Of all the foods we eat and serve each day in our house, fresh fruit is a constant. And ever since our trip to the Dole Nutrition Institute, we’re more convinced than ever of the health benefits of a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables like the ones we get from Dole.
Of course we’d be happy to eat our fruit just plain – as we often do – but still, we’re always on the lookout for fun and creative new ways to serve fruit. So when we recently had some Dole pineapples and strawberries on hand, we decided we’d go a little crazy by mixing it up with freekeh, the fun grain with a freaky name that’s a perfect match for both vegetables and fruits.
Fun fact: Freekeh is an ancient Arabian grain made from green wheat that goes through a roasting process during production. The grains look like little pieces of crunchy cereal or toasted rice. When it’s cooked, freekeh has a nice chewy, nutty taste that’s perfect for either sweet or savory dishes. It’s also high in fiber and has a low glycemic index.
With this freekeh/fruit combination, the result is a naturally sweet and filling dish that could substitute for your breakfast cereal, or could go nicely as a side dish with grilled fish or poultry.
- 2½ cups water
- 1 cup cracked freekeh
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 T. fresh-squeezed lime juice (about 3 small limes)
- 1 T. agave nectar
- 1 T. freshly grated ginger
- 1 cup strawberries, hulled and chopped
- 1 cup pineapple, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1 cup mango, peeled and chopped
- Mint leaves for garnish (optional)
- In a medium saucepot, bring water to a boil. Add the freekeh and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until water is evaporated. Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let stand for five minutes. Stir the freekeh to fluff it up. Transfer it to a medium-sized serving bowl and let freekeh cool to room temperature.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, agave nectar, and ginger. Pour dressing over the freekeh and stir. Add the strawberries, pineapple, and mango and stir gently to combine.
- Serve at room temperature or chill if desired.
When we first made it we were planning to serve it cold, until we noticed that certain family members (ahem) weren’t bothering to wait for it to chill in the fridge and were eating it as fast as we made it, with the freekeh at room temperature or slightly warmer. The truth is, you could even eat it hot, if you want to look at it as more of a hot cereal or side dish. That said, we still like it cold, when the fruit is chilled and the grain is nicely chewy.
What do you think? Have you ever tried freekeh? If you want to try it but aren’t sure where to get it, look in the grains section of a well-stocked or all-natural supermarket or ask your grocer. And if you do try it, let us know which are your favorite fruits (or vegetables) to add.
Special bonus: Want to talk more about fruits and vegetables, as well as fun and healthy Halloween foods and treats? Join me as I host a healthy Halloween chat on the Dole Facebook page on October 29 at 5:00 p.m. PST.
Blogger disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Dole. I am serving as a Dole ambassador for the year. All opinions expressed are my own.