Try this different whole grain for a nutty, slightly sweet flavor

Spelt is the new wheat alternative that is becoming well known by many.

Eating whole grains is an important component for reducing risk factors for hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Spelt is a whole grain  that has grown in Europe for over 300 years and has now been in the U.S. for over 100 years.  It is similar to wheat in appearance, but with a tougher husk, which helps protect the nutrients inside the grain. Spelt flour has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and is used in most recipes that call for regular or whole wheat flour. It has gained popularity as a dietary grain due to its nutty flavor and nutrition content.

Spelt flour can replace whole wheat flour or whole grain flour in recipes for breads and pastries. Spelt pasta is available in regular and white varieties. The white spelt is lighter in color and texture because it is milled more finely. Spelt flour is available in health food stores and many grocery stores, or you can buy Spelt kernels in bulk and use a kitchen grain grinder to make your own flour.

Spelt doesn’t always have to be ground into flour. You can also cook the grains and add them to side dishes, salads and cereals.  Follow these directions for cooking them:

For soft spelt berries (like steamed rice) – Add three cups of water or stock to one cup spelt, cover and simmer for 1.5 hours

For chewy and nutty (for salads) – Use two cups of water or stock for every cup of spelt berries. Cook like risotto, adding half-cup at a time and stirring after each addition until liquid evaporates. They should be tender after 30-40 minutes

Michigan State University Extension recommends eating whole grains, which are an important component for reducing risk factors for hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The nutritional composition of one cup of Spelt is as follows:

246 calories

11 grams protein

1.6 grams fat

51 grams carbohydrates

7.6 grams fiber

Spelt is also a good source of calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, iron and manganese. It has vitamin E and B-complex vitamins (especially niacin).

Help your family and friends enjoy the goodness of whole grains with some delicious and tasty Spelt berries or Spelt flours for hearty breads.

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