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Spelt

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Preview of Spelt

Available

January 1 - December 31

Harvest Period

August 1 - August 31

Once commonly grown in North America, spelt was replaced at the beginning of this century by modern wheat varieties that were more suited to the high volume production techniques still used on most Canadian farms.  Due to its nutty taste and natural resistance to pests and disease, spelt products are once again gaining popularity among manufacturers, bakers and consumers across the country.

Storage

Store spelt grains in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place. Spelt flour should be kept in the refrigerator to best preserve its nutritional value.

Nutritional Information

Spelt is naturally high in fiber, and contains 10 to 25% more protein than common varieties of commercial wheat. It is also higher in B complex vitamins, and both simple and complex carbohydrates. Mucopolysaccharides are a special carbohydrate found in spelt that are important in blood clotting and stimulation of the immune system. Spelt is a very good source of manganese, and a good source of copper, iron and magnesium.

½ cup (85g) of uncooked spelt flakes provides 290 calories, 2g fat, 60g carbohydrate, 10g fibre, and 12g protein.

How to Use

Spelt flour can be substituted for whole wheat soft or hard flour in many products (breads, pasta, cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, pancakes and waffles). The starch in spelt is more soluble than wheat, so substituting spelt flour will frequently require less liquid in the recipe than when using wheat flour. Doughs and batters will also benefit by a resting period (half an hour to overnight) to allow moisture to be absorbed and gluten to develop.

The gluten in spelt flour is more fragile than in durum wheat, creating breads that don’t rise as high as traditional wheat breads.

Varieties

Spelt can be purchased in different forms:

Whole Spelt Flour is the whole grain, containing all the bran and germ, which has been milled into flour.

Unbleached (Light) Spelt Flour has about 40% of the bran and germ removed for lighter baking results.

Spelt Flakes are flaked spelt kernels that can be substituted for oatmeal in cereal, crisps, baking and meatloaf.

Spelt Groats (Berries) are the whole spelt kernel and can be cooked in pilafs, added to soups, or sprouted for bread.