What Is Farina?

Farina is the milled grain that's the star of silky, savory Cream of Wheat.

Hearing the name Cream of Wheat may bring back plenty of childhood memories of eating hot cereal and adding your favorite toppings. Although Cream of Wheat is a brand of cereal, you don't have to buy a box to make this hot breakfast. Farina, a finely ground grain, is the staple ingredient.

What Is Farina?

Farina is processed and milled from hard wheat. The wheat grain is cracked and the bran particles are removed from the endosperm to create farina. When shopping at the grocery store, you may see farina sold as wheat farina.

Is Farina Healthy?

Yes, farina is considered healthy. Many brands of farina available at the grocery store are enriched with added minerals and nutrients such as iron, folic acid, niacin, and more. Farina is typically a good source of carbohydrates and B vitamins.

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Because farina is made from milled wheat, this grain contains gluten and isn't suitable for anyone who has gluten intolerances or celiac disease.

Are Farina and Cream of Wheat the Same Thing?

Farina and Cream of Wheat are similar but not the same. Cream of Wheat is a well-known breakfast porridge that has a smooth texture. A type of farina, Cream of Wheat is pre-cooked, which is why it's quick to prepare on the stovetop or microwave. Farina used to make a hot cereal has a smoother texture than the standard variety.

How to Use Farina

Farina is a versatile grain, making it a great pantry staple. Consider using farina for a variety of baking recipes, such as muffins, breads, and desserts. For many baking recipes, you can substitute half the flour for farina.

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When cooking proteins, you can use this grain to coat chicken, fish or meat. This milled grain can also be used as a substitute for cornmeal.

Farina may be best known as a hot breakfast cereal, similar to oatmeal. Farina or Cream of Wheat is easy to prepare since you only need water, salt, and the shelf-stable grain.

How to Prepare Farina as Breakfast Cereal

This breakfast cereal can be made on the stove, in the microwave, or in a slow cooker. If you're short on time in the morning, cook it quickly in the microwave or stovetop

Boil water and salt and then whisk in farina, then turn down the heat to medium-low, and stir for about three minutes. Then, let cool for a couple of minutes and add whatever toppings you prefer. Slow cooking takes around two hours on high heat or around three to four hours on a lower setting.

Farina or Cream of Wheat is often made with water but can also be prepared with milk. Add different toppings, such as sliced fruit, nuts, or seeds for extra flavor. Drizzling with honey, maple syrup, or sprinkling with brown sugar are common ways to sweeten this breakfast cereal.