The origin of “Jamaican-Style” Farro and Peas
Growing up in a very traditional Jamaican household, not surprisingly, we ate Jamaican cuisine. A major component of most Caribbean island foods is rice and peas. This was a staple we ate at least once a week, usually as part of our Sunday dinner. As much as I love rice and peas, I now try to ensure that I am consuming more nutrient dense foods. As a result of this nutritional desire, I created this amazing Jamaican-style Farro and Peas recipe. Traditional rice and peas are usually made with long grain parboiled rice and red kidney beans. Added to these ingredients are creamed coconut, thyme, garlic, whole pimento seeds and scotch bonnet pepper. When prepared correctly, this is an amazing side dish that pairs well with chicken, beef or fish. While parboiled rice outweighs white rice in nutrition, it lags far behind brown rice. Also, all rice varieties are said to contain trace amounts of arsenic, a potent human carcinogen, which we should all try to avoid. Jamaican style Farro and peas is prepared exactly like rice and peas. This farro dish offers the same great flavor and texture as rice and peas, but with a wealth of additional nutrition.
Farro & Peas
A healthier spin on traditional Jamaican rice and peas
- 1 cups red kidney beans soaked overnight in water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 clove fresh garlic peeled
- 2 tbs pure coconut cream can substitute coconut milk if desired
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper if desired
- 2.5 cups organic Farro rinsed and drained
Place the kidney beans in a medium sized saucepan and cover with water. You want the water to be atlease 1" above the beans. Add the salt and garlic, stir and cover.
Simmer on low for approximately 30 minutes, until the beans are softened but not mushy.
Add the creamed coconut, fresh thyme and scotch bonnet and simmer until the coconut has completely melted.
Add the Farro and gently stir to combine. Cover and simmer on low until the Farro has cooked, about 30 minutes more.
Add water as needed to completely cook the Farro.
Remove the garlic, pepper and thyme stalks before serving.
It’s all about the Farro
Farro has been in existance for thousands of years, but has only recently gained in popularity. It is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is also rich in protein and fiber. A quarter cup serving of Farro equals about 140 calories, 30 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. Farro is also a great source of Iron, which many people lack. Word of Caution: Farro is an emmer wheat grain that does contain gluten. Those of you who are gluten intolerant should probably not try this.