To make a great farro salad; we first cook it with lots of warming flavors so it’s especially tasty. We then add a really good olive oil after cooking the farro in apple cider. When we add the pistachios and cheese, we add a hearty, rich and warming protein rich salad.
Who says you cannot have salads in winter?
Eastern View: Grains like farro help to build bone tissue and muscle and give bodily strength and endurance. Adequate quantities of grains are particularly important for growing children and those on a vegetarian diet.
Grains are useful because they help in creating whole proteins when combined with legumes, beans or milk products. Ayurveda recommends having grains at each meal to provide adequate energy for the body. There are a variety of different grains, and each grain has a specific influence on each ayurvedic dosha. Vata and Pitta types can consume high quantities of grains, while Kapha types should have smaller amounts to avoid weight gain.
Wheat products such as farro are the best grains for balancing and nourishing. They help with lubrication, boost energy, and enhance physical strength and endurance. Wheat should be eaten often by people trying to balance Vata. People with a Kapha imbalance should reduce but not totally avoid wheat. Too much wheat can cause weight gain and increase the amount of mucus in the body if you have a cold or allergies, however we should not overlook the benefits of farro for Kaphas.
Western View: A very high level of fiber in farro makes it heart-healthy, good for digestion, and beneficial for preventing blood sugar or insulin spikes and dips. One 1/2 cup serving of farro has about seven to eight grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber, which is more than four times the amount in white rice or a slice of white bread!
Given all its fiber, farro is sure to fill you up, since it’s an unprocessed grain — meaning it has an intact bran and germ, the parts of the grain that provide nutrients, protein and fiber, which winds up swelling up in your digestive tract, keeping you satisfied for longer than refined grains.
Farro is beneficial for preventing constipation, clearing the arteries of plaque buildup, curbing hunger pangs and supporting a healthy gut environment. Farro’s complex carbohydrates break down slowly, keeping your energy levels more stable compared to eating refined grains.
Like other 100 percent whole grains, farro supplies not only high concentrations of dietary fiber, but also resistant starch, oligosaccharides and antioxidants, including phenolic compounds that have been linked to disease prevention. (1) Studies show the more whole grains someone eats, the more protection that person seems to have against chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, in addition to obesity. (2)
Among farro’s different types of carbohydrates is a specific compound called cyanogenic glucosides, which have been shown to positively affect the immune system, lower inflammation, help regulate blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol.
Farro contains multiple B vitamins, especially vitamin B3 niacin, which is important for metabolic health and breaking down or converting carbohydrates, fats and proteins from the foods we eat into energy. (3) B vitamins are also important for brain health, maintaining high energy levels, neurotransmitter function and supporting the central nervous system.
Winter Farro Salad
- 1 cup farro
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 Parmesan shaved cheese
- 1/2 chopped pistachio nuts
- 2 cups arugula leaves
- 1 cup parsley or basil leaves, torn
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 3/4 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced radish
- Sea salt
In a medium saucepan, bring farro, apple cider, salt, bay leaves and 2 cups water to a simmer. Simmer until farro is tender and liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes. If all the liquid evaporates before the farro is done, add a little more water. Let farro cool, then discard bay leaves.
In a salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Add farro, cheese and pistachio nuts and mix well. Just before serving, fold in arugula, herbs, tomatoes, radish and salt to taste.
Want more meals that are not only good but good for you?! Take the Modern Dosha Quiz to discover your dosha and receive health, diet and lifestyle recommendations based upon your answers!