What is spelt flour? Spelt is an ancient grain that is not as well known as the modern wheat used these days. It is a distant cousin to wheat and has similar qualities, looks and the way it is harvested. Unlike wheat, it hasn’t been hybridized and manipulated for a larger cultivation rate. Spelt has a stronger outer kernel, which makes it harder to separate the inner kernel from the outer. Special equipment is used for the threshing process. The hull, or outer kernel, is thought to be the reason spelt is more fresh and flavorful. The hull also protects the kernel from insects, making pesticides necessary and the spelt healthier. Although spelt had such strong qualities and is closely related to modern wheat, “bread” wheat became more popular and spelt was mostly forgotten. Spelt flour is becoming more popular, however, due to the benefits and flavor it provides.
What are the benefits of spelt flour? Spelt flour is rich in disease fighting and health strengthening nutrients. It is high in fiber, which controls blood sugar and LDL cholesterol levels, it also keeps the body from getting constipated. Spelt has a lot of iron, phosphorus, sodium and potassium that keep blood cells healthy and blood pressure normal. This in turn keeps the body from risk of strokes and other cardiovascular risk factors. Spelt is known to be rich in magnesium, which assists in the enzymes of the body that control the amount of glucose secreted into the body. This in turn keeps the body from risk of type two diabetes. Spelt is high in protein and B vitamins. The B vitamins are important in strengthening the immune system and keeping the blood from clotting. Spelt has minerals such as copper, zinc, these minerals support immune, skeletal, cardiovascular and nervous systems. Spelt is also low in gluten, making it easier to digest for those with celiac intolerance. Although it is low in gluten, spelt flour may still be harmful to the digestive track for those with celiac disease. Spelt works well as a flour substitute in almost any recipe.
What foods can you substitute spelt flour in? Spelt works well as a flour substitute almost any recipe. Even with a low ratio of gluten, it is easy to work with as a substitute. Spelt flour has a nutty flavor and works well in bagels, breads, pretzels, pizza dough and even pancakes! The water to flour ratio is nearly the same as regular flour. Although it may need to sit for a while to soak in water and kneading time may need to be reduced, it is very rich in nutrients and tastes especially nice.
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