Freekeh Foods – A Sponsored Review

Disclaimer: I received 2 packages of Freekeh Foods’ grain product in exchange for a review of their product and giving away a free package of their product.  All opinions are my own and I was not monetarily compensated for this review.  This product was provided through the Sweat Pink Ambassador campaign.

I don’t consider myself a real health nut.  I admittedly love my pumpkin pie (it’s that time of year again!), tres leches cake, and occasional burger and fries.  However, I do really love some of the “super foods” out there on the market and trying out the new-to-me products.  One type of food I enjoy exploring for new alternatives is the grain product.  I love oats and oatmeal, really enjoy quinoa as both a sweet or savory dish, and dabbled with kasha.  When I heard that there was another grain product available called freekeh, I was interested to see how it compared to my other favorite grains.  I was happy to see Freekeh Foods was hosting a campaign for their products so I could try them out.

So, what exactly is freekeh (or farik as it is also known)?  According to Freekeh Foods’ site and my own research online, it is a type of cereal food that is roasted from green wheat.  The roasting processing creates a grain with a nutty and chewy texture pretty similar to barley.  It is a staple dish found in the Middle East and Northern Africa.  As for its nutritional value, it contains 4 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, and has a low glycemic index which makes it great option for diabetics to try.

With my sample, I chose to try out the original flavor and rosemary sage.  I wanted to try out the original flavor to see how it would hold up as a breakfast grain, creating a dish on the sweeter side.  I figured I’d try the rosemary sage as a side dish to one of my many meals throughout the week.  It’d be nice to break out of the rice and couscous routine!

For my breakfast dish, I used this recipe for freekeh cereal bowls.  I used some variations in ingredients for my cereal, however.  I used honey almond milk, almonds, and added a cinnamon stick to the mix.  I also went easy on the dried fruit as I don’t usually like a ton in my cereals.  I prefer to up the spices instead =).

When I poured the freekeh for the recipe, I was slightly surprised by the smell. It smelled a lot more “grainy” than I expected.  It reminded me of the way chicken feed smells (Random fact: I owned chickens as a child).  It didn’t put me off from trying the product, just caught me off guard.

It even kind of looks like chicken feed…  

The recipe called for the cereal to be prepared much like one would prepare stove top oatmeal.  The aroma from it cooking was enticing.  That was definitely a good sign although it probably helped that I doused it in cinnamon.

Mmm…cinnamon

Once it was done I could not wait to dig in!

Having tried a similar recipe with kasha (which did not turn out well), I was a bit scared I’d be disappointed despite how amazing it smelled.  I was pleasantly surprised. The texture did remind me much of barley just like I read it would.  I closely related the taste of the dish to that of quinoa.  I love quinoa breakfast cereals so this gave freekeh a win in my book.  With adding my own mix-ins, the grain was easy to flavor to my preferences.  I also found the cereal very filling and I made it to lunch without feeling like I needed to have a snack in between.  I can tell this grain will be pretty versatile as a breakfast base.  I’ll definitely be digging into freekeh whenever I’m tired of steel cut oats or quinoa for breakfast.

Since the plain freekeh was such a successful, I looked forward to trying out the second flavor.  For the rosemary sage flavor, I decided to prepare it with my homemade Moroccan chicken recipe.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take photos of this dish. I get pretty busy in the evenings with preparing dinner for everyone and it slipped my mind to photograph while cooking and prior to eating.  I guess I could blame pregnancy brain =).

I prepared the freekeh the way I prepare rice on the stove.  I added chicken broth rather than water to give it a bit more flavor.  Once completed, I excitedly put it on my plate.  The texture was just like what I mentioned earlier.  It was incredibly light and fluffy as well, something I didn’t quite notice with the breakfast cereal since not all the liquid was absorbed in that dish.  The notes of rosemary sage made it quite delightful to eat and it wasn’t overpowering.  I could easily visualize how I would incorporate flavored freekeh into future dinner dishes.  It is nice to add a new option to my side dish rotation.  I kind of wish I had chosen the tamari flavor since shoyu is used in it.  I love cooking Asian inspired dishes and this sounds perfect for incorporating into some of my staple dishes.  I’ll definitely be buying it in the future to try out.

My final verdict for freekeh?  It’s a win in my book. I love it’s versatility and texture. Cook time is a little long when it comes to breakfast, but so is any grain that’s cooked stove top.  I may need to look up if I’m able to microwave it for quick fixes.  I did really enjoy the taste and texture of this product so I’ll definitely be incorporating it into my future meals as an option.  I’m also excited to out some of the recipes on the Freekeh Foods site as well (Jambalaya freekeh anyone?).

Now that you know my opinion on the product, I’d like to give the opportunity to someone else to try it out.  Freekeh Foods has been kind enough to send one reader a sample of their wonderful product in his or her choice of flavor.  Just enter below on the raffle widget (click the link if it doesn’t load properly on this page).  I’ll announce the winner on my post next Wednesday, September 16th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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