Spelt is an ancient member of the wheat family and an evolutionary hybrid of emmer wheat and goat grass. Its high energy content led the Romans to dub it the ‘marching grain’. Lower yielding than modern wheat, spelt is not as readily available. It is genetically purer and often tolerated better by those with wheat sensitivities but is not gluten free. Grains can be purchased as whole or pearled spelt and are creamy and brown. Spelt makes a hearty addition to stuffings, soups, salads, pilafs and risottos. It can also be bought as white and wholewheat flour and used in bread and baking. Spelt is rich in dietary fibre, thiamin, copper, manganese, niacin and phosphorus, vitamins B2 and 3.
Rinse both pearled or whole spelt well before using.
Keep spelt in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.
Cook rinsed pearled spelt in boiling water or stock for 20-30 minutes and whole spelt for 40-60 minutes or till tender but still retaining a bite.