Whole grains are tasty, good for you, and a great addition to your diet, providing you have no allergies or dietary restrictions. For those who are looking to expand their horizons in the world of whole grains, or simply add them to their diet, there are many options available. Today, we are going to look at spelt.
Spelt is an ancient grain that has been grown in the Middle East for over 5,000 years, and in Europe for about 300 years. It has only made its way into the United States in the last hundred years or so. It has remained unchanged and unaffected by various corporate farming and agri-business practices. It is a relative of wheat, and flour made from spelt can be used in any recipe that regular wheat flour would be used, and has a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. While spelt may be replaced with wheat when baking, it should be kept in mind that the dough may not rise as high due to the gluten in spelt not being as strong as that found in wheat flour. It is wonderful used in applications such as pancakes, muffins, or quick breads. It also holds its texture quite well when used to make pasta. Because spelt does contain gluten, it is important to note that those with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease should avoid consuming it. However, because the gluten contained in spelt is more fragile, it is a bit easier to digest than wheat and the additional fiber content of spelt helps us digest the gluten more easily. If you are curious about this ingredient, come on down to the Coop and pick up a bag of spelt flour from Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill, and try this recipe http://www.anacortesfoodcoop.com/kale-tortillas/