How To Cook Kamut and Freekeh Ancient Grains

Have you heard you need to consume whole grains for health benefits? Dietary guidelines recommend you have an equivalent of 3 ounces daily. You must wonder if these ancient grains recipe are perfect for you, or if indeed it is just marketing mumbo-jumbo. Yet still, you may be at a loss as to the advantages of the African traditional lifestyle that our grandmothers and mothers keep rooting for. Using rice and certain grains, you can easily prepare this wholesome  ancient grains stir-fry high plant protein dish and realize a highly nutritious plant-based meal. First, what are whole grains, and why do you need them anyway? In this article, get answers to all those questions, discover a few tidbits of interesting information on kamut recipe and freekeh recipe. Don’t miss new posts, subscribe to our free newsletters.

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

discover a few tidbits of interesting information on kamut recipe and freekeh recipe.
uncooked kamut and freekeh

Related: How to cook Kasha – Ancient Grain

What are whole grains?

By definition, whole grains are edible plant seeds that include cereals and pseudocereals (Non-cereal staple crops). Cereal grains include cereal grasses such as brown rice, wheat, corn, oats, barley, millet, sorghum and rye. Millet, for example, is a popular product in Northern Nigeria ancient grain recipe known for nutritious porridge flour. People of Botswana eat millet fermented, which any sourdough bread lover will understand why.

While you cook and consume pseudo-cereals in the same way as cereals, they do not originate from grasses. As such, whole grains in this category include quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. In one of my ancient grains recipes, I blended kamut and quinoa to substitute it for regular rice and ate it with enticing Ethiopian Yekik Alicha. That spicy plant-based Ethiopian delicacy was just delightful.

Related: Millet Porridge Buttery Motogo Wa Ting

whole grains in this category include quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. By definition, whole grains are edible plant seeds that include cereals and pseudocereals (Non-cereal staple crops).
Wholegrain anatomy

You likely consume whole grains without even realizing. Nowadays, most people are opting for brown rice, whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, and popcorn for added nutritional value into their diets. We are in a time when young adults and elders alike are interested to know the difference between rice and grains and what are the pros and cons.

Furthermore, whole grains are primary ingredients in ancient grain recipes because they have all parts of the seed still intact. Unlike refined cereals, whole grains still retain the bran (the seed’s outer nutritious layer), the germ (the nutrient-rich seed embryo), and the endosperm (the starchy carbs-rich innermost part). If you are worried consuming whole grains in any kamut or freekeh recipe will overload your carb intake, please know carbohydrates are good for us in so many ways. Fortunately, whole grains fall into the category of “good carbs”, same as veggies, fruits, and legumes. Thus, perfect for homemade ancient grains recipe. 

whole grains are primary ingredients in ancient grain recipes because they have all parts of the seed still intact. Unlike refined cereals, whole grains still retain the bran (the seed’s outer nutritious layer), the germ (the nutrient-rich seed embryo), and the endosperm (the starchy carbs-rich innermost part).

Personal Experience about Khorasan wheat (Kamut Grain Recipe) & Freekeh (Farik)

Khorasan wheat (Kamut Grain) & Freekeh (Farik) have made a big difference in my life and I explained why in this video along with the recipe below. People used to think I didn’t like to eat because I wanted to remain skinny (as if that is an issue). Those people were wrong on several counts. I ate like a pig while I lived in Liberia but coming to America, I realized food tasted different here and my body rejected it without my consent.

Those people who thought I didn’t like to eat much for fear of gaining weight were wrong because I simply would stop eating when I feel full too. This concept didn’t sit right with many people. When I ate primarily meat and fish back then, it meant I’d only eat a quarter portion of the food. Jor, that was before I experienced ancient grains recipes like these. Now, I’m back to my piggy ways, except I eat almost like a rabbit or bird.

