Spelt is a type of grain cultivated since 5000 BC.
Spelt has been a very important product in some areas of Europe, from the Bronze Age until the Middle Ages. Spelt belongs to the Phocaea family, the Triticum genus. A popular product in Europe for centuries, spelt is used in a wide variety of cereals, pastas, crackers, baked products and beers. The ancient Romans knew spelt as farrum, and they now call it “farro”, while Germans call it “dinkle”.
Spelt is often considered a subspecies of tender wheat. In fact, spelt is similar to wheat in appearance. Nevertheless, the spelt shell is harder than that of wheat, which helps protect the nutritional elements inside of it, permitting it to withstand attacks by pollutants (for example, pesticides) and even to protect from insect infestations.
Spelt contains more protein than wheat, and the protein in spelt is easier to digest. This means that some people who are allergic to wheat can tolerate eating spelt. Spelt has gluten in its interior, like wheat, making spelt unsuitable for a gluten-free diet. Spelt is an excellent source of essential nutrients. Some of these are: Thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, magnesium, as well as vitamin B, complex carbohydrates and popular nutrients like fiber and high protein content.
Here are four reasons to love spelt:
It is the cereal with the least calories of all others (335 calories per 100 g);
- it contains 15% of protein, and is therefore suitable for combination with legumes for unique low calorie dishes. Spelt pasta possesses a fiber content which is 10 times higher than common semolina pasta (with similar calorie content).
The nutritional value of spelt is very similar to that of tender wheat. The high fiber content is fundamental, since fiber has plant compounds that the digestive system cannot digest, but which instead are transformed by intestinal fatty bacteria. Fiber therefore has a positive effect on metabolic diseases like diabetes and high cholesterol, combating constipation, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids and helping to prevent colon cancer. In regards to cholesterol, spelt has a very low content: 56 times lower than eggs; 10 times less than egg pasta, 7 times less than parmesan cheese. It contains calcium, important during the first years of life and in later years for preventing osteoporosis. For several years spelt has been recommended in weight reduction diets.
Here is our pizza margherita with spelt flour...