DISCOVERING ANCIENT GRAINS: SPELT
What is Spelt?
Spelt is an ancient whole grain, a part of the wheat family, and is grown in many parts of the world. It gives a similar appearance to wheat; however, it has a darker, more rigid outer shell.
Why should you use Spelt?
Spelt grain has a delicious nutty flavor, which makes it a great ingredient in cooking and baking. It's highly nutritious, being naturally higher in protein and fiber compared to modern/commercial wheat. It still contains gluten; however, its high fiber and protein qualities make it much easier to digest than commercial wheat. Therefore, it can also be a good alternative for some wheat intolerant people.
How can you use Spelt?
Spelt can be used in a few different forms, including the whole grain, the grain milled into flour, the grain rolled into flakes or puffed.
Whole Spelt Grain can be prepared and enjoyed like rice. You can add it to a salad, pilaf, or enjoy it with curry or vegetables. The grain is also suitable for home milling.
Spelt Flour can be an excellent substitute for standard wheat flour. You can make bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, muffins, pancakes, waffles, and more! Spelt is more water-soluble than wheat, so when used in baking, you may need less liquid than with regular wheat flour.
Wholegrain Rolled Spelt can be used anywhere you might use rolled oats - to make porridge, or in baking, or desserts.
Winter Spelt Berry Salad
You will need:
1 cup spelt berries
3 cups of water
1 - 1.5 cups finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup shallots or onions- finely diced
4 large mushrooms - finely diced
1 small green pepper - finely diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 dried apricots - sliced in half
scant 1/4 cup or so olive oil
juice from a large fresh lemon
salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste
How to make:
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a bowl. Add spelt berries, cover the pan, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and drain access water - set aside.
Finely dice the mushrooms, shallots/onion, and pepper. In a saute pan, drizzled with a bit of olive oil, saute the veggies over medium heat until they just begin to turn golden. Add cranberries and cook a minute more. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the apricots, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper - mix well.
Serve immediately! Enjoy!