Kamut or Khorasan wheat is an ancient grain variety of wheat, with a richer, nuttier, creamier taste than ordinary wheat. It is a popular ingredient in ancient grain recipes because of its nutritious, satiation and appealing color. This whole grain is  highly versatile, thus a kamut recipe can go well with various soups, stews, salads, pilafs and side dishes.

Related: Best Ancient Grains That Provide Highest Protein Content

Kamut or Khorasan wheat is an ancient grain variety of wheat, with a richer, nuttier, creamier taste than ordinary wheat.
raw uncooked kamut grain

Nutritionally, a kamut recipe is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, magnesium, zinc and magnesium. Kamut and quinoa ancient grains recipes gave me a pleasant surprise when I created another version of this yummy Liberian fry rice  using store bought plant-based links. They paired well with brussels sprouts, carrots, peas in a dish of high nutrients and fiber (image below).

Video Recipe

North African Freekeh ancient grains 

Freekeh grains come from green durum wheat, common in most ancient grain recipes in far Eastern Africa (dubbed the Middle East). These whole grains are featured in ancient grain recipes of North Africa. I love the traditional Freekeh recipe because it maintains the grain earthly smokiness that lends it open to much bolder flavors.

Nutritionally, in a freekeh recipe, you stand to benefit from good amounts of vitamin B, iron, manganese, fiber and zinc. Interestingly, you can eat freekeh in various ways: as pasta, rice, or used in stock broth. To remind, those who are gluten-intolerant or have celiac disease should not eat farik or freekeh, doctors advise. I personally have only eaten freekeh as a rice substitute.

cracked Freekeh or Farik grain. Interestingly, you can eat freekeh in various ways: as pasta, rice, or used in stock broth.
cracked Freekeh or Farik grain

For best cooking results, I advise that you soak your freekeh or Kamut grains for at least 12 hours or overnight in order to cut the cooking time. Then, drain, rinse and bring the grains to boil for about 45 minutes or until tender. Make sure to add water as necessary. These ancient grains recipes are not suited for those who are gluten sensitive.

Advantages of African traditional lifestyle

Africa has a rich variety of highly wholesome whole grains that makes many nutritious ancient grain recipes. It is therefore not uncommon to find such ancient grains as sorghum, wheat, millet, teff, and fonio in a typical daily traditional African ancient grains recipe.

Personally, I ate Fonio and thought it looked similar to Kamut except it was less tough. Don’t even get me started about sorghum grains which is now my new favorite for a dessert slash breakfast experience in degue thiakry a Burkina faso delicacy.  Degue is popular at community functions or as a favorite street snack. Creamy, sweet and filling.

sorghum grains which is now my new favorite for a dessert slash breakfast experience in degue thiakry a Burkina faso delicacy.  Degue is popular at community functions.
Sorghum Dessert Breakfast – Degue Thiakry

Here are some notable advantages of African traditional lifestyle that makes plant-based eating a piece of cake:

1. A culture of organic and natural foods

The African traditional food lifestyle accords great value to whole grains because they are basically “organic and natural”. First, folks on the continent traditionally grow seeds from the previous harvest as opposed to genetically modified ones. Also, farmers often use organic animal manure instead of processed fertilizer. Or people simply let the leaves, grass cuttings and fallen trees rot right on the soil, sorta like a no till composting method. This creates an advantage for inhabitants who eat from the land to get the best fruit or vegetable. The ingredients are therefore healthy for most ancient grains recipes.

2. Foods high in fiber

Africans diets are characteristically high in fiber from foods like cassava, corn, beans, such ancient grains as millet, sorghum, barley, and vegetables, plantain, and legumes. This is indeed advantageous to the body because fiber reduces the risk of cardiac diseases as it lowers the cholesterol absorption rate in the blood, claims health practitioners. Health wise, nutritionists link whole grains with lower heart disease risk, diabetes, and certain kinds of cancers. Sadly, fiber is not trendy on social media right now, but you can be part of the minority and claim this advantage by incorporating into your food habits.

