Katie's Healthy Bites: Spelt's Whole-Grain Goodness
Lately I've been feeling bored with traditional grains, so I've added spelt into my regular repertoire. If you haven't tasted this nutritious, nutty and oh-so-satisfying grain, try it today! Here are some tips on buying, storing and, of course, cooking spelt.
Before you purchase spelt, consider the recipe you’re making. For baked goods, pick up spelt flour. If your goal is to create a dish for a family meal, whole spelt berries are the way to go.
This grain stays at its peak when kept in an airtight container at a cool temperature. If you don’t plan on using it quickly, you can store spelt in the refrigerator to preserve its quality.
There are many different ways to enjoy spelt, so don’t be afraid to try them all! It can be substituted in almost any recipe that uses a cooked grain, but it is key to remember all grains cook differently and recipe adjustments will likely be needed. To cook whole berries, first soak them overnight, drain and rinse, then cook the spelt for an hour in simmering water. Don’t panic if you forget to soak them overnight -- you can also cook them for an hour and a half or until the cooking liquid is absorbed.
For baked goods, spelt flour can be substituted for wheat flour in any recipe -- it yields a wonderfully nutty flavor.
Soups: Add cooked spelt instead of rice, barley, or quinoa (or be adventurous and add a mix!).
Salads: Cool and use as the base of a grain salads or a healthy and satiating addition to a green salad.
Main dishes:Spelt pastas are available in many specialty stores. Just add your favorite sauce and a few veggies to complete the meal. Or, if you prefer, just increase the portion size of your side dish to make this into a meal. Spelt is a wonderful way to get nutrients such as fiber, protein, and some B-vitamins.
Baked goods: Spelt's nutty flavor is delicious in cookies, breads and more! Substitute equal parts spelt flour in your favorite baked good.