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Spelt Flour

Spelt is considered to be an ancient grain because it has been cultivated for 7,000 years and modified very little by humans. This means that it is less inbred than standard wheat flour and more nutritious as well.

Spelt offers a broader range of nutrients than those found in the more commonly used wheat flour. It is a good source of manganese, fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B3, magnesium, and copper, and provides 30% more protein per serving than standard wheat.

Whole grains such as spelt provide a broad array of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, gallstones, childhood asthma, and many other conditions. Research indicates that whole grains provide similar antioxidant benefits to those of fruits and vegetables.

Spelt has a delicious slightly nutty flavor that many people find more appealing than whole wheat. It can be used in place of most other wheat flours in baked goods (including breads), pasta, pancakes, and waffles. However, it has a more soluble starch, which means that recipes using spelt may require less liquid than those based on wheat flour.

Spelt can be purchased as flour or in its whole form – called spelt berries – which can be prepared by soaking overnight and then cooking in a manner similar to that used for rice. Spelt can also be purchased in flaked form and used like rolled oats.

Although spelt is technically a type of wheat flour, some people with allergies or sensitivities to wheat starch are able to digest spelt more easily. However, it does contain gluten, so it is not suitable for those with Celiac disease.

Sources:

  • George Mateljan Foundation, “Spelt,” World’s Healthiest Foods, 2012.
  • Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, “What Is Spelt?” 7 April 2011.
  • Slavin, J. (2004). “Whole Grains and Human Health.” Nutrition Research Reviews, 17. WholeGrainsCouncil.org.
  • Whole Foods Market, “Whole Grains,” 2012.

 

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