MANY OF US HAVE BECOME AWARE OF HOW ANTI-NUTRITIONAL WHEAT (Modern Wheat) IS, HAVING BEEN HYBRIDISED SO MANY TIMES - IT'S GLUTEN IS ACTUALLY BAD FOR EVERYONE, NOT JUST CELIACS. THERE IS ALSO A SURGE OF INTEREST IN ANCIENT GRAINS LIKE SPELT AND QUINOA AND KHORASAN WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN HYBRIDISED. JUST RECENTLY, I HAD MY FIRST EXPERIENCE MAKING SPELT BREAD AND SPELT & KHORASAN BREAD IN A BREADMAKER. HAVE BEEN MAKING A FEW TOO MANY EXCEPTIONS WITH WHEAT CRACKERS AND SEED BREADS (basically wheat bread) AT ALDI'S. NOW I CAN MAKE MY OWN and NO NEED FOR CRACKERS, MY WHOLESOME BREAD IS NATURALLY CRISPY ON THE OUTSIDE AND SOFT INSIDE. YUM!
What Is Spelt?
Spelt is an ancient grain widely recognized for its many health benefits. Triticum spelta, the scientific name for spelt, is a hardier and more nutritious cousin to modern wheat (Triticum aestivum). Some taxonomists classify spelt as a parent of wheat.
One of the earliest domesticated grains, spelt hasn’t changed since Biblical times. It remains unaffected by concepts such as ‘agribusiness’, ‘cross-breeding,’ ‘hybridization’ and ‘genetically modified’ – words that have come to dominate our modern food supply. Known for its slightly ‘nutty’ flavor, spelt has long been popular as a health food in Europe, where it is sometimes known as ‘farro’ (in a modern Italy) and ‘dinkel’ (in Germany).
You can substitute spelt flour for modern ‘common’ wheat flour to make breads, pasta, cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, cereals and pancakes. In addition to spelt flour, spelt is also available in its de-hulled, whole grain form (often referred to as spelt berries), which can be prepared and enjoyed like rice.You can also purchase many spelt products such as pasta, crackers and breads ready-made, usually at health food stores, and of course at our own online store.
One of the best things about spelt – in addition to its health benefits? It tastes wonderful! While whole wheat pasta tends to be grainy, and crumbles during cooking, spelt pasta retains its texture so it holds up perfectly under sauces and other ingredients.
Q. Why Is Spelt An ‘Ancient’ Grain?
A. Some of the earliest recordings of spelt appear in the Bible (Exodus 9:30, Isaiah 28:25, and Ezekiel 4:9). It is widely believed that farmers grew spelt as long ago as 5000 BC in the region then known as Mesopotamia – now Iraq. As civilizations migrated westward, spelt moved along with them. It wasn’t until the early 1900’s that spelt migrated to North America – in 910 more than 600,000 acres of spelt were harvested annually in the U.S. alone.
Q. If Spelt Has Been Around For So Long, Why Haven’t I Heard Of It?
A. When the Industrial Revolution rolled through in the early 20th century, spelt took a back seat to its more modern cousin, wheat. By the 1970’s there was virtually no spelt growing in North America, because the modern, hybridized version of wheat could be harvested and processed cheaper and faster. Today, thanks to a growing interest in more healthful foods – and the re-introduction in 1987 of this nutritious grain by VITA-SPELT® (Purity Foods, Inc.) to North America – spelt is making a comeback.
Q. What Does Spelt Look Like?
A. Spelt looks a lot like wheat, with one very important difference. The spelt kernel is tightly surrounded by a tough outer husk or hull, which represents 30-35% of the grain’s total weight. Modern wheat is free threshing – it has been bred to lose its husk during harvesting, in order to decrease harvesting time and increase yield. Spelt is not free threshing. It has to be mechanically de-hulled, adding two additional manufacturing steps to the process – which makes it costlier to grow and process. What did we lose when we modified wheat to make it free threshing? A lot, as it turns out. We made wheat more susceptible to insects and diseases (which has led to the need for pesticides) and we stripped it of important nutrients. The tough outer hull on the spelt kernel protects the grain from disease-carrying insects, eliminating the need for toxic pesticides. Spelt is stored and shipped with its protective hull intact; it is separated just before being milled into flour. This helps to preserve the grain’s freshness and its nutrients – making it more nutritious than wheat.
Q. Does Spelt Contain Gluten?
A. Yes, but . . . the gluten in spelt has a different molecular make-up than the gluten in modern wheat. It is more fragile and more water soluble, which makes it easier to digest. Spelt is also higher in fiber than wheat, and the extra fiber aids in the digestion of the gluten. Modern wheat has been bred to contain a high gluten content for the production of high-volume commercial baked goods. The content and character of the gluten in spelt has not been modified from its natural state.
Spelt Flour Nutrition Facts And Health Benefits
By Shereen Lehman, MS
Spelt is an ancient grain that's similar to wheat in appearance (and is related, botanically, to wheat). Spelt has a tougher husk, which helps protect the nutrients inside the grain. Flour made from spelt has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and can be used in most recipes that call for regular or whole-wheat flour. It has nutritional benefits similar to other whole-grain flours: It's a good source of fiber and contains nutrients such as calcium and vitamin E.
