Want to know whether freekeh is gluten-free? You’ll find what you need to know in this guide.
Freekeh, also known as farik (and sometimes spelt as frikeh), is a type of whole grain that is harvested when young from green durum wheat, popular in Middle Eastern and North African cuisine.
It has a nutty, smoky taste and chewy texture, as well as a high nutritional value that has made it a popular alternative to other grains. It’s also easy to cook and add to a variety of popular dishes.
Despite that, is freekeh gluten-free?
The simple answer is no – freekeh is not gluten-free. It’s made from wheat, a type of cereal that contains gluten.
So, unfortunately, if you have gluten-intolerance and celiac disease, it’s best to avoid freekeh altogether, as it can lead to various negative symptoms such as digestive problems and fatigue.
This guide provides more important information about freekeh, including a full list of gluten-free freekeh alternatives, so make sure to keep reading.
The Benefits Of Freekeh
Freekeh is a nutritious whole grain that offers a range of health benefits. It’s a good source of fiber, protein, and various essential vitamins and minerals, which include iron, zinc, and magnesium.
Freekeh is also low in fat, making it a healthy choice for individuals looking to improve their diet.
Another big benefit of freekeh is its low glycemic index, which makes it good for regulating blood pressure and spikes in insulin.
It’s also known for having antioxidant properties, which can reduce inflammation around the body.
Since freekeh is high in protein and fiber, it can promote muscle growth and muscle health, as well as improve digestion and promote stomach fullness.
Its mineral content also helps improve general immune health, energy levels, and more.
So there’s no wonder why it’s become one of the most popular grains! It has more fiber than both brown rice and quinoa, as well as fewer calories and more protein content than quinoa.
What Can You Use Freekeh For?
Like most grains, freekeh is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. This includes salads, pilafs, soups, and stews, stuffings for meat, or even as a substitute for oats and other cereals for a healthy, nutritious breakfast.
It’s also simple to cook. Simply combine freekeh with water and bring to a boil until it becomes soft and fluffy, similar to the process of cooking quinoa.
Due to its nutty, smoky taste, it’s become a popular food choice in recent years, and even the new go-to grain for people wanting a healthier alternative to rice or quinoa to eat with their meals.
Is Freekeh Gluten Free?
Unfortunately, freekeh is not gluten-free. It’s made from wheat, which contains gluten, so it is not suitable for you if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and it can cause a negative reaction in individuals with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.
This immune response can damage the small intestine, leading to symptoms such as digestive problems, fatigue, and skin problems.
If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it’s important to avoid foods that contain gluten – including freekeh. Thankfully, there are alternative grains that are similar to freekeh but gluten-free!
Gluten-Free Freekeh Substitutes (Gluten-Free Grains)
Freekeh isn’t gluten-free, unfortunately, but there are a whole variety of healthy grains that are suitable for people with gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Some of these gluten-free grains are also similar in texture and taste to freekeh, which makes them perfect for those with gluten intolerance and celiac disease.
These gluten-free grains include:
- Brown Rice
These are just a few examples of gluten-free grains. Other gluten-free options include sorghum and teff. Another gluten-free option that can be used to replace freekeh is couscous, despite not being a grain.
Just always make sure to read labels carefully and check for gluten before eating, as some grains still contain some gluten due to the process they were made!
Quinoa is a gluten-free grain that is rich in protein, fiber, and a variety of essential vitamins and minerals.
It has a nutty flavor and a fluffy texture, similar to freekeh, and can be used in a variety of dishes, such as salads, soups, and stir-fries, or even as a side to basic dishes that include meat and vegetables.
You might have been considering freekeh over rice, but rice is a popular, versatile grain that comes in many varieties, including white, brown, basmati, and wild rice.
And what’s good to know here is that all types of rice are gluten-free. It is a good source of carbohydrates and can be used in a variety of dishes, including different cuisines.
Millet is a gluten-free grain that has a fluffy texture and slightly sweet flavor, compared to freekeh’s nutty and smoky taste. It is a good source of fiber, protein, and a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, including iron and magnesium. Millet can be used in porridges, salads, and casseroles, to name a few.
Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat! It’s also gluten-free, making it a great alternative to freekeh.
It is a good source of protein, fiber, and a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins and magnesium. Buckwheat can be used in porridges, pancakes, and soba noodles.
Amaranth is another gluten-free grain that is rich in protein, fiber, and a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and magnesium – so it’s just as healthy as freekeh.
It has a nutty flavor and a slightly crunchy texture—similar to the taste of freekeh in some ways—and can be used in porridges, salads, and baked goods.
Corn grain is a type of cereal grain that is a staple food in many parts of the world, used in different forms that include whole kernel corn, cornmeal, corn flour, and cornstarch.
It is a versatile ingredient in many recipes, and a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, thiamine, and potassium.
Although typically used as a breakfast dish, oats have been a healthy meal choice for thousands of years. Oats are high in fiber, as well as a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, including iron, zinc, and magnesium.
Aside from being a breakfast staple, oats can also be used to make cookies, desserts, and snack bars.
To summarize, freekeh is not gluten-free, since it is made from wheat. So if you have gluten intolerance and celiac disease, it’s best to avoid eating freekeh – despite its high nutritional value and various health benefits.
The good news is that there are a host of gluten-free grains that can be eaten instead of freekeh.
These include quinoa, rice, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, corn, and oats. Some of these grains, like quinoa and rice, can effectively replace freekeh in many popular dishes without much difference in taste and texture.
Other gluten-free alternatives include teff and sorghum, as well as couscous. Couscous isn’t a grain (or even a seed, for that matter), but it can be used as a gluten-free alternative to freekeh!