Are you keen on quinoa? Want to get freaky with freekeh? Or would you rather stick with good old reliable brown rice? We’ve done a little nutritional comparison to take some of the work out of deciding whether these new contenders, quinoa and freekeh, deserve a spot on your table replacing brown rice.
First, let’s take a step back and get some background on quinoa (colloquially pronounced keen-wah) and freekeh (pronounced free-ka). Quinoa is actually a seed, however it is used more like a grain, whilst freekeh is young green wheat. Over recent years quinoa has become well established on trendy café and restaurant menus, so much so that Australia has recently begun commercial farming of this crop which previously had to be imported, largely from South America. Freekeh is a traditional food in Arabian cuisine. Whilst this grain is available in supermarkets and health food stores, it is not yet a solid contender with quinoa and rice for space on restaurant menus, and the technology for large scale processing of freekeh is still relatively new.
Making simple food swaps, like substituting another grain (or seed!) for rice, can result in substantial changes to your overall diet. Brown rice is still a great choice for a carbohydrate portion of your meal, however if you are looking to add some extra protein or fibre, quinoa and freekeh are both certainly worth a try.