What in the world is Spelt?
Posted by Arja on November 27 in Nutrition
As more and more people discover sensitivities to the conventional whole wheat used in pasta, bread and other baked goods alternative grains, like spelt, are becoming more commonplace. An ancient cousin to modern wheat, spelt was commonly used in biblical times as seen in the recipe for Ezekiel Bread.
Sometimes called farro by modern Italians and dinkle by Germans and the Swiss, Spelt can be used alone for baking or making pasta unlike other alternative grains. Its familiar, wheat-like texture lends itself well to loaves of bread, cookies and pizza dough.
Spelt is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, fibre and B Vitamins. It is also a complete protein, unlike other grains, meaning is contains all 8 essential amino acids. It actually contains double the amount of protein of conventional wheat!
For those who are sensitive or intolerant to wheat, spelt makes a wonderful alternative grain. Although it still contains gluten, the gluten is far more fragile than that in wheat and is, therefore, more easily digested. Spelt also contains a special type of carbohydrate called mucopolysaccharides which stimulate the immune system, help lower cholesterol and play a role in blood clotting.
Some ideas for using spelt flour or spelt products include pasta, bread, pizza crusts and baked goods like cookies. Spelt flour can be used in place of conventional wheat flour, but requires less mixing time. Spelt berries can be cooked and added to soup, veggies, substituted for rice, or eaten as a hot cereal.
So, the next time you are whipping up your favourite banana bread or batch of muffins, why not give whole grain spelt flour a try?