Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

Friday Feast: Spelt-the Other White Flour

on March 18, 2011

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.

After a mouthful of spelt flakes cereal, my outspoken teenage daughters proclaimed, “The first man who ate this spit it out saying, ‘Splet!’ and that’s where the name came from!” I still cook and bake with spelt in spite of the girls’ drama and it’s paid off in the long run. For ten years they’ve eaten cookies, bread, and pasta made from spelt instead of bleached white flour or whole wheat and no one’s digestive system is complaining. In fact, everyone is much leaner, healthier, and happier. What is spelt?

 Today’s whole wheat and white wheat flour are descendants of spelt grain. It’s an ancient grain that has come back into vogue for gourmet cooking and to help wheat intolerant persons continue to enjoy pasta and pastries. Most people who suffer from celiac disease can eat spelt because the gluten in spelt is more easily digested. This doesn’t apply to all celiac patients, but many people who cannot eat wheat find spelt a tasty, simple alternative to going without bread and pasta. Even some gluten free people can eat spelt without complications. 

When the book Eat Right For/4 Your Type by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo was published in 1998, many people took D’Adamo seriously and cut whole wheat and white wheat from their diets. I and my family switched to alternative grains and we’ve been happier ever since. It’s taken a while to get a handle on the differences in baking times and a slightly different taste, but overall spelt is a delicious substitute for wheat. http://www.4yourtype.com.  

Spelt is full of flavor, protein, and B vitamins. It’s much easier on the digestive system and because its popularity continues to grow, it’s now easier to find in health food groceries and online. (See resource list below.) 

Spelt noodles cook faster. Pastries made with spelt flour have a heartier texture. Spelt foods are more filling so you eat less while feeling satisfied. Spelt is a bit more expensive but it balances out when you don’t eat as much to feel full. After ten years of baking with spelt, my family takes it for granted that every pasta, cereal, bread, and cookie is made from spelt flour and they’re right! The extra effort is worth it.

Kitri’s Favorite Iced Spelt Oatmeal Raison Cookies

2 ¼ cups of white spelt flour sifted

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup oats (not instant)

1 cup dark brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

1 cup salted butter half melted

2 Tablespoons honey

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ cup raisons

Icing

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

4 Tablespoons half and half (use more liquid if necessary to acquire desired consistency)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl.

In a metal mixing bowl, melt the butter half way in the oven while it is preheating. Take out the butter and blend the sugars with the butter then add the honey, vanilla, and eggs one at a time until a grainy paste is reached. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture mix lightly then add the oats and raisons.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Place the cookies in the freezer for 10-20 minutes to reset the butter. Bake one sheet at a time for 18-22 minutes checking regularly. Spelt bakes faster than regular wheat. As soon as a light brown is visible around the edges of the cookies, remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for one minute before removing to a baking rack. When cookies are medium warm, drizzle icing over the tops. Store in airtight plastic containers with parchment paper between layers of cookies. Cookies freeze well for up to two weeks.

Resources

www.spelt.com

www.purityfood.com

www.berlinnaturalbakery.com

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 Be well, write well.

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5 responses to “Friday Feast: Spelt-the Other White Flour

  1. Paty Jager says:

    I’ve been using spelt and oat flour ever since I started using the Eat Right 4 Your Type diet to get myself back in shape. I make rolls, bread, and cookies from the two flours. What is the cooking time difference in cooking with spelt? I hadn’t notice a difference.

    • writerwellness says:

      Hi, Paty!
      You should send me a recipe. I’ll post it here on Friday Feast. Spelt rocks! The spelt cookbook I use notes that cooking times are usually different and it says the same thing on the spelt pasta I buy from Purity Foods. And my family thinks it tastes different, more body and flavor, than regular wheat. Some spelt baking instructions say use a little more flour than when using wheat. I’ve found all this to be true.

  2. Paty Jager says:

    I make my own noodles with spelt and my hubby likes them better. I’ll try to remember to send you a recipe.

  3. Wow, with recipes and incite like this I may never stay behind my keyboard and write! It is important to treat ourselves. Today I wrote about knowing when to take a break on my blog- http://www.pentopublish.blogspot.com. My husband and I actually had a date night tonight. I took four hours away from work and I feel so refreshed! Now I need to make those cookies!

    Natalie

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