Thursday, 28 July 2011

Experiments in Spelt

Good afternoon! I hope you're having an enjoyable Thursday!

If not, here's a suggestion

Afternoon snack + Keith! mmm Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Shake (1 c. almond milk, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1 T. almond butter, some ice cubes).  After a (kinda) long day at work, and a (short) run there's nothing better than loading up on some protein and Stones trivia (I'm currently reading Life by Keith Richards).  I love summertime!

Anyways, if anything sums up how unexciting my day has been more accurately than the picture above, it's what I'm about to say next....

Today I discovered my love for spelt!
Yes. Spelt.

Spelt is a delicious ancient grain with a slightly sweet and nutty taste.  It also has tons of health benefits!  Spelt contains 50% more protein than regular whole wheat and contains unique vitamin and mineral complexes.  It is much higher in calcium, phosphorus, selenium and magnesium than other wheat types, and is also very high in fiber!

Spelt also has a low glycemic index (GI).  This means the carbohydrate content in spelt absorbs into the body slowly, therefore maintaining blood sugar levels and prolonging energy!  This property makes it a great addition to a diabetic diet as it will not cause drastic changes in blood sugar levels like other refined carbohydrates would!

Give spelt a chance!

Crusty Spelt-Walnut Bread

1/4 c. warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 packet active dry yeast (about 1 T.)

3 1/2 c. spelt flour
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 c. chopped, toasted walnuts

1 c. boiling water
1 T. molasses

In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 c. warm water, sugar and yeast.  Set aside for 10 min.

Meanwhile, mix together the spelt flour, salt, and walnuts.  Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and stir until incorporated.  Add the boiling water and molasses and stir until dough forms (dough will be slightly sticky, and you may need to add a little extra flour).

Turn out dough onto a floured surface, and knead the dough for about 5-8 min. until firm and elastic.

Place the dough in a greased bowl (I used a little bit of olive oil), and cover with a towel.  Let the dough rise for about 1 hour.

After 1 hour the dough will basically double in size.  Punch the dough down and turn out onto a floured surface.  Shape the dough into a loaf.  Place the loaf into a greased 9-inch loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 min until crusty and golden brown!  Remove from oven. Smelllllllll....and then feast on spelt!

Delicious with Apricot-Orange Fruit Smear
or as a Curried Tuna Salad Sandwich!
Pink Spelt Berry Salad

Well, it's kinda pink.  Intensity of pink-color aside, the beets sure make it tasty!  The kale and toasted walnuts add a nice crunch, and of course feta makes everything beta!

1 1/2 c. spelt berries, cooked
2 c. fresh kale, chopped
1 c. fresh cooked beets, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 c. toasted walnuts, chopped
1/4 c. feta cheese, crumbled
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. olive oil
1 T. lemon zest
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 T. fresh basil, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss until its pink! (or just well mixed)

Chewy, cheesy, crunchy and sweet! Nom.

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