Freekeh vs. Bulgur – What’s The Difference?

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Whole grains are nutritional and staple food consumed all over the world.  Whole grain provides energy and nutrients at the same time; it reduces the hunger and helps in providing glucose to the body to carry out normal functioning.  Well, in short, it is the best source of consuming carbohydrates.

Freekeh and bulgur are both similar to the consumed whole grains most commonly. In the recent years, as the population increases, staple food production needs are also increased. We have no choice other than to grow crops in more quantity.

The variety of food helps to keep you stay fit and achieve a healthy body status. Freekeh and bulgur both are whole grains but provide different nutrition. Talking about freekeh which is harvested newly and is green in color. Freekeh is chewier and smokey in flavor.

On the other hand, bulgur is extracted when it is grown fully or is matured enough. It is brownish in color and has a nutty taste. Bulgur takes less time to cook as compared to freekeh; that’s because bulgur is precooked. The main difference both include is based on the harvesting time and the processing method.

To help you guide further and improve your knowledge, we have mentioned below details, nutritional facts, uses and health benefits of freekeh and bulgur.


Freekeh is a wheat grain that is chewier in texture and contains a smokey taste.  Freekeh is the grain that is mostly consumed in the middle east and comes from the Arabic name, which means to rub. The reason behind its name is to rub away and burn the husk part of this grain.

Freekeh is easy to cook and has dense nutritional properties. To know further about freekeh, read the below mentioned nutritional facts and processing of freekeh which will help you know better related to which grain to use and which do not.

Nutritional facts

Talking about a one cup of freekeh that contains following nutritional properties:

  • 200 kcal total calories
  • 5 g proteins
  • 6 g fats
  • 45 g carbs
  • 11 g fiber

Talking about the glycemic index off freekeh, which is low, is a diabetic-friendly diet that can be consumed to overcome nutritional deficiencies and stabilize hunger. Freekeh is also good for building gut status as it feeds good bacteria in the gut. Some of the nutrients we get from freekeh are zinc, magnesium and calcium. It also contains antioxidant properties that fight free radicals and keep your eye health improved.

Ways to consume freekeh

There are many ways in which we can consume freekeh, out of which some are mentioned: Talking about cracked freekeh which is simple to cook and can be cooked in water. You can add two cups of water and one cup grain, form a broth, and in about ten to fifteen minutes, and the freekeh will be all ready to be consumed.

The whole freekeh is rinsed thoroughly before cooking, which means soaking the grains into cold water for some hours and later cooking it. The pilaf freekeh is simple to make with spices and herbs addition and on can also add veggies to enhance the taste. Freekeh soup is also consumed in some parts of the world.

Let’s move on towards the bulgur; its nutritional properties, ways to consume and health benefits, which will help you in differentiating between freekeh and bulgur better.


Bulgur is originated from the Mediterranean diet is the staple food of middle eastern food. Bulgur is derived from the wheat durum, which contains gluten in it and is consumed as whole grain as it contains germ, bran and endosperm. To increase the digestibility, the bulgur is precooked.

Nutritional facts

One cup of bulgur contains the following nutritional properties:

  • 150 kcal calories
  • 6 g proteins
  • 4 g fat
  • 43 g carbs
  • 8 g fiber

Moving on towards the micronutrient and macronutrient status of bulgur, it contains manganese which helps in digesting other nutrients. Bulgur also provides iron, vitamin B6 and niacin. All these nutrients keep the heart health improved and also maintain blood sugar levels in the body.

Along with providing basic nutrition and health benefits bulgur also act as an antioxidant and fights against free radicals in the body which keeps your gene strong and well. Bulgur is also very easily digested in the human intestine; it is immediate source of energy.

Ways to consume bulgur

As we have already mentioned above that bulgur is consumed mostly in middle eastern regions, so the cooking styles vary from place to place. To simply cook the bulgur, add hot boiling water and let the grain absorb the heat. Once the bulgur is pre-cooked, it makes it easier for the consumer to do the rest of the processing immediately.

One can grind the bulgur in various sizes such as fine, medium and coarse. The longer and largest the grain, the more time it will take to cook, whereas the smallest grind will take less time. A dish called tabbouleh includes bulgur as a key ingredient, a popular Mediterranean dish and includes salad, veggies, and olive oil.

To include bulgur in salads, one can use fine grains of bulgur, which will make the dish delicious as well won’t be too heavy to be added to the side dish. Bulgur can also be consumed as an oatmeal alternative; as such, you can make bulgur pancakes and waffles.

So, what is the difference between freekeh and bulgur?

So, summarizing the article into key points which includes:

  1. Freekeh harvesting is by young wheat, while bulgur is extracted from wheatgrass when it is fully grown.
  2. Freekeh is greenish in color, while bulgur is tan brownish in color.
  3. The texture of freekeh is chewier and smokey as it gets roasted, while bulgur has a nutty flavor as it is boiled before consumption.
  4. Bulgur is pre-cooked while freekeh is not.
  5. The main difference both contain is the age of harvesting and method of processing.