Farro and Spelt
One of our favorite foods is farro. It is a grain that has wonderful texture and is fabulous on it’s own, starring in a salad, made into a risotto, baked with vegetables as a side dish. Farro presents endless possibilities and those who are worried about calories, it has one of the lowest carb profiles of the grains and rice. Quinoa is way more calorie dense for example.
Farro comes dry and there is a 10 minute version that is easy to prepare.
Spelt is also known as dinkel wheat or hulled wheat and has been cultivated since 5000BC.
Spelt is closely related to normal “bread” wheat, but the popularity of bread wheat soon made spelt obsolete, which is why it is considered a “relic” crop. However, it is making a comeback as a health food, particularly in Spain, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe. It is actually packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and essential organic compounds that other cereals and forms of wheat don’t contain, which might explain the renewed interest in spelt.
According to Wikipedia, its earliest archaeological evidence comes from an area north of the Black Sea during the fifth millennium BC. However, the most abundant and best documented evidence says it originated in Europe where its popularity eventually spread to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Spain. In the German language the word for spelt is “Dinkel.” It’s a fact that dinkel was so important that towns were named in its honor – there’s Dinklehausen and Dinkelsbühl. These days, unripe spelt is dried and eaten as Grünkern, which means “green grain.” St. Hildegard von Bingen was a visionary, mystic, musician and herbalist who taught natural ways of bringing balance to body, mind and spirit during the 12th century in Germany.
Like these other ancient grains , quinoa, millet, and amaranth, spelt has not been manipulated to meet manufacturing needs, hence it is preferred over more industrial wheat flour.