the seeds to the Ancient Breads
: Kamut is an ancient relative to wheat that originated in Egypt.
It is a good substitute for wheat, and has a pleasant sweet and
buttery flavor. It has up to 20-40% more protein than wheat, up
to 65 percent more amino acids, contains more healthy fatty acids,
and is rich in magnesium, zinc, and vitamin E.
whole kernels, sometimes called kamut berries, are two to three
times the size of wheat kernels. They are a little chewy when cooked,
so are often better mixed with other grains, or in soups and casseroles.
To cook, use 3 parts water to 1 part kernel (e.g. 3 cups water and
1 cup kamut kernel), bring to boil with a few pinches of sea salt,
then reduce heat to low and let simmer covered for 1 1/2 hours or
more until tender. Alternatively, soak the kernels overnight, and
then cook for 30-40 minutes until tender.
flakes are available and are much like oatmeal. They are made by
heating the whole kernels and then pressing them flat