August 23, 2013

Breakfast Farro: Dried Fruit & Apple Infused Farro w/ Sweet Greek Yogurt

I love me some carbs.
It's not my fault. I was exposed to carbs at an early age.
Heck, my father would hide cookies in his nightstand, doling them out for tasks well done. 
I carried over this "carbs-as-a-reward" idea well into college.
I was a GREAT student...
and hundreds of "rewards" later, I was also 20lbs heavier.
Thanks, dad.
 First, I tried the whole no carb Atkins diet thing...

Turns out that Die-Hard-Atkins-Carb-free me = Homicidal-Rage-filled me.
No bueno.

It wasn't until I started doing some real research on this Atkins thing, that I found out that 
I couldn't believe it.
You mean I could eat a carb & not feel like I was doing the devil's work?!
Yeah, you can totally sign me up for that.
However, with knowledge comes great responsibility.
I could eat a carb sure, but now I had to pay attention to the type of carb I was ingesting.
If I was going to eat rice, brown was better than white.
If I was going to eat bread, multigrain high-fiber was better than potato.
If I was going to eat a breakfast porridge, farro was better than oatmeal.

Um...what the heck is FARRO & how is this supposed to substitute my delicious microwavable apple cinnamon oatmeal with the dehydrated fruit??
So once again, I turned to the internet & here's what I learned:
Farro (also known as emmer) is a type of whole grain that had once been widely cultivated in the ancient world but up until recently was mostly grown & consumed in Italy.  Like many other obscure & delicious things, the United States has begun to take notice & now you can find this nutrient-rich grain in most specialty stores. 

It is a complex carb containing twice the fiber & protein than modern wheat, low in gluten & rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, lignans & betaine (click on the links for more info than I care to type).

I found mine at Whole Foods...(shocking, right?)  They have some pre-packaged boxes which are about $8.99/lb or you can head over to the bulk bins & get it for about $3.54/lb. I have to say, I didn't notice a difference between the fancy boxed kind & the kind I took home in a bag. I treated the grain like I would quinoa or barley, boiled it in a 50/50 mix of apple juice & water, added some spices, honey, yogurt, sautéed dried fruit & voila!  Healthy breakfast carbs!

What inspired this recipe was a dish I ate at a breakfast spot in San Diego called "The Broken Yolk".  I don't know exactly what they put in it, (other than heaven) but I knew it had these 4 ingredients & so that's where I started :)

I boiled the farro with 50/50 mix of water & apple juice because I didn't want to add too much sugar while still keeping just a sweet touch of apple flavor.  A little salt will also help bring out the apple taste as well as the farro's natural nutty flavor. 
Once it boils down & plumps up, it will look a little like fat brown rice.

While the farro is boiling, heat a little coconut oil in a pan, throw in your dried fruit & fresh cut apples & sprinkle with a little cinnamon & brown sugar.  Coconut oil is not only healthy but it also adds a layer of flavor to the dish. Fancy, huh? 
Sauté the fruit for about 4-5 minutes or until it has softened & sugar has melted.  Remove from heat & set aside.

Mix a little honey with Greek yogurt for the topping.  What's great about the yogurt is that it will melt a little over the hot fruit/farro creating a little "creaminess" that oatmeal tends to have without having to add any heavy cream!

You can either mix the farro with the fruit medley at this point or you can place the fruit on top.  Place a little yogurt on top of the fruit/farro & sprinkle with a little extra cinnamon & walnuts. 

Easy & Healthy!

Dried Fruit & Apple Infused Breakfast Farro 
w/ Sweet Greek Yogurt
(Makes 4 servings)
recipe adapted from The Kitchn

  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup apple juice 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, core removed & chopped into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon (and a little extra for topping)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup dried fruit medley (I used a cranberry/golden raisin/cherry mix)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey


  • Place farro, water, salt & apple juice in a saucepan.  Heat over medium-high heat until it begins to boil. Reduce to a simmer over low heat for about 25 minutes or until almost all of the water is gone.  
  • While the farro is cooking, prepare the fruit mixture by chopping 2 medium Granny Smith apples into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
  • In a pan, heat coconut oil over medium heat until it begins to melt & the pan is hot.  Toss in the apples, dried fruit, cinnamon & brown sugar. Sauté 4-5 minutes or until the fruit begins to soften. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix Greek yogurt & honey together until combined.  Set aside.
  • Once farro is done cooking, mix in any remaining liquid until absorbed.  Place farro in a bowl & place fruit mixture on top (or you can mix it all together then place into bowls).  Top with Greek yogurt/honey mixture & sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon & chopped walnuts.
  • Serve immediately for hot cereal or you can place the farro/fruit mixture into the refrigerator to cool for a cold breakfast treat!

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  1. I didn't know about farro until reading this but now I think I have to try it! Thanks for enlightening me.

  2. You are very welcome :) I just learned about it myself & now I'm hooked!

  3. I really appreciate your write-up. Really very enjoyable. I think your dad has done a great job. The recipe of fruits and dry fruits looks good. Keep me updated. I already bookmarked this website for more recipes.