Thursday, August 13, 2015

Freekeh Review and Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, I talked about some ways that my family and I manage our grocery budget, especially with a marathon training appetite. As I said in my last post, we like trying new foods, so I was really excited when I was given the opportunity to review an awesome new product called Freekah!

So what is Freekah?
From Freekeh Food's website: Freekeh is a process which means "to rub" in Arabic. Freekeh was created by accident nearly 2,000 years ago when a Middle Eastern village was attacked and their crop of young green wheat was set ablaze. Most folks would sulk over their misfortune, but the crafty villagers rubbed off the chaff, cooked it up and "Eureka!" Freekeh was created. Freekeh has up to three times the fiber and protein found in brown rice, and fewer calories than quinoa and white rice. Freekeh Foods makes three different flavor options - there's Original, Rosemary & Sage and Tamari. I chose to review the Original and Rosemary & Sage.

I love their site because it has some great recipes and ideas to get me started in order to use Freekeh. It's basically a mix between rice and quinoa (it is NOT gluten free). When I opened the package, I actually thought it might have been mixed with rice, but no, it's an interesting mixture of shapes and textures. I was eager to get some recipes brewing with this lovely new grain, and to hear what the hubs and child thought of our first (and second) freekah experiences.

Freekah, like quinoa, has a high protein level, so I wanted to find a vegetarian recipe that would make our bellies happy. I was thrilled to see a quite a few options right on the Freekeh Foods website. I decided to make the vegetarian stuffed peppers, because I knew I could prepare it the night before and throw it all in the crock pot in the morning. Whenever I have the opportunity to have Cameron help make dinner, I take it. This was an easy one for him to jump in on.

The Freekeh was so easy to prepare. It just needs to boil for a bit and voila! Added the corn, beans and seasoning and stuffed the peppers. The end result was wonderful!

I used the original freekeh for this recipe, and it took to the seasonings that were added to the recipe perfectly. It has a slightly nutty flavor and a grainy texture, but it was still smooth like its often compared to counterparts. Shawn wasn't overly thrilled with it, but did add that the overall mushiness of the entire recipe was the main turn-off. We were both full before finishing the single pepper servings, which meant - LEFT OVERS! It was great to be reheated for lunch the next day as well. 
For my next freekeh recipe, I went to Pinterest (obviously), to look for a recipe to use the Rosemary & Sage flavored freekeh. We love risotto, and I love making it with different grains other than rice - a favorite in our house is making oatmeal risotto. When I saw the recipe for freekeh risotto, I was excited! 
It involved wine, so I couldn't make it without drinking some wine too...

Without getting into the nitty gritty, this is the recipe I used. Because I was using the Rosemary & Sage freekeh, I opted to leave out the tarragon sprigs and rely on the flavoring in the package. The results, again, were wonderful! Risotto can be a rough meal to prepare, but this really wasn't too high maintenance, besides the occasional stirring each time a ladle of stock was added. It might have been the wine helping the time pass too, but it took about 40 minutes to prepare, from start to finish. ;)
All in all, I'm excited to continue incorporating freekeh into our meals in different ways! I found that a package cost between $4-$5 at our local grocery stores, but half a bag of Freekeh was plenty for the risotto, and a whole bag for the peppers was enough for 4 peppers and some left overs that I put on top of a baked sweet potato! 

Now its time for you to try it! 
I'm giving away one package of Freekeh (flavor of your choice) to a lucky reader! WHOO!
Giveaway will end on Saturday, August 15th at 11:59pm EST!
Here is how you enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Freekeh Foods. I received two packages of Freekeh free of charge to review and will be offering one package of Freekeh to a reader. All opinions expressed are my own. The giveaway is open to US residents only. Freekeh Foods will supply the product.

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