You may have heard about Farina or seen it as an ingredient in a recipe and wondered what it is. Or maybe you are thinking of using it and want more information about its nutrients, characteristics, origins etc.
Well, you are in the right place, because in this article I am going to break down Farina and explain the A-Zs of it for you.
What Is Farina?
First off, let’s tackle the name. It’s actually Latin for wheat, so it will be no surprise that Farina is derived from it. Specifically the endosperm of the wheat grain, which is the white pulp inside the shell of the grain, often called the bran. Or wheat germ.
The endosperm is the part we really want, and luckily for us, it makes up over 3/4 of the actual grain!
Farina is finely ground, milled wheat flour and only comes from hard wheats, NOT durum wheats. And luckily for us it is full of nutrients: B vitamins, calcium,and iron. Which makes Farina healthy, of course.
Farina vs Semolina
If durum wheat is used instead of hard wheats then the result is known by another name than Farina – it’s called semolina. It is often, but not always, a more golden color and a little coarser than normal wheat.
Farina vs Cream of Wheat
Farina is also known more commercially as “cream of wheat” which is often what you will see on the shelves of supermarkets. There is no fundamental difference between the two, it has just become known as that, perhaps because as a cereal it is quite soft, white and creamy texture?
Farina Nutrients & Health Benefits
A lot of people love eating Farina in cereal because it is often high in nutrients and packed full of carbohydrates.
Depending on the brand and type you get, there can be anything from 8-70% iron. The fortified versions having the higher amount.
Other Minerals & Vitamins
Again, it varies from type to type and brand to brand, but you can expect to see a reasonable amount of Calcium, sometimes up to 18%. Also such minerals as Selenium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese
Of course, as Farina is essentially a finely ground form of wheat, you are not going to be chomping this down if you are gluten intolerant. In fact, I highly recommend staying away from it – it will be high in gluten.
Brands Of Farina
Finding Farina on your local supermarket shelf or online is actually not that hard if you look for Cream of Wheat, but some products are called Farina usually when they are made in the middle east. It is produced by quite a few brands and can even be found on Amazon.
Here are a couple I found with a simple search online:
Mid East Farina 24 oz
Cream of Wheat, Hot Cereal, Original, 12 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Cream of Wheat Maple Brown Sugar Hot Cereal, 24 OunceNo products found.
Making A Farina Breakfast Cereal Dish
One of the simplest and most common uses of Farina is to have it as a wholesome hot breakfast cereal. Not only does it fill you up and get you going for the day, it also has some great nutrients to supplement anything else you eat that day.
Basically you need:
The last two are optional, but if you are not used to or can’t handle the bland taste of something like Farina, it’s a great way to spice it up. You can and should also add some fruit, berries or anything else you like in your cereal.
Here is a video showing how you do it:
Is Farina Gluten Free?
A lot of people want to know whether Farina is gluten free. The simple answer is no, because Farina is made from wheat which itself is certainly full of gluten. So, fi you are Celiac, then you won’t want to eat any Farina.
What is Malt O Meal?
If you are on the lookout for Farina in the supermarket and can’t find it, then check out Malt O Meal. THey are more or less interchangeable in most recipes, so it makes for a great Farina substitute. It is also made from ground wheat and makes for a creamy cereal.