole grain, however, there are pearled and semi pearled varieties which have some portion or all of the bran removed to allow for the farro to cook faster without having to soak them for long.
- However, to enjoy the full flavor of this farro the whole grain variety is the best but it’ll take a longer time to cook.