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Ancient Grains [message #2038] Mon, 10 April 2017 13:19 Go to next message
Deniece is currently offline  Deniece
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Ancient Grains

Why choose Ancient Grains?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's dietary guidelines, at least half of all grains eaten each day should be whole (that is, intact, ground, cracked or flaked). Most of us limit our grains to barley, corn, oats, rice and wheat, but you can add variety to your diet by including some ancient grains. Ancient grains are definitely worth exploring. High in fibre and rich in mineral content, these tasty whole grain options are definitely here to stay and can be a wonderful addition to your diet.

Amaranth

One of the earliest known food plants, Amaranth was cultivated by the Aztecs and the Incas. (One of the best-known varieties is called Inca wheat.) It is often called a "pseudo-grain" and has been referred to as both an herb and a vegetable.

Amaranth is a highly nutritious and gluten free grain, and is unusual in that it offers a complete form of vegetable protein. It is also a great source of dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, calcium and minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. Amaranth is a good source of all essential amino acids, in particular lysine, and has a strengthening, toning effect on the body.

You will need quite a bit of water when cooking amaranth: 6 cups (1.5 L) of water for 1 cup (250 mL) of amaranth. Gently boil the amaranth for 15 to 20 minutes, rinse and then fluff it. Traditionally eaten as a breakfast porridge, Amaranth can also be added to soups, salads and stir-fries, and amaranth flour can be used in baking.

Buckwheat

Don't be fooled! Buckwheat is not actually a type of wheat, it is a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel. The triangular seeds it produces are known as buckwheat groats, are the hulled grains of buckwheat; they are three-sided in shape and resemble grains of wheat, oats, or rye. Buckwheat has been providing essential nutrients, vitamins, energy, and fiber to humanity for approximately 8,000 years. Its first starring role as a cultivated crop appears circa 4000 B.C. in the Balkan region of Europe.

The protein in buckwheat contains the eight essential amino acids and is also high in lysine. Buckwheat is also rich in many B vitamins as well as phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese.it provides lots of protein as well as calcium, iron, manganese, potassium and zinc. A 1995 study from the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute showed that eating 30 grams of buckwheat daily can lower blood pressure. And because buckwheat grain is digested more slowly than other carbohydrates it can leave you feeling fuller longer and improve glucose tolerance among the carbohydrate sensitive.

Buckwheat groats are used whole in hot cereals and soups. Kasha is a traditional porridge made from buckwheat groats.

Kamut

Kamut® Khorasan wheat is distant relative to modern wheat believed to have originated in the time of King Tut. It is a non-hybridized grain that has eight out of nine minerals, and contains up to 65% more amino acids. Kamut® Khorasan wheat is also higher in lipid and protein. The protein content is significantly higher and it also has a high amount of selenium, giving this grain strong antioxidant properties, which help protect the immune system.

Kamut is known to have a natural sweetness, which makes it a great grain for baking. When cooking kamut, it is best to soak the grain overnight. Use three parts water for one part kamut. Once the water has come to a boil, reduce the heat and allow the grain to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the tenderness you prefer.

Millet

One of the earliest cultivated crops, it is a staple in Africa, China and India. High in magnesium, whole cooked millet can be served as a side dish or added to soups. When popped, it can be eaten as a snack. Millet flour can be used in baking.

Millet is another gluten-free seed with high nutritional value. It is an excellent source of protein and is high in fibre and B vitamins. Millet is also particularly high in magnesium, giving the seed heart-protecting properties.

Millet has a mildly sweet, nut-like flavour. Depending on the cooking style, the texture can range from fluffy to creamy. When cooking millet, you will need one part millet to two-and-a-half parts boiling water. Once the water has come to a boil, lower the heat and let the millet simmer for 25 minutes with the lid in place.

Quinoa

Quinoa (Pronounced "keen-wah") plants have been cultivated at altitudes of well over 10,000 feet and have been considered a superfood for at least a few millennia. First cultivated more than 5,000 years ago, quinoa, along with corn and potatoes was one of the three foods considered the centerpiece of the Andean diet. Its immense popularity was due to several reasons: It was one of few crops that could survive in such high altitudes (10,000 20,000 feet above sea level). It could withstand frost, intense sun and the often drought conditions that characterized the Andean climate.

Quinoa is stocked with life-sustaining nutrients all across the board, including all eight essential amino acids making it a complete protein. Quinoa is also rich in iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium; a good source of dietary fiber, a source of calcium, and thus is useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest.

