There are many goods that don’t include wheat that you may buy if you visit your local health food store or even your neighborhood grocery store. Spelt flour is one substitute that has been increasingly popular recently, and for good reason. Many people love it for its nutty flavor, airy texture, and simplicity of usage. For this reason, we’re explaining spelt to you, including what it is, how to use it, and its advantages.
What is Spelt?
Spelt has a light reddish-brown color and a nutty flavor in its natural state. Despite being a whole grain, it doesn’t yield goods that are particularly weighty. Instead, it resembles wheat in texture and is light and airy.
Spelt is a historic grain that belongs to the same family as wheat, barley, and rye. In reality, farmers have been growing spelt since the Bronze Age. Wheat has become our preferred crop as a result of the development of industrial agriculture and efficient cultivation. However, spelt is making a comeback as a preferred healthy food.
Like the other members of its family, spelt also includes gluten, a protein that effectively serves as glue to bind foods like bread. When using spelt flour in your baking and cooking, keep in mind that the spelt flour’s gluten is a little more delicate than wheat gluten. It’s crucial to understand that spelt is not a gluten-free flour and that people who have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance may have pain or allergic responses from it.
Health Benefits of Spelt
Compared to wheat, spelt is far more challenging to process. The glume that surrounds the spelt kernels helps preserve and retain nutrients, but it still needs to be dehulled and dehusked. However, the additional health advantages of spelt make it worthwhile. Spelt is a good source of dietary fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals. It also provides more protein than regular wheat.
Additionally, this grain is easier for the body to digest than wheat since it is more water-soluble. Spelt can help regulate metabolism, boost circulation, strengthen the immune system, lower blood sugar, and lower levels of bad cholesterol thanks to the numerous minerals and vitamins it contains.
Tips and Tricks
Spelt behaves a little bit differently in recipes than other grains because it has unique qualities. Here are some hints and techniques to make it easier for you to use this flour in your regular baking and cooking.
- Start off by utilizing a 50:50 ratio. Use half a cup of all-purpose flour and half a cup of spelt flour if your recipe asks for one cup of flour. You can experiment with that ratio more the more you work with spelt.
- To prevent your dough from becoming excessively sticky, try reducing the amount of liquid since spelt does not absorb as much liquid as other grains. The alternative is to include more flour.
- Make sure your dough is not over- or under-mixed. It will crumble if your dough is under- or over-mixed, and the protein strands will separate. A reasonable rule of thumb is to mix the dough for four minutes or so.
- Spelt that hasn’t been cooked can be kept for around six months if it’s kept in a cold, dry environment. It can keep for a year in the refrigerator.
Spelt Flour Recipes
You can use spelt flour in place of wheat flour in any recipe. Spelt is a grain that may be used to make baked goods like bread, cake, and cookies because it has a considerable quantity of gluten in it. We have a few suggestions to get you started for your upcoming baking session.
What source do you use for spelt flour?
Where Is Spelt Flour Produced? A member of the wheat family, spelt is a cereal grain that has its roots in Iran. Today, Spain and portions of Central Europe are the main regions where spelt is grown. Ohio produces the majority of the spelt used in American agriculture, with up to 200,000 acres being harvested there each year.
The health benefits of spelt flour over normal flour
The nutritional profile of spelt flour is comparable to that of whole wheat. It has a little higher protein content but a marginally lower level of insoluble fiber. Spelt has more of a few crucial vitamins.
Is spelt flour bad for you?
While originally from southern Europe, spelt has been farmed extensively throughout Europe.
Its popularity fell during the 19th century, but it is presently experiencing a resurgence as a healthy diet.
A grain similar to wheat, barley, and rye is called spelt. Triticum spelta is its formal scientific name (1).
In actuality, spelt is regarded as a separate kind of wheat. Einkorn wheat, khorasan wheat, and contemporary semi-dwarf wheat are other varieties of wheat.
Spelt and wheat are related, therefore their nutritional profiles are comparable, and both contain gluten. Therefore, those who have celiac disease or are on a gluten-free diet should avoid eating spelt (2, 3, 4).
One variety of wheat is spelt. It contains gluten and has a very similar nutritional profile like wheat.
The breakdown of nutrients for 1 cup (194 grams) of cooked spelt (2) is as follows:
- 246 calories
- 10.7 grams of protein.
- 1.7 grams of fat
- 51 grams of carbs
- 7.5 grams of fiber
- 92% of the daily value is in manganese (DV)
- 23% of the DV is phosphorus.
