What is einkorn flour? Einkorn is an ancient grain that has been around since before the Neolithic Era. It is considered to be the first wheat man harvested over 10,000 years ago. After some time, einkorn was discarded, as other hybridized grains became more popular to harvest. Einkorn is thought to be more difficult to mass produce, because it produces less than the average modern wheat seen today. The modern wheat grains are bigger than einkorn grains and the coverings are easier to separate from the grain than it is for einkorn. This makes modern wheat better for mass production, while einkorn has to undertake an extra step in the milling process, making mass production more difficult. Although einkorn was left in the background, for quite some time, it is beginning to be popular once again. It is mostly being grown and cultivated in Europe. It has been brought back for it’s nutritious qualities and ease of growing in difficult conditions. Einkorn is also considered to a pure wheat that hasn’t been manipulated for mass production like modern wheat.
What are the benefits of Einkorn flour? Einkorn is considered to be a good alternative to whole wheat, for people suffering from celiac intolerance. While einkorn does contain gluten, it’s gliadin to glutenin ratio is much lower than the modern wheat used in bread. Gliadin is the main cause for the immune response caused in the intestines. A lower ratio of gliadin to glutenin means that someone with celiac intolerance could most likely tolerate this flour. It does contain a small amount of gluten, however and may not be good for those with celiac disease.
Being a more nutritious alternative to the gluten free diet isn’t the only reason to try out einkorn flour. This ancient wheat has higher levels of protein, essential fatty acids, vitamin B6, riboflavin, potassium, beta-carotene, lutein and phosphorous than modern wheat. It has thirty-five more times vitamin A than what is found in modern wheat. Vitamin A improves health in the eyes and reproductive organs and helps to prevent cancers. The riboflavin found in einkorn is used to create energy and help to slow the aging process. Lutein, which helps to prevent cataracts in the eyes and macular degeneration, is four times as much in einkorn than in modern wheat. Beta-carotene is an immunity booster which helps to prevent cancer and heart disease. Einkorn’s carotenoid levels are better retained through the baking process, unlike other wheats that are baked. Einkorn also retains it’s high antioxidant values through any baking or cooking process. If that isn’t enough, it has high level of protein, phosphorus, vitamin B6 and potassium to boost the health of the body.
What foods can you substitute einkorn flour in? Einkorn flour acts pretty much just like any modern wheat flour. The only difference is the amount of gluten found in einkorn is less than what is in wheat. Because einkorn flour doesn’t have as much gluten, it doesn’t require the same flour to water ratio, it needs a longer time to soak in the water and less amount of kneading. Einkorn flour could also be used for pancakes, muffins, brownies and more. Einkorn flour has a richer taste and will be a great substitute in any recipe that calls for flour.
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