It was for this reason that it was dubbed "mother of all grains" by the Incas, so much so that it came to have spiritual significance for them. Many traditions and ceremonies surrounded the cultivation, harvest and consumption of quinoa.

Quinoa may require a thorough rinse before cooking to wash off its naturally bitter coating, called saponin. It cooks in about 15 minutes and Like cooking rice in a stove top pot, you'll want almost 2 cups of water per one part quinoa but be careful not to pour too much water in the pot, otherwise it will take even longer. It can be served as a side dish or added to soups and salads.

Spelt

The official name of is Triticum aestivum var. spelta. It was originally grown in Iran around 5000 to 6000 B.C., but it has been grown in Europe for over 300 years, and in North America for just over 100 years. This distant cousin of wheat contains gluten and is therefore not suitable for those who have gluten intolerance, though it does tend to be easier to digest than wheat and may be better tolerated by those who have wheat sensitivity.

Spelt contains a wider variety of nutrients than wheat, including more protein, folate, magnesium and selenium. Spelt is also a high source of fibre, with ½ cup of the whole grain containing 4 grams of fibre. Spelt is a tasty whole grain with a nutty flavour. You can use spelt flour in baking, and the grain can be found in a variety of products, including cereals, breads, pasta and crackers.

[Updated on: Mon, 10 April 2017 13:20]

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Re: Ancient Grains [message #2039 is a reply to message #2038] Mon, 10 April 2017 13:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deniece is currently offline  Deniece
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https://draxe.com/einkorn-flour/

Einkorn Flour: The Superior Ancient Grain Compared to Whole Wheat

Why is healthy wheat so hard to get? You may have heard of the words "frankenwheat" or "frankenfoods," which have been imposed on the public by agricultural geneticists due to the scientific engineering of wheat and wheat food products. This has created a movement away from wheat products due to the damaging effects they may have, in particular the issues people have consuming foods with gluten. This is where einkorn flour comes in.

Dr. Mark Hyman, a collaborator and friend, notes in an article in the Huffington Post that each American now consumes about 55 pounds of wheat flour every year. It isn't just the amount of wheat consumed that's of concern, but also the hidden components found within wheat that can cause weight gain and disease. (1) This is why wheat gives you a belly.

While this is not the wheat your great-grandmother used, there are some ancient grains, such as einkorn, available today that healthier, easier to digest and, frankly, a superior alternative. So what is einkorn flour? Like two other ancient wheats, emmer (farro) and spelt flour, einkorn is a covered wheat -- however, these ancient grains have less gluten and more nutrition than traditional whole wheat. (2) That's why einkorn flour offers health benefits whole wheat simply can't. What are they? Read on.


Benefits of Einkorn Flour

Ancient grains are thought by many to be inherently more nutritious than modern varieties. Einkorn flour is the most ancient wheat, offering many essential dietary and trace minerals. It's a good source of protein, iron, dietary fiber, thiamine and a number of other B Vitamins. It also contains a significant amount of the powerful antioxidant lutein with higher antioxidant levels than durum and bread wheat.

There is a much lower percentage of nutrient loss during processing of einkorn, and it can be substituted for whole wheat flour in most recipes, though it may result in a different texture. Regardless, the results are worth exploring, especially since the nutritional benefits likely outweigh other options. (3)

1. Reduces the Risk of Eye Disease

The process of sprouting can provide significant benefits to many of our foods. In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, sprouting times and illumination conditions of carotenoids found in spelt, durum, emmer and einkorn were investigated. It revealed that carotenoid levels significantly increased during sprouting, particularly under light exposure, though concentrations of some other lipophilic antioxidants produced a smaller effect. (4)

Dietary carotenoids are thought to provide health benefits in decreasing the risk of some diseases, include eye diseases like macular degeneration, because the beneficial effects of carotenoids are thought to be due to their role as antioxidants. Lutein, zeaxanthin and β-carotene, found in einkorn, may be protective in eye disease because they can absorb damaging light that enters the eye. This information gives way to the idea that wheat sprouts could be a potential functional ingredient to increase the nutritional value of cereal products. (5)

2. Limits Allergy Symptoms

The number of wheat-allergic patients has increased in recent years, presenting the need and desire for less allergenic wheat varieties. The aim of a recent study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology was to screen 324 varieties of wheat chosen from various parts of the world. To ensure the best screening, testing was examined with major wheat allergens or components of gluten, including glutenin and gliadin. The patients' antibodies reacted to these three allergens, making them suitable for the primary screening for the less allergenic wheat varieties so there was a reliable comparison.

