Superfood Carbs: Spelt Wheat
An ancestor of modern wheat, spelt contains nutrients most modern varieties of wheat lack. Higher in protein, fibre and complex carbs than many modern wheat grains and slightly lower in gluten, spelt is an excellent source of essential micronutrients, from copper, iron and manganese, to potassium, zinc and B vitamins. You can use spelt flour in place of white or brown wheat flour. Just remember, spelt flour absorbs more water and amalgamates better than wheat flour, so it needs less liquid and mixing.
History of Spelt:
The official name of spelt is Triticum aestivum var. spelta. It was originally grown in Iran around 5000 to 6000 B.C., but it has been grown in Europe for over 300 years, and in North America for just over 100 years. Spelt is often used as a feed grain for animals; however, it has gained popularity as a dietary grain due to its nutty flavour, high protein and nutrition content.
Spelt and Wheat:
Spelt is similar to wheat in appearance, but it has a tougher husk than wheat, which may help protect the nutrients inside the grain. Spelt flour has a somewhat nuttier and slightly sweeter flavour than whole-wheat flour. Spelt contains more protein than wheat, and contains gluten, so spelt is not suitable for a gluten-free diet.
Using Spelt in Your Diet:
Spelt flour can replace whole wheat flour or whole grain flour in recipes for breads and pasta. Some people like to blend spelt flour with wheat flour. I have used spelt to make bread, rolls, sweet-breads, cookies, muffins, bagels, pretzels and I have used spelt to replace wheat in almost any recipe.
Spelt is becoming better known as a healthy grain, so spelt products like bread and pasta are easy to find in most health food stores.