Spelt, the “ancient grain” as it is sometimes known, has experienced something of a revival among foodies in recent times. But why is that? Is spelt actually healthier than wheat? And should we all now switch to spelt flour when we’re baking? Today, we have 5 fascinating facts about the great spelt trend.
Spelt fact 1: A grain with a long history
It’s no coincidence that spelt is known as the “ancient grain” – it was around in the time of the ancient Egyptians and the Celts. Spelt was cultivated in Central and Northern Europe during the Neolithic Age. It was considered to be an important element of the grain trade in the 18th century. However, spelt’s long-standing fame eventually faded when it was upstaged by wheat in the 20th century. Wheat had a significantly greater yield and was easier to cultivate. Fortunately, we are now reflecting again on the many advantages of spelt. And anything that has such an impressive history is bound to still have plenty to offer today.
Spelt fact 2: Spelt makes you fit
Spelt is full of natural goodness! This delicious grain contains a host of trace elements and minerals – overall more than wheat does. It is particularly rich in manganese, zinc and copper, protein, iron and magnesium. Spelt also contains silicon, which helps to strengthen skin, hair and nails, and is a source of the amino acid tryptophan. This in turn enables the production of serotonin, also known as the “happy hormone”. Spelt can thus help to boost your well-being.
Spelt fact 3: Spelt and freekeh team up
Are you a freekeh fan? Then you will probably love the taste of spelt! The reason for this is both simple and surprising: freekeh is unripened spelt that has been harvested when young. This is then dried in the oven using beech or oak wood to preserve it. Freekeh goes well with soup or can also be eaten as a burger patty.
Spelt fact 4: An idea that is well tolerated
The most frequently cited reason for spelt’s comeback is that it is well tolerated. This means that you will often find spelt in baby food, for example. Moreover, many people who suffer from allergies swear by the ancient grain. While there is no scientific proof to bear this out, it is worth giving spelt a try if you do not tolerate wheat well. It might be a good alternative for you. This could be the case if you suffer from a sensitivity to wheat, i.e. if you cannot tolerate amylase trypsin inhibitors (ATIs), which are found in wheat. However, coeliacs, who cannot eat gluten, also need to avoid spelt, as it contains gluten.
Spelt fact 5: Your perfect baking partner
The hearts of baking enthusiasts may now beat that much faster as spelt is ideally suited for baking bread and cakes. But spelt also works well in pasta and noodles. This is because spelt contains a lot of gluten, which gives it its good baking properties. It also has a pleasantly nutty flavour. You can of course continue to use wheat flour, but spelt sounds pretty exciting, doesn’t it?
We look forward to shaking it up with spelt!
Your Dole Team