Several varieties, including einkorn, were noted as less allergenic. These findings will lead to additional research of less allergenic wheat options and likely become mother plants for breeding with the goal of helping wheat-allergic patients to help eliminate or treat food allergies. (6)

3. Helps You Lose Weight

When our bodies are able to digest foods better, it can ultimately help with weight loss. There are 30 percent more people who are obese than undernourished in the world, and much is due to the increased amount of frankenwheat in our foods. In fact, it's been reported that each American consumes about 55 pounds of wheat flour every year!

Einkorn flour is a healthier choice, and while it's best to consume all wheat in moderation, choosing einkorn ancient grains over more modern wheat can help reduce the risk of obesity and may help you lose weight, in particular because studies show that the quality of einkorn surpasses other wheats.

While einkorn wholemeal is limited in dietary fiber, it's rich in proteins and unsaturated fatty acids, fructans, and trace elements, such as zinc and iron. The good concentration of several antioxidant compounds combined with these trace elements contribute to the excellent nutritional properties of einkorn flour. Functional foods have become more important, and the health benefits of einkorn suggest that it may play a significant role in human consumption and the development of new or specialty foods that contain the best nutritional quality. In any case, to get the benefits, make sure the einkorn product is in its purest form and not combined with chemicals or miscellaneous ingredients. (7)

4. May Help Delay the Onset of Type 2 Diabetes

A study conducted at the Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark investigated the physiological effects of ancient wheat whole grain flour diets on the development and progression of type 2 diabetes, specifically to look at the glycemic responses. An intervention study was conducted, involving the consumption of five different diets, including emmer, einkorn, spelt, rye flour and refined wheat, for a period nine weeks.

Testing revealed a downregulation of hepatic genes, the process by which a cell decreases the quantity of a cellular component in response to an external variable. The spelt and rye induced a low acute glycemic response. The wheat group had higher HDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. The study concluded that ancient wheat diets decreased cell production relating to glucose and fat metabolism, equivalent to prevention or delay of diabetes development. (8) Thus, it's a good idea to include ancient grains and flours like einkorn flour in any diabetes diet plan.

5. Prevents the Risk of Disease

The whole meal flour of wheat and einkorn flour is rich in phenolic acids. Phenolic acids, through ingestion of some plants, fruits and vegetables, protect our bodies from oxidative damage and diseases, such as coronary heart disease, stroke and cancers.

Research published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology studied the influence of phenolic acid content and antioxidant activity of whole meal flour water biscuits and puffed kernels of einkorn and bread wheat. Overall, from flour to water biscuit, the total soluble conjugated phenolic acids increased in the einkorn, while some phenolic acids decreased as ingredients were added. The results confirmed that the antioxidant activity increased during processing and was highest under the most drastic puffing conditions of the einkorn and bread wheat. The good news is that the einkorn maintained the nutritional value, even throughout the change in form to a puffed state. (9)

6. Contains Less Gluten

For those with sensitive tummies, ancient forms of wheat like einkorn are typically easier to digest than wheat that's mass-produced, particularly in the U.S., due to the lower levels of gluten. This is good news for endurance athletes, too, since they often look for a grain-like carb that's easy to digest before racing. (10)

Different types of wheat have different numbers of chromosomes. Some studies show that the ancient wheats, with fewer chromosomes, tend to have lower levels of gluten, and gluten causes sensitivities for many. Einkorn, the oldest known type of wheat today, has 14 chromosomes, which makes it a diploid wheat. Durum wheat, most often used for pasta, and emmer are tetraploid wheats, containing 28 chromosomes, while modern wheat and spelt have 42 chromosomes, known as hexaploid wheats. However, if celiac disease is a problem for you, einkorn flour is still not safe for consumption. (11)

Einkorn Flour Nutrition

A 100-gram serving of einkorn flour contains about: (12)
•1,450 calories
•18.2 grams protein
•2.5 grams fat
•8.7 grams fiber
•415 milligrams phosphorus (42 percent DV)
•0.5 milligram thiamine (33 percent DV)
•0.5 milligram riboflavin (29 percent DV)
•4.6 milligrams iron (26 percent DV)
•0.5 milligram vitamin B6 (25 percent DV)
•3.1 milligrams niacin (16 percent DV)
•2.2 milligrams zinc (15 percent DV)
•390 milligrams potassium (11 percent DV)
•312 IU vitamin A (6 percent DV)


