As I picture amber waves of grain in my mind, it is not wheat that I am seeing but spelt. Spelt - that lovely, delicate, versatile, plump little grain. And being, generally speaking, suitable for all blood types, what’s not to love?
When I started on the Blood Type Diet several years ago, one of the first foods I eliminated was wheat, in particular, whole wheat and wheat germ. I like to bake and I was in the habit of using whole wheat flour and adding wheat germ to EVERYTHING: cookies, muffins, breads, and pancakes in particular. Since spelt flour is similar to wheat flour, I decided to give it a try and printed some spelt recipes off the internet. I was so impressed with the results that I began substituting spelt in all my recipes. I had some successes... but I also experienced a few failures and learned some things along the way. Since spelt does not absorb as much liquid as wheat, a little more spelt flour is needed when substituting for wheat. This produces a finer crumb in cakes and muffins. I use about 1/3 cup extra flour for every 3 cups in a recipe. I have also noticed that I am more satisfied with my results when I use a heavy liquid ingredient, such as butter and buttermilk, banana, winter or summer squash, carrots. Cookies made with spelt flour are often dry so I couple spelt with another grain such as oats which hold more moisture.
But, I had never tried preparing anything using spelt berries. So yesterday, I stopped by the health food store and picked some up. I soaked the spelt berries overnight, rinsed them, and cooked them in fresh water for about an hour. I first tried mixing the cooked berries in with some oatmeal topped with a little butter and dried blueberries. Delicious. Then I tried the spelt berries alone toped with a dollop of yogurt, a drizzle of maple syrup, and dried cranberries. Tasty as well with an interesting and chewy texture. I think I’ll try making a spelt berry salad next.
Oh yeah, this love affair is definitely going to last.