Spelt is a cereal native to Central Asia. Ancestor of wheat, there are three kinds of spelt. The small spelt is grown in the South, it is tender and eaten like rice. Its nutritional value is greater than the second one cultivated in the North of Asia, the large form of spelt, less tasty and less digestible.
We find writings that speak of spelt dating to less than 9000 years before Christ, and there exist some mentions in the Bible. This seed was known and cultivated by the people of ancient Egypt.
Its nickname “wheat of the Gauls” and resulting from its use by the Gauls at the time. Wheat being rare, it was the spelt that held an important place in the diet of the Gauls. Thus it was the food base of the original Latin peoples.
Then spelt popularity declined with the arrival of other crops such as wheat, corn and rice. Grown mainly in southern Europe, such as Italy, today spelt resurfaced thanks to its dietary qualities. Spelt therefore slowly takes a place in trade in organic farming.
Benefits of spelt
Spelt is a cereal known for its nutritional and dietary qualities. It contains all eight essential amino acids to the human body.
This seed is contains several minerals such as zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, giving it anti-stress properties. Its amount of calcium per 100 g is about as much as in two glasses of cow’s milk. There are also B1 and B9 vitamins.
Spelt is an excellent food for effort through its high content of protein and carbohydrates; the latter, being special, promotes intestinal transit and stimulate the immune system to increase resistance to infections.
Finally, this cereal has not undergone varietal selections such as wheat because it consists of a high quality gluten. Thus, it allows a better tolerance of this molecule by gluten allergy sufferers.
Use of spelt
Spelt is an ancient variety of wheat that is easily digestible. Ii is found as plain spelt milk or flavored with chocolate, hazelnut, almond…
Properties of spelt milk
Spelt milk contains vitamins B, D and E, calcium, iron and magnesium. Gluten intolerant people must be aware that this milk contains gluten.
Spelt milk nutritional values
Calories: bringing 45 to 60 kcal per 100 ml (depending on brand), spelt milk has a caloric value relatively close to that of cow’s milk (1/2 with respect to full skimmed milk).
Protein: it is modest with only 0.5 to 1 g per 100 ml depending on the brand.
Fat: the spelt milk contains approximately as much fat as cow’s milk (half with respect to skimmed milk, with a higher proportion of unsaturated fatty acids).
Carbohydrates: spelt milk contains more than cow’s milk with 8 g per 100 ml, the majority of it being simple sugars.
Calcium: spelt milk contains calcium and there are versions of spelt milks with enriched calcium.
In summary: spelt milk has a similar nutritional value of hazelnut milk and almond milk, so it’s not the best substitute of milk.
NB: Unlike other plant milks, spelt milk contains source of gluten, so be careful with intolerances.
How to make homemade spelt milk?
- 1 litre of water
- 100 g of spelt flakes
- 1 piece of vanilla (2 cm) or a teaspoon of vanilla powder
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup or other (or sugar cane) bio
- A pinch of salt
- Put the water in a blender and add the spelt.
- Blend at least 2 minutes.
- Pour the mixture in a nut milk bag.
- Twist and press all the liquid out the nut milk bag.
- In a clean bottle of glass pour the spelt milk.
- Let cool and store in refrigerator.
This milk can taste better after having rested for 2 hours. After that period, if the taste is a bit bland, you can always adjust by adding syrup, vanilla or cinnamon.
Contrary to pulp from oatmeal or rice, spelt pulp doesn’t have a thickening property. But you can still use it advantageously in hummus, guacamole, or mixed with 50 g of whole meal flour to make cakes and pancakes.
You can also mix spelt and oat to 50-50 for different milk. Oats will make this drink a slightly thicker milk.