- 31% of the DV for niacin
- 23% of the DV for magnesium
- 22% of the DV for zinc
- 18% of the DV is iron.
Spelt also has copper, selenium, and vitamins B1 in it (thiamin). It is a great source of nutritional fiber and heavy in carbohydrates, like the majority of whole grains.
Despite having a comparable nutritional profile as wheat, comparisons have revealed that it contains a little more zinc and protein. Gluten makes up about 80% of the protein in spelt. Additionally, spelt has a stronger antioxidant capacity than wheat, which means it can eliminate free radicals (1).
Spelt is heavy in carbohydrates, just like other grains. Additionally, it has several vitamins and minerals and is a good source of protein, dietary fiber, and some other nutrients.
Similar to wheat and other grains, most of the carbohydrates in spelt are starch, which are extended chains of the glucose molecule (1).
Dietary fiber is very abundant in whole spelt. Because fiber slows down digestion and absorption, blood sugar rises are less likely.
Increased fiber consumption is highly associated with favorable health outcomes, such as a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes (5).
Whole spelt has a lot of fiber and carbohydrates. Diets high in fiber have been associated with better health results.
Most people believe that whole grains, including whole spelt, are very healthy.
They are a significant source of fiber, iron, and other vital nutrients like carbohydrates and protein.
Increased consumption of whole grains is consistently associated with reduced risk of stroke, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, and even some malignancies (7, 8, 9, 10, 11).
A moderate weight is also more likely to be maintained and digestive health is better in people who eat more whole grains (12, 13).
According to a study of six research including a total of 247,487 persons, those who consumed the most whole grains had a 14% lower risk of having a stroke than those who consumed the least (7).
The highest intakes of whole grains were linked to a 21% lower risk of heart disease compared to the lowest intakes, according to a research of nearly 14,000 persons (8).
A 2013 research found that eating three servings of whole grains daily was linked to a 32% lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Grain refinement did not exhibit the same advantage (14).
There have been several human clinical trials that show the health advantages of whole grains even if the majority of these studies are observational (15, 16, 17, 18).
Regularly ingesting whole grains, such as spelt, can help prevent diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Spelt may be unhealthy for some people despite the health advantages of whole grains. This includes people with irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, or other types of gluten sensitivity.
Gluten intolerance and wheat allergy
The combination of the proteins gliadin and glutenin present in cereals including wheat, spelt, barley, and rye is known as gluten.
People with gluten intolerance, such as those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, may experience issues (19).
Gluten will set off an inflammatory response in those who have celiac disease, leading to inflammation in the small intestine. Only a gluten-free diet for the rest of one’s life will effectively treat this dangerous illness.
Iron, calcium, vitamin B12, and folate deficiencies can result from celiac disease if it is not treated. Additionally, bowel cancer, schizophrenia, and epilepsy have all been linked to it as being more likely to develop (20, 21, 22, 23).
When consuming gluten, those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may experience undesirable side effects, typically in the form of stomach issues (24).
Around 1.4% of people globally are thought to have celiac disease. Similar numbers of people are believed to be gluten sensitive but not celiac (19, 25).
The same people who are allergic to wheat may also be sensitive to spelt. When there is an immunological reaction to the proteins in wheat, wheat allergy develops (26, 27).
Gluten is present in spelt. For those who have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or a wheat allergy, it is inappropriate.
Are diabetics able to use spelled?
Spelt is a type of ancient grain that is closely related to wheat, and it is used to make spelt flour. Fiber in particular is abundant in it, and it can help lower blood sugar levels after meals ( 5 , 11 ).
Which flour is the healthiest?
The dried coconut meat is ground into a smooth, soft flour to create coconut flour, which is grain- and gluten-free.
Compared to conventional grain-based flours, it has more calories per serving and is a rich source of protein, fat, fiber, and minerals including iron and potassium.
Coconut flour has a high fat content compared to grain flours. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which make up the majority of this fat and are mostly saturated, may help to reduce inflammation and support a healthy metabolism (1, 2).
Although it’s debatable, saturated fat from coconuts probably has a different impact on your health than fast food, fried foods, and processed meats—and it might even have advantages (3, 4).
Additionally loaded with antioxidants, coconut flour also seems to possess antibacterial qualities (5).
Use with Caution
Compared to wheat flour, spelt flour has less gluten “flours of today. Although it can be used for baking, those who have celiac disease (a response to the gluten in grains) or wheat allergies shouldn’t eat it.
