Kristie Leong M.D. is a family practitioner who believes in the power of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to prevent and fight illness.
What Is Farro?
Farro is a whole grain that’s been around since ancient times but is enjoying a resurgence in popularity as people focus more on healthy eating.
There are three types of farro: spelt, emmer wheat, and einkorn. You can use it as a substitute for rice in dishes and in a variety of recipes.
People use this grain in savory dishes and desserts alike for extra taste, texture, and nutrition. Its crunchy texture makes it an ideal grain to use as a salad base or side dish. But ensure you know how to store it properly to maximize its flavor and avoid food poisoning.
How Long Can You Keep Cooked Farro?
After cooking farro, you can safely store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Beyond four days, it will lose some of its taste and bacteria may grow on the surface of the grain.
Before storing this grain, add a little olive oil and mix it into the grain to keep it from sticking together and becoming soggy. Always refrigerate within two hours of cooking it to keep bacteria at bay.
If you can't use leftover cooked farro within four days, freezing is the best option. It will keep for up to six months in the freezer. To thaw it, place it in a strainer and run cold water over it until it is fully thawed.
How Do You Know if Farro Has Gone Bad?
Always check farro for signs that it’s spoiled or unsafe to eat before using it in recipes. Here are some signs it is unsafe to eat:
- Does it smell? If it smells off or weird, then it is likely bad.
- Is the color off? If the grain looks different than normal, then it may be spoiled.
- Does the texture feel different? If it feels slimy or soft, then dispose of it immediately!
Why Should You Eat Farro?
Farro contains significant fiber, which helps keep your digestive system healthy and may have benefits for heart health. Eating whole grains has been associated with a lower risk of stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
In addition, this grain is a good source of vitamins and minerals including B-vitamins, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Whole grains are a better choice than refined grains due to their higher fiber content.
When you consume whole grains, as opposed to refined grains, you will have more sustained energy and less fluctuation in blood sugar. One study even found that consuming three servings of whole grains daily was linked with a 20% lower rate of death from all causes.
How to Enjoy Cooked Farro
Farro is related to spelt, wheat, and barley. It has a nutty flavor and chewy texture that makes it easy to pair with other ingredients. You can use it in many dishes in place of pasta or rice. Here are some other ideas:
- Add it to a salad for extra crunch and fiber.
- Toss it into a stir-fry for texture.
- Make a quick soup by adding it to vegetable broth with chopped carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Then add herbs like thyme or oregano for more flavor.
- Mix it into other soups like minestrone or tomato basil soup for added texture and fiber.
- Make farro risotto with your favorite ingredients
- Make farro cereal by cooking it with milk and topping it with nuts and fruit
Enjoy It Safely
Cooked farro in an airtight container should last up to four days in the fridge, but watch for color changes, changes in odor, or texture that suggests it could be going bad. The main reason whole grains go bad before you eat it is because they’re stored improperly. Store it promptly and seal it well so that air and bacteria can’t reach the grain and speed up spoilage. Enjoy this versatile whole grain safely!
- "Farro by Target Stores nutrition facts and analysis.." https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Farro_by_Target_Stores_933128_nutritional_value.html.
- "Whole grains: Hearty options for a healthy diet - Mayo Clinic." 20 Aug. 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/whole-grains/art-20047826.
- "9 Health Benefits of Eating Whole Grains." 26 Apr. 2019, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-benefits-of-whole-grains.
- "Whole Grains | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of ...." https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/whole-grains/.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.