Einkorn Flour vs. Whole Wheat

Here are some of the biggest distinctions between einkorn flour and whole wheat. (13)
•Einkorn grains are much smaller than grains of modern forms of wheat.
•Einkorn does not have the crease that's present on the side of modern wheat grains, which arose in modern wheat due to being genetically altered by choosing seeds that delivered more gluten and higher yields that are ideal for large-scale production and distribution in larger farms.
•Einkorn has gluten, but it may be a healthier version, making it easier to digest compared to the gluten found in modern wheat. It doesn't contain the D genome but rather the A genome, a significant difference because the most popular test for detecting the presence of gluten is based on the presence of the D genome. Although Einkorn does contain gluten, it's a different type of gluten and passes the ELISA test, which is a commonly used laboratory test to detect antibodies in the blood.
•Einkorn is a diploid like most plants, meaning it has two sets of chromosomes, while modern bread wheat has six sets.
•Einkorn is clearly the most ancient and purest type of wheat with only two sets of chromosomes, meaning its natural gluten content is low, making it a healthy food.
•Einkorn contains more carotenoids, which can help in preventing serious diseases, such as cancer, whereas carotenoids are harder to find in modern whole wheat.


Origins of Einkorn Flour

Einkorn is an ancient wheat variety and one of the first cultivated cereal grains in history. It was cultivated as far back as the early Bronze Age -- however, einkorn and other ancient wheats faded as modern hybrid wheats became a big part of wheat production.

Today, einkorn is grown mostly in Europe, but due to the high protein content and nutritional value it provides, it's different than our modern wheat. When modern wheat breads were compared to breads made from einkorn in France, the einkorn breads had a light, rich taste, leaving the modern bread wheat products nearly tasteless and less desired. Einkorn grains, berries and flour are used in various food dishes, such as soups, salads, casseroles, sauces, breads, pastries, pancakes and waffles, and einkorn flour may be safer to eat than modern wheats for those that are gluten-sensitive.

This wheat is thought to have originated in the upper area of the fertile crescent of the Near East. Through its wide distribution throughout the Near East, Transcaucasia, the Mediterranean region, southwestern Europe and the Balkans, einkorn was one of the first cereals cultivated for food. The grain protein is consistently higher than modern wheats, though the amino acid composition of einkorn is similar to wheat and considered more nutritious than hard red wheat, based on the higher level of protein, crude fat, phosphorous, potassium, pyridoxine and beta-carotene, according to Purdue University's Center for New Crops and Plant Products. (14) It's rich in carotenoids, which are the naturally occurring red, orange and yellow pigments seen in many fruits and vegetables that may help to prevent cancer and other diseases.

Wild einkorn (Triticum monococcum) is thought to have been harvested in the late Paleolithic and early Mesolithic Ages, 16,00015,000 B.C. Wild grains have been dated to the early Neolithic (Stone Age) time as far back as 10,000 B.C. Cultivated einkorn continued its popularity during the Neolithic and early Bronze Ages 10,0004,000 B.C. Emmer surfaced during the mid-Bronze Age, but einkorn continued to be cultivated into the early 20th century.

Today, einkorn production is usually found in small, isolated regions within France, India, Italy, Turkey and Yugoslavia.


How to Prepare Einkorn Flour

Many foodies rave about the nuttier taste of einkorn versus the flavor of everyday wheat. Einkorn berries are smaller than wheat, spelt or kamut berries and can be cooked in a water-to-grain ratio of 2:1 for about 30 minutes, then used as a side dish for meats like fish and chicken, tossed with veggies and dressing for a more hearty salad, and simmered with warming spices like cinnamon and served with Greek yogurt. Einkorn flour has a soft texture for making delicious breads, cookies, muffins, waffles and pancakes.

You can usually replace wheat flours with einkorn flour in most recipes, and here's an einkorn flour recipe to get your started:

Einkorn and Chia Pancakes with Fresh Blueberries and Mango


Serves: 3-4 (about 10 pancakes)

INGREDIENTS:
•1.5 cups einkorn flour

•1 tablespoon baking powder

•1 teaspoon sea salt

•3 tablespoons ground chia seeds

•1 teaspoon cinnamon

•1 tablespoon maple syrup

•1 teaspoon vanilla

•1.5 cups almond milk

•1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

•Fresh organic blueberries

•1 cup chopped fresh mango

•¼ cup pure almond butter

•¼ cup local honey

INSTRUCTIONS:
1.Mix together the honey and almond butter until well-blended. Set aside.
2.Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
3.Add the almond milk, vanilla, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar and blend together. Let sit for 510 minutes so the chia can thicken the mixture.
4.Use a ¼ measuring cup to scoop out the portions and cook over medium heat in a lightly oiled pan.
5.Flip when bubbles appear in the middle of each pancake, then cook for another 35 minutes on the other side.
6.Serve with fresh blueberries and mango. Drizzle with almond butter and honey mixture.


