Do you need a hot breakfast to warm you up? How about a warm, mild late night snack to help you fall asleep? I am quite sure that you are one of those people who keep on asking “what is farina?” Well, I will be glad to share with you some fascinating information which will help you understand this essential and tasty ingredient. So, stay tuned!
Farina is a Latin word that means meal or flour. It is known as milled cereal grain which is frequently made from the endosperm and wheat germ (the wheat kernel’s inner part). It is usually used for making hot cereal for breakfast, pasta, and pizza.
Also, it could also be used as a thickening agent intended for puddings; It could also substitute for part of the wheat flour sometimes once baking. When enriched, farina is regarded as one of the excellent sources of dietary iron. If you are vegan dieter, you should try the wonders of this fantastic ingredient for your health and figure.
However, the farina as well consists of gluten, so it is a big NO for individuals with a strict diet that is gluten-free. With a bland flavor profile, farina complements nice with all toppings. Some of my favorite farina toppings are cinnamon, honey, mixed maple, and fruits.
Since it’s lightly ground, you can prepare it with less hassle and time.
Farina Vs. Cream of Wheat Vs. Semolina
Ok, these three are often baffled by some. All of them are porridge-style hot cereals, but they are entirely different when it comes to contents.
Semolina is made from hard durum wheat it is yellow and is the main ingredient of Italian pasta. On the other hand, Farina is made from soft wheat, and it is the main ingredient of cream of wheat. And the taste, however, differs.
Do not substitute Farina for Semolina and vice versa; otherwise, the results will make you pull a face. Semolina works as an alternative to cornmeal and bakers usually use it in the bread to improve the crust taste.
When it comes to the cream of wheat, it is made of similar wheat germ in Farina, plus the texture and color can be compared to grits. It is finely ground which makes its color lighter and the texture smoother.
Both of them offer iron, and while the cream of wheat lacks in fiber, farina offers up to 13% of the RDA in every cup. On the other hand, farina contains more calories and carbohydrates than cream of wheat.
Is Farina Healthy?
Farina is also believed to be one of the healthy, worthy options not just for breakfast. Not convinced enough? Well, here are the health benefits of farina which will surely entice you to have one on your table.
- Calcium: Farina is packed with calcium carbohydrate which is useful in improving your bone density and muscles. Three tablespoons of dry cream of wheat offer 235 mg of calcium, and when coupled together with a cup of non-fat milk you can get up to 551mg of calcium.
- Vitamin B: Vitamins like folic acid, riboflavin, niacinamide, and thiamine are present in Farina. Taking this ingredient, particularly for pregnant women, it is advantageous to help reduce conditions such as cleft palate and spina bifida among babies.
- Protein and Carbohydrate: Farina is an excellent source of natural whole-meal and carbohydrate. As the biggest part of the kernel, it consists of a massive quantity of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates which our body critically needs for day-to-day activities.
- Iron: Iron plays a critical role in the formation of red blood cells. Lack of iron can eventually lead to anemia, so have a quantity of it in your body by adding farina into some of your favorite recipes- a serving of Farina contains 11 mg of iron.
Is Farina Gluten-free?
No. This natural binding protein is what causes it to form lumps if it is allowed to stand, unstirred on the heat source. If gluten is an issue, you should try cream of buckwheat or cream of rice. However, if you can tolerate wheat and look for ways to add a hot cereal to your day, Farina is an excellent, quick-cooking way to add valuable nutrients to your diet.
A Word About Sugar
It is easy to make farina a sugar highway. Well, you might be better off skipping your favorite flavored coffee for a bowl of Farina.
If it is possible, add natural sources of sweetness to your cereal, something like fresh fruit. A pinch of salt will bring out the natural sweetness of the grain. My advice to you is to train your taste buds to be sensitive to natural sugars by cutting back on granular sugar additions.
What Does Farina Taste Like?
Farina is warm and mildly sweet. On its own, Farina is relatively bland, and it works well as a staging area for fruit preserves or fresh fruit. Some cinnamon and a little sweetener will give it a boost as well.
Tips on Making Farina
Ok, now that you know what Farina is and how beneficial it is to your mind and body, you are fully ready to prepare it. I will give you tips that you should follow in making it.
- Simmer one cup of water and a nip of salt. After that, add a quarter cup of Farina. Then, stir until it becomes thick (thickness may vary according to your desire).
- Add your favorite toppings. My personal favorites are sliced banana, a nip of cinnamon and a mixture of syrup. Yummy!
- If you want to make this dish more delectable, I suggest you add a fried egg, cheese or salsa, along with the perfect sauces and seasonings.
Now, it’s ready to serve and eat!
Added tip: You should only mill Farina according to your needs as it goes bad quickly since it doesn’t include preservatives. You want to keep it in a sealed container at room temperature.
Some Farina Recipes
- Farina cereal: This one can be served along with brown sugar as well as hot milk. You might also use bananas, cinnamon, maple syrup, and fruits. The needed ingredients are two cups of water, half cup of farina and a quarter teaspoon of salt.
- On the stove: Bring milk or water and a dash of salt to a boil in the saucepan. There’s a need for about a cup of water for every serving. Stir it slowly into the hot liquid. Keep stirring once it returns to a boil and then merely reduce the heat to low.
Use about three tablespoons of cereal for every cup of water or milk. Constantly stir as it thickens to prevent forming of lumps. Immediately pour into bowls when it is already thickened. Add milk, sugar and butter to your taste.
- In the microwave: Almost the same steps might be considered when you use a microwave. You have to mix first half of the cereal, the cup of water and a pinch of salt. Just cook it for a minute and stir with a whisk.
For the cereal to thicken, you should cook for another two minutes, and a half time you can also whisk if you want to.
If you prefer eating healthy food without consuming big bucks, then it’s the best time to try eating Farina. This fantastic ingredient does wonders in making your snacks tastier, aside from making got cereals.
Have one for your meal, and I assure you that this would become one of your favorites! I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions anc thoughts, please leave them in a comment below.