Healthy Ingredient of the Week – Spelt

Spelt, a type of wheat, has been around for thousands of years, although it’s fairly new to North America (it just started being cultivated and sold here in the past century). Like some other newly popular grains, spelt is a main ingredient in animal feed, but that doesn’t mean it’s not just as delicious to humans. Like wheat, spelt can be ground into flour and used for baking. It can also be cooked and served as a side dish or in a salad like other grains such as rice and quinoa. Spelt is high in fiber and protein, and it’s also a good source of iron and magnesium. Since spelt is a type of wheat, it contains gluten, so it’s not suitable for people with Celiac disease. If you’re able to consume gluten-containing foods, and are looking for an alternative to regular wheat flour or your side dish staples of rice or quinoa, give spelt a try!

Spelt Salad with White Beans and Artichokes

Ingredients
1 ¼ cups uncooked spelt, rinsed and drained
2 ½ cups water
⅓ cup chopped fresh mint
⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup minced red onion
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

Instructions
1. Combine spelt and 2 ½ cups water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil.
2. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until tender and liquid is absorbed.
3. Combine cooked spelt, mint, and the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well.
4. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

Recipe from Cooking Light magazine, January 2007

Bread Machine Spelt Bread

Ingredients
1 ¼ cups hot water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons honey
3 ½ cups spelt flour
1 ¾ teaspoons bread machine yeast

Instructions
1. Pour water into bread machine loaf pan. Next, add salt, canola oil and honey.
2. Add the flour, in a mound shape, so some of it sticks up above the water.
3. With a spoon, make a small well in the center of the mound, then pour the yeast into that well.
4. Set bread maker to 1 ½-pound loaf (basic setting) with a medium crust or see your manufacturer’s instruction manual.

Recipe from About.com

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