There is a certain comfort in routine, but you may also be missing out on grains that can enhance the taste and nutritional benefit of your dishes. This is where spelt comes in!
What is Spelt and How Does it Differ from Other Grains?
Spelt is an ancient grain which has been around for about 8,000 years. It’s quite similar to wheat, but is believed to be easier to digest and less artificially altered in comparison.
Spelt also contains nutrients including folic acid, potassium, magnesium, copper, thiamin, niacin, iron, zinc, manganese, vitamin B6, phosphorus, protein, and fiber.
The pairing of phosphorus and calcium in spelt is great for teeth and bone health. Also, its iron and copper assist with blood circulation while niacin helps to balance hormones.
However, keep in mind that spelt does contain some gluten. Although it is often much better received than wheat during digestion, people with celiac disease should not indulge in this.
Helpful Tips and Tricks
When substituting for wheat, it’s likely that you’ll need a bit less liquid for the spelt than your usual ratio. It’s also important to be slightly more gentle with when kneading– spelt isn’t as tough. Spelt is commonly combined with other grains or flours in baking for a perfect personalized combo of texture and flavor. Because of this, don’t be afraid to get experimental with sifting it into your recipes for some newfound improvements.
If you’re shopping for spelt flour, it often comes pre-ground in both white spelt and normal. Try to aim for the classic version which hasn’t been altered to ensure you’re getting all the same nutrients. A solid option for spelt berries is this one by Bob’s Red Mill, which is fairly accessible and natural.
Once your spelt has been cooked, it keeps well in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
Dry spelt should be stored in a sealed container in a cool, dry place. You can also refrigerate it to keep fresh. Bob’s Red Mill also makes a flour form of spelt which is easier for baking and mixing with others.
What to Use it in
You can essentially swap this in anywhere you’d use normal wheat. Spelt has a wonderful nutty yet slightly sweet taste that is well loved in recipes. The light texture of spelt is great in dishes where you want a bit less weight or density.
During breakfast time, spelt can be easily brought to the party. If you’re craving a hearty classic, whip up these Oil-Free ‘Sausage’ Biscuits and Gravy to start your morning right. As a snack or nutrients on the go, some Oat and Spelt Crunchie Bars will power you through to the next meal. Another wonderful way to showcase this ingredient is in these Spelt Mixed Fruit Scones. This is because spelt is ideal for achieving that airy, crumbly texture that well-made scones possess.
In savory meals, spelt acts as a wonderful grain vehicle to house your ingredients. Not only does it contribute to the flavor and composition of your meal, but it also supplies extra nutrients in a desirable way. Try these Homemade Spinach Spelt Wraps With Ratatouille, which are packed with veggies and perfect for any time of day. You can also use it for a twist on classic favorites, like in this Spelt Pizza With Candy Beets. Or, enjoy some Swiss Chard and Almond Ricotta Spelt Galettes warm or cold while showing off your cooking skills.
Spelt is also the perfect base for baking and desserts galore. Although the possibilities are truly endless, here are a few recommendations to get you started feeling comfortable working with it. For first-timers, throw together these super-simple Spelt Linzer Cookies With Fruit Jam Center as a light treat. Once you’re familiar with spelt’s performance and cooking qualities, feel free to venture out with more exciting recipes. A great example of this is a Pomegranate and Molasses Upside Down Cake, complete with maple syrup chocolate drizzle for ultimate indulgence. Feel free to treat yourself with these Spelt Doughnuts With Chocolate Frosting, which will give you a perfect balance of healthy and decadent.
Whether it’s the main star or a hard-working building block, spelt can bring incredible benefits and diversity to your diet. Because it’s so similar to the classic wheat you probably already use, you should be able to seamlessly blend this into your routine. Look out for it the next time you’re browsing for groceries… you’ll be glad you did!
For even more delicious inspiration, download the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can be found on Instagram and Facebook as well! With more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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