Not so long ago, if you wanted spelt flour, you had to purchase spelt kernels and use a kitchen grinder to make your own flour. But today, you can buy spelt flour at most grocery stores (check the natural foods or baking section). You can also buy products made with spelt, such as crackers, cookies, pasta, and other snacks and foods.
Most of the calories in spelt flour come from carbohydrates (about 22 grams in 1/4 cup of flour). The carbohydrate in spelt flour comes in the form of fiber (4 grams) and starch. There are no naturally occurring or added sugars in spelt flour.
The glycemic index of spelt flour is estimated to be 55 to 67, according to The Diabetes Council, meaning it has a moderate effect on blood sugar levels. It has a slightly lower glycemic index than whole wheat, buckwheat, corn, and millet flours. Bread that includes spelt flour as an ingredient has a similar glycemic index to bread made with white flour because both types of bread are primarily made with refined white flour.
Not Mine, I Use 1/3 Unbleached Spelt Flour With 2/3 Wholemeal Spelt Flour. It's Tastier And Healthier! (JANET)
Spelt flour is not a high protein food, but a single serving does boost your protein intake slightly: 5 grams per 1/4 cup serving of flour, or 3 grams in a slice of bread made from spelt flour.
Vitamins and Minerals
Spelt is a good source of calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, iron, and manganese. It has Vitamin E and B-complex vitamins (especially niacin).
All in all, spelt is a healthy whole grain. Eating spelt flour and spelt products is a simple way to get more whole grain fiber into your diet. Spelt grains and flour contain a little more protein than regular wheat, and there's a little difference in the amounts of some of the minerals. They have about the same amount of fiber.
Provides Valuable Fiber
Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system, and eating fiber-rich foods can slow down the absorption of sugars. Fiber can help you feel full longer, so it may be helpful when eaten as part of a weight-loss diet. One study of thousands of American kids and adults found that those who consumed more whole grains also consumed more nutrients overall, and had a healthier body weight.2
Improves Gut Microbiome
The fiber and other compounds in whole grains can contribute to the health of the bacteria in the digestive system. This, in turn, can help reduce inflammation in the body and contribute to digestive health as well as weight loss and management.3
Helps Regulate Blood Sugar
Research has shown that people who eat whole grains (vs. refined grains) have a lower risk of diabetes.4 One 2017 study of spelt, in particular, suggested that both the fiber and antioxidants in spelt contribute to this effect.5
Decreases Risk of Heart Attack
A diet rich in whole grains has been linked to better cardiovascular health. A Danish study published in 2016 found that people who ate more whole grains had a lower risk of heart attacks.6 The study encompassed more than 50,000 adults ages 50 to 64. Another earlier meta-analysis also showed that higher whole grain consumption was associated with lower risk of heart disease.7
It is possible to have an allergy to spelt and spelt flour. Some people who are allergic to wheat may also react to spelt, while some may not. If you are sensitive to wheat or other gluten grains, you should speak with your health care provider before eating spelt.8
Spelt flour should not be consumed by people who can't have gluten. Even though the gluten in spelt isn't exactly the same as wheat gluten, it's still not suitable for a gluten-free diet. People with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity must avoid spelt.
While spelt tends to be lower in total FODMAPs than modern wheat, experts recommend that most spelt products be avoided by people following a low-FODMAP diet to manage gastrointestinal symptoms 9 like IBS.
Storage and Food Safety
Keep spelt flour in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for maximum shelf life. It will keep one to three months at room temperature, or a little longer in the refrigerator. You can also freeze your flour; it will last for up to six months when frozen. If your spelt flour smells rancid, toss it.
How to Prepare
Like wheat, barley, and rye, spelt is a gluten grain. Gluten is the protein that gives bread and other baked goods their texture. Since it has gluten, spelt flour can replace whole wheat or whole grain flour in most bread recipes. It's not identical, though.
The gluten in spelt isn't as strong as wheat gluten and many bakers find when making bread with spelt flour, the dough doesn't rise as high. It helps to add a bit of vital wheat gluten to bread dough made with spelt flour. You can also use spelt flour in traditional sourdough recipes.
DID YOU KNOW THAT MOST BREADS SOLD IN SUPERMARKETS ARE NOT REAL BREAD? THEY HAVE BROMIDE AND BLEACH ETC ADDED TO THE FLOUR TO MAKE THEM SUPER LIGHT AND FLUFFY AND TO MAKE THE BAKER'S DOUGH MAKE A MANY LOAVES AS POSSIBLE. SO WATCH OUT FOR THOSE CHEAP BREADS EPECIALLY IF YOU WANT GOOD HEALTH. THOSE NUMBERS AND CHEMICALS AFFECT US EVENTUALLY OVER TIME.
GOOD HEALTH TO YOU FRIENDS. I LIKE MY LITTLE SUNBEAM BAKEHOUSE, ONLY PAID ABOUT $90.00 FOR IT. IF YOU PREFER TO USE THE OVEN, IT WILL ALSO MAKE BREAD DOUGH OR PIZZA DOUGH. IT EVEN MAKES PASTA DOUGH. PREPARES THEM ALL FOR YOU. I'M READY TO TRY SOME MORE VENTURES. HAVE A GOOD DAY/EVENING.