Try a new grain: Spelt

Try a new grain: Spelt

“What is spelt?”  Spelt is a nutty flavored ancient grain related to wheat.  Spelt has been around since 7,000BC, served in Germany as dinkel.  Although it is related to wheat, it does not seem to cause the same allergic reactions in those who are sensitive to wheat.  It does contain gluten and can be substituted in baking, much like its more popular wheat relative.

As far as grains are concerned, spelt is extremely high in protein, 30% higher in fact.  Just one cup of cooked spelt boasts 8grams of fiber, 11 grams of protein and 18% of the recommended iron intake.  It has a high nutritional content as an excellent source of B2 and a good source of manganese, fiber, niacin, thiamine and copper.  Thanks to this rich nutrient equation (especially the high B vitamin content) it may be helpful for those with migraine headaches, atherosclerosis or diabetes.  Studies at the University of Maryland Medical Center have shown that taking 400 mg of riboflavin (B-vitamins) a day decreased migraine attacks by half.  It is also helpful to minimize the length of a migraine headache.
“How do I find spelt?”  Check out the bulk and natural sections of your local grocery store.  I’ve been buying some shell shaped spelt pasta lately (and loving it!).  Spelt bread and crackers are becoming increasingly more popular while spelt flour can be used instead of white or wheat flour, and spelt flakes can be made to substitute for oats.  Keep your taste buds interested and body nourished with ingredients from the past.