Advantages of African traditional lifestyle.Africans diets are characteristically high in fiber from foods like cassava, corn, beans, such ancient grains as millet, sorghum, barley, and vegetables, plantain, and legumes.
Traditional African lifestyle many advantages

3. A balanced High fat & Low fat food culture

Nectar of the Gods, red oil, is one of the most fatty oils there is. When I learned fat is helpful in our body, I found ways to make meals with red oil. We all love fried foods, however, most Africans don’t find it economical to use large amounts of oils on fried foods. Instead, soups or stews have a sizable amount of oil to meet one’s nutritional daily dose.

Also, the methods of African ancient grains recipes teaches us low fat eating methods. For example, native cooking styles such as grilling, steaming, wrapping with leaves, roasting, and boiling (especially for ancient grains) locks in the natural flavors and nutrients. 

 Low fat foods are a standout advantage of the African traditional food lifestyle as starches, vegetables and fruits make the bulk of our diet. 

Vegetarian Gari yorkor. Nectar of the Gods, red oil, is one of the most fatty oils there is. When I learned fat is helpful in our body, I found ways to make meals with red oil.
Red oil on gari yoko

Red Oil is champ!

Affordable method of food processing

Roasted corn is popular West African Snack.  the methods of African ancient grains recipes teaches us low fat eating methods. For example, native cooking styles such as grilling, steaming, wrapping with leaves, roasting, and boiling (especially for ancient grains) locks in the natural flavors and nutrients. 
roasted corn street food

4. Wholesome Food variety

See industrialization wahala sef and all dis food processing jor! The types of food processing Africans know and accept are: fermentation, roasting, burning, grinding or sun dried. My mother said, as a baby I refused baby formulas of all kinds and the only food I’d eat was sun dried plantains. She made the plantain into powder by pounding it in mortar and pestle (bravo mama!). 

Plantbased buttery fermented millet porridge in Bostwana recipe.
Botswana Motogo Wa Ting

Also, make I  gist you. There are several reasons most Africans abroad only eat their native foods, even though they live in “modern cultures”. Yep, that brown, discolored, sometimes smelly food is what we need to satisfy our body and spirit ooo. 

You also stand to greatly benefit from the African traditional food lifestyle due to the variety of healthy diet options. From ancient grain recipes to vegetable recipes, you gain lots of vitamins, proteins, minerals, starches and antioxidants to benefit your healthy habits.  

Bottom-line

Right here, our ancient grain recipes from whole grains are the healthiest grains meals you can find. The high fiber in them makes you feel full and satisfied, and also helps to regulate your body naturally. We all know Quinoa is now trending, what other ancient grains are your favorite? Please share with us your experience. Subscribe to our free newsletter for more useful tidbits on plant-based African foods.

kamut-and-freekeh-ancient-grains_humblevege

How To Cook Kamut and Freekeh

Yield: 3.5
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • Khorasan wheat (Kamut Grain) & Freekeh
  • Water

Instructions

Disclaimer: The grains was cooked to be used in Ancient Grains stir-fry recipe. Therefore, the cooking method and measurement are in consideration of further cooking to be done later. Change the water portion of this recipe if you want your grains to be softer. Or, if you plan to cook the Ancient Grains Stir-fry, follow these instructions to the letter.

  1. Add desired amount of Kamut to your cooking pot or rice cooker and add water enough to cover the grain. If you are cooking it on stovetop, soak it for 30mins to 1 hour.
  2. After the kamut is partially cooked, add the raw freekeh to the partail cooked kamut and add a medium size bowl of water, about 1.5 cups.
  3. Close your rice cooker and cook the grains on brown rice setting. If you are using the stove top, cook it on medium heat until the water is absorbed completely into the grains.
  4. When the rice cooker alarm goes off, test your grain to make sure it is soft. If it is not, add a quarter cup of water more and cook it more until it softens as you like.

Notes

soak your freekeh or Kamut grains for at least 12 hours or overnight in order to cut the cooking time. If you are cooking it on stove top, do not close the pot completely to prevent the foam from overflowing.

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