Spelt and kamut are heirloom wheat varieties that contain gluten. In recent years, they have been promoted as healthy wheat alternatives. Unfortunately, many people who substitute spelt or kamut for common wheat products often develop sensitivities to these grains as well!
If you’ve a food sensitivity, restoring your intestinal integrity is the way to resolve it. Whereas, if you simply exchange one type of wheat for another, you’re not getting at the root cause and symptoms typically resurface. To reestablish digestive integrity see my ebook, Clean and Free.
If, however, you can enjoy spelt and/or kamut with no side effects, then you’ll find that both have a rich flavor and excellent nutritional profile. Spelt is a bread wheat in use since Biblical times. Kamut is a comperably old durum wheat and is unusually high in lipids giving it a buttery taste. Both grains are nutritionally superior to common wheat in both protein and trace minerals.
Spelt is highly water soluble, which means the body can easily absorb its nutrients. Hold a few spelt kernels in your mouth and—unlike other wheat varieties—they immediately soften.
All wheat varieties benefit the musculature and in Chinese medicine are considered supportive to the spleen-pancreas, liver and kidney meridians.
In natural food stores you can find both of these heirloom wheats in breakfast cereals, pasta and baked goods, including bread. It’s also available in whole grain form, as you would buy rice or barley.
Kamut is available as a whole grain flour whereas spelt comes both “whole” and white (refined) flour. My favorite use for whole spelt is in bread—I love the nutty flavor and coarse crumb of a country-style spelt loaf. I use white spelt flour in pastries, where it performs like all-purpose flour.
Kamut flour makes the best pasta and it’s superior in Indian-style flat breads or a traditional Scilian bread.
Sprouted Spelt Flour is also available on line and in natural food stores. Made from sprouted spelt, some wheat-sensitive people find that they more easily digest flour made from sprouted grains.
Substitute spelt or wheat flour, cup for cup, for all-purpose or bread flour in any bread recipe. However, for spelt make two adjustments: reduce the amount of water by 25% and reduce the mixing or kneading time by one half.
Whereas a kamut bread requires more kneading and, as its gluten is less elastic, the addition of coarse ingredients (such as nuts, dried fruit or seeds) tends to tear and, therefore, compromise its leavening power.
May you be well nourished,