Einkorn Flour Risks

It's best to make sure that any grain is safe, especially if you are sensitive to gluten. Einkorn contains gluten, which makes it unsafe for anyone with celiac disease.


Final Thoughts on Einkorn Flour

Einkorn flour is an ancient wheat grain that's healthier than traditional whole wheat. That's partly due to its much lower gluten content, and while it's not gluten-free, it's much more easily digested and often fine for most people with gluten intolerance symptoms to eat. However, it's not safe for anyone who has diagnosed celiac disease.

If you don't have celiac disease, however, einkorn flour is a great choice and definitely preferable to whole wheat. Why? It's been shown to reduce the risk of eye disease, limit allergy symptoms, help you lose weight, possible help delay the onset of type 2 diabetes and prevent the risk of disease.

So if you're tired of the negatives traditional whole wheat holds and want a superior wheat, einkorn is just the thing.
Re: Ancient Grains [message #2040 is a reply to message #2039] Mon, 10 April 2017 13:38 Go to previous message
Deniece is currently offline  Deniece
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http://nourishedkitchen.com/good-questions-einkorn-spelt-hei rloom-wheat-ancient-grains/

Good Questions: Einkorn, Spelt, Emmer, Farro and Heirloom Wheat

In recent weeks, a glut of questions about ancient and heirloom grains and wheat have arrived in my inbox. I hope this means that readers are beginning to re-embrace the idea of enjoying grains once again, though they still tend to be viewed as the "bad boy" of the ancestral health movement, with books like Grain Brain and Wheat Belly even taking the idea of grain-free diets mainstream. And while many people benefit from grain-free diets, many people also benefit from including whole grains, ancient or not, in their diets regularly. For our family, we enjoy a wide variety of grains prepared through traditional means of soaking, sour leavening or, to a lesser extent, sprouting.

Here's the answers to some of the most common questions emailed to me about choosing and preparing ancient grains and heirloom wheat varieties.

What is Farro?

Farro is an Italian word that encompasses three varieties of heirloom grains: einkorn, spelt and emmer wheat. These are referred to respectively as farro piccolo, farro grande and farro medio. So rather than being a single grain, farro is a collection of three grains and the term farro can refer to any of these three grains.

In a culinary sense, the word "farro" on a menu usually refers to any of these three grains cooked as the whole wheat berry, and left whole. If you're eating out, and you see "farro" on the menu, be sure to ask what kind of farro the chef is using in the dish. Is it einkorn, spelt or emmer?

Which grain is better: einkorn, spelt, emmer or heirloom wheat?

While I often receive the question, "Which is better?" or "Which is healthier?" I struggle to answer that question. I don't think that any individual grain is necessarily better; rather, they're marginally different from one another. The nutrient profile of any given food also changes depending on how you prepare it in your home; sour leavening, for example, increases the folate content of grain.

Compared to modern varieties of wheat, ancient grains and heirloom wheat berries typically are lower in gluten (though still higher in protein), as well as higher in micronutrients like minerals and antioxidants. Einkorn has a higher concentration of beta carotene and lutein than modern wheat varieties. However, spelt has a marginally lower concentration of B vitamins and phosphorus compared to modern wheat varieties.

Beyond the three grains collectively called farro, there's also heirloom varieties of wheat notably Turkey Red Wheat which was brought to the US by Russian and Ukrainian immigrants in the 19th century.

In terms of which is better, they each offer slightly different flavors, with slightly different attributes in baking and marginal differences in the content of their micronutrients. In Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle features a chart outlining a wide variety of grains, their individual flavors, their micronutrient profile and how to prepare them.

Are heirloom and ancient grains Organic?

Heirloom and ancient grains can be grown conventionally or organically. Just because a farmer grows heirloom varieties doesn't necessarily mean that he or she will also adhere to organic standards; however, farmers interested in heirloom and ancient grains are more likely to be similarly interested in organic and sustainable farming. The lack of organic certification doesn't necessarily mean that the grains weren't grown using sustainable methods, and asking questions of your producer directly is your best avenue for determining whether or not the growing methods of the farmer meet your family's standards.

