Spelt is a contentious subject and often up for debate in the whole “no wheat” discussion. Some can stomach it, others can’t. Let’s first look at what is spelt and what it contains. Spelt, is also known as dinkel wheat or hulled wheat, it is an ancient species of wheat from the fifth millennium BC. It was an important staple from the Bronze Age to medieval times. Spelt has found a new market as a health food and I can see why. It contains 57.9% carbohydrates, 9.2% fibre and 17% protein, 3% fat, as well as dietary minerals and vitamins. It contains a moderate amount of gluten. Because spelt contains gluten, it is not suitable for people with coeliac disease but because it is an alternative grain to wheat (although closely linked), it can be stomached by some people that follow a wheat-free diet or are wheat intolerant.
Spelt flour is available in most large supermarkets and in health stores. It has a slight nutty taste and is ideal for use in baking, particularly bread and cake. Spelt pasta is also easily available.
Reasons to consider eating spelt:
1) It has a higher nutritional value than wheat flour.
2) It can also be grown without fertilisers, pesticides or insecticides.
3) It is richer in amino acids containing 50% more than wheat and contains more
4) It is also higher in B vitamins and has higher levels of fibre too which is a natural
remedy for digestive disorders and helping to control cholesterol levels.
5) It is also a gentle food for the whole digestive system and is a powerful agent to
strengthen the immune system and nerves.
In summary, spelt is low in gluten and easier on the digestive system than wheat and
therefore some people who follow a wheat-free diet can tolerate spelt as it does not
seem to cause as much sensitivity. It is higher in nutrition than wheat and a very good
alterative grain and is excellent to use in baking too.