Compared to wheat flour, spelt flour has less gluten “flours of today. Although it can be used for baking, those who have celiac disease (a response to the gluten in grains) or wheat allergies shouldn’t eat it. Another name for spelt is dinkel wheat or hulled wheat. Its scientific name, Triticum aestivum spelta, reflects the fact that it is occasionally regarded as a subspecies of ordinary wheat. It is thought to be a hybrid of bread wheat and emmer wheat and has been around for hundreds of years. Due to its availability in markets and use in a variety of cuisines, it is quickly gaining popularity.
Due to its low gluten level, it is utilized extensively. However, because husk removal is an additional step in the process of producing grain of a marketable quality, it is highly expensive and is therefore still hard to find in supermarkets. If you can’t find it, don’t panic; we’ve included some alternatives.
What is spelt?
A traditional grain known for its numerous health advantages is spelt. The scientific name for spelt is Triticum spelta, and it is a tougher and more nourishing relative of current wheat (Triticum aestivum). Spelt is regarded by some taxonomists as a parent plant of wheat.
Spelt, one of the first domesticated cereals, hasn’t changed since the time of the Bible. It is unaffected by terms like “agribusiness,” “cross-breeding,” “hybridization,” and “genetically modified,” which have taken over the conversation around our modern food source. Spelt has long been a well-liked health food in Europe. It is frequently referred to as “farro” (in contemporary Italy) and “dinkel,” and it has a mildly “nutty” flavor (Germany).
Spelt flour can be used to produce breads, spaghetti, cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, cereal, pancakes, and waffles in place of current “ordinary” wheat flour. Spelt is also available in its de-hulled, whole grain form (commonly referred to as spelt berries), which may be cooked and eaten like rice. This is in addition to spelt flour. Many spelt products, such pasta, crackers, and breads, are also available already produced, typically at health food stores and, of course, in our own online store.
In addition to its health advantages, what is one of the best things about spelt? It has a great flavor! Spelt pasta maintains its texture while cooking, unlike whole wheat pasta, which tends to be gritty and crumble when combined with other ingredients and sauces.
A. The Bible has some of the earliest examples of spelling (Exodus 9:30, Isaiah 28:25, and Ezekiel 4:9). It is generally accepted that farmers began cultivating spelt in Mesopotamia, now Iraq, around 5000 BC. Spelling migrated with civilizations as they traveled west. Spelt did not arrive in North America until the early 1900s, when more than 600,000 acres were harvested there each year.
A. Spelt lost ground to its more contemporary cousin, wheat, as the Industrial Revolution swept through at the beginning of the 20th century. Almost no spelt was grown in North America by the 1970s because contemporary, hybridized wheat could be gathered and processed more quickly and cheaply. Today, spelt is regaining popularity in North America due to a growing interest in healthier meals and the reintroduction of this nutrient-dense grain by VITA-SPELT (Purity Foods, Inc.) in 1987.
A. With one extremely significant exception, spelt resembles wheat in appearance. A 30-35 percent of the weight of the spelt grain is made up of a strong outer husk or hull that firmly encircles the grain’s kernel. Wheat grown today is free-threshed In order to speed up harvesting and boost productivity, it has been engineered to lose its husk during harvest. Spelt is not threshed for free. Its mechanical de-hulling requires two additional manufacturing procedures, which raises the cost of both growing and processing it. What did we give up by altering wheat to allow for unfettered threshing? It turns out, a lot. We depleted wheat of essential nutrients and made it more vulnerable to pests and illnesses, necessitating the use of pesticides. The spelt kernel’s hard outer hull shields the grain from insects that spread illness, negating the need for harmful pesticides. Spelt is kept in its protective hull during storage and transportation; it is only detached before being ground into flour. This keeps the grain’s nutrition and freshness intact, making it more nutrient-dense than wheat.
A. You’re right, yet modern wheat gluten differs from the gluten in spelt in terms of its molecular structure. It is easier to digest since it is more brittle and water soluble. Spelt contains more fiber than wheat, and the additional fiber helps the body break down the gluten. For the purpose of producing high-volume commercial baked goods, modern wheat has been engineered to have a high gluten level. Gluten in spelt has not been altered from its original composition or characteristics.
The content on this website is meant to be used for general informational purposes only and is not meant to be taken as medical advice, a medical diagnosis, or a medical course of action. Before changing your diet or exercise routine, speak with your doctor or another qualified health care provider. Your use of this website DOES NOT establish a doctor-patient relationship between you and any medical professional who contributes to its information.
Our Nature’s Legacy and VitaSpelt products are manufactured from tens of thousands of years old, ancient grains. To raise the ancient grain spelt for our wholesome and nutritious goods today, we collaborate with nearby farms.