What is Spelt?
Spelt, also known as Large Farro, or Farro Grande, and most specifically as Triticum spelta, is an ancient wheat that is believed to have begun in the Fertile Crescent several thousand years ago.
Spelt is higher in protein than modern wheat, all while offering significant levels of iron, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and niacin. Spelt is an ancient form of wheat and does contain gluten, so those who wish to avoid gluten should take note.
However, some scientists and researchers believe that the epidemic of gluten-sensitive diseases we are seeing today are related to glyphosate, and not necessarily the gluten. (See: Common Weedkiller Used in Modern Agriculture Could be Main Factor in Gluten Intolerance.)
How to use Spelt?
Spelt can be enjoyed in many different ways and is a very versatile grain.
It can be ground into a fresh flour, suitable for any number of baked goods, with use of a home grain mill.
Spelt can also be prepared similar to that of rice; it can be served in pilafs, as risotto, tossed in a cold salad, under sauce or olive oil—you name it!
Spelt also makes for a delicious and satisfying hot cereal for breakfast. It can be enjoyed sweet with fruit, yogurt, or other topping, but can also be a savory cereal with spices and herbs.
For a sweet cereal, use milk as the cooking liquid or for a more savory option try using chicken or vegetable broth as the liquid. Spelt can also be cracked in your grain mill and then prepared similar to steel cut oats.
For cooking Spelt, again versatility is the theme. It can be prepared on the stove top, slow cooker, oven, rice cooker, or pressure cooker. A good rule of thumb is to cook the Spelt until al-dente.
How to soak Spelt:
Spelt can benefit from a cold pre-soak. Simply cover the grain with cold water in a container and place in the fridge from 8 to 24 hours. Then drain off the water and cook as you normally would, but with reduced time!
A simple stove top method for cooking Spelt:
- 1 cup of Spelt
- 3 cups of cooking liquid (water, broth, milk, etc.)
- Optional are salt, butter, olive oil, aromatics etc.
- Place ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil on high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer.
- Simmer time will vary depending on the choice of pre-soaking or not. These times are approximate:
- 45 minutes for Unsoaked Whole Grain
- 20 minutes for Soaked Whole Grain
- Begin to test for an al-dente texture.
- Once al-dente is achieved remove the pot from the heat.
- Strain off the remaining liquid as needed.
How is Healthy Traditions Spelt farmed?
The farm in Wisconsin where our Spelt is grown is organically certified. In addition, we requested samples of the Spelt to be tested for the herbicide glyphosate and none was found in the samples tested!