Third-party certification programs like the National Organic Program help to provide reassurance and information about growing standards, when direct connection to the farmer or producer is impossible.

What is high extraction flour, and how is it made?

High extraction flour is a traditionally milled flour that has been sifted to remove some, but not all, of the grain's original bran and germ. I favor this kind of flour for baking, for long-term storage and to use with the whole grain flours I mill myself. Traditionally milled high extraction flour is prepared first by soaking the grains (upwards of 24 hours) drying them, then grinding them to form a whole grain flour.

The resulting flour is then typically sifted to remove most, but not all, of the bran and germ and is a traditional practice in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Removing a portion of the bran and germ increases the stability of the flour, decreasing the odds that the fragile fatty acids found in the bran and germ will go rancid. You can find traditionally milled high extraction flour online.

Do heirloom wheats need to be soaked, soured or sprouted?

Soaking, sprouting and souring grains helps to deactivate components of grains like food phytate that can bind up minerals found in the grain and prevent their full absorption. When food phytate is deactivated or partially deactivated through soaking, souring or sprouting, the bioavailability of trace minerals like zinc and iron is increased.

In his studies of traditional diets compared to modern diets, Dr. Price who penned Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, describes how traditional diets were considerably more rich in these trace minerals than modern diets, thereby increasing the health and resilience of the populations who consumed their native diets without heavily processed foods.

Recently, researchers have investigated traditional practices of soaking and souring, and found them to be effective at decreasing food phytate and increasing the bioavailability of minerals; however, they also find that on an otherwise nutrient-dense diets, the benefits are likely marginal at best. My family favors soaking and souring our grains, and you can find several recipes for traditionally prepared sourdough breads and soaked whole grains in Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle.

Do ancient and heirloom wheats have gluten?

Yes. Ancient and heirloom wheats contain gluten. What many people don't understand is that all grains contain gluten even "gluten-free" grains. The exception to this is pseudocereals like buckwheat and amaranth which are not true grains at all, but, rather, grain-like seeds of broad leafed plants. Gluten is simply a composite of various proteins found in wheat and other grains. The question is whether or not you are sensitive to those individual proteins. For people sensitive to "gluten," they are typically sensitive to gliadin and glutenin.

Owing to a difference in protein structure of the gluten in individual grains, people who react to modern wheat may or may not react to ancient varietals; however, people with celiac disease should avoid them completely until research into grains, gluten and celiac disease indicates otherwise. The idea that ancient grains have "less" gluten than modern grains is misleading as for people who are truly sensitive to the individual the complex of proteins in gluten, a little or a lot, they'll still react.

Isn't all wheat genetically modified (GMO)?

No.

Modern wheat has been progressively hybridized over several generations to improve yield, to increase gluten (which improves bread quality) and for various other reasons. After WWII, as part of the Green Revolution, scientists made some significant changes to heritage wheat that resulted in increased yields and higher gluten content. It has not been genetically modified through bioengineering, until very recently, and then GMO wheat is not currently on the market, though a small patch of it escaped and was found growing in a field where it was not intentionally planted for testing. For the record, that's not the same thing as ever bit of wheat flour in the world (or in the US, depending on the rumor you heard) being a biotech crop.

How do I use ancient grains and heirloom wheat?

You can use ancient grains and heirloom wheats just as you would any modern what and flours, though, in baking, you may need to adjust the hydration levels slightly by adding more water or flour until the dough feels right in your hands. A fantastic book to get started is Ancient Grains for Modern Meals which not only includes heirloom wheat varieties, but also other whole grains. Keep in mind that the book's author, Maria Speck, who is an astoundingly talented chef doesn't call for soaking, sprouting or souring the grains so if you wish to soak your grains prior to making her recipes, you'll need to adjust the recipe slightly.

And Einkorn, by Carla Bartolucci, is an excellent book with many recipes for preparing breads, cakes, pastas and other dishes with einkorn wheat.

Here are some of my favorite recipes featuring ancient grains and heirloom wheat:
•Einkorn Risotto with Spotted Shrimp, Butternut Squash and Almonds
•Spelt and Yogurt Crackers
•Sprouted Spelt Cookies
•Einkorn and Maple Dinner Rolls
•Einkorn Pitas

Where do I buy heirloom wheats and ancient grains?

Most well stocked health food stores or gourmet foods shops will offer einkorn wheat berries, high-extraction einkorn flour, spelt flour and spelt berries. Some will also offer emmer wheat varieties as well. If you cannot find them locally, you can purchase them online here

[Updated on: Mon, 10 April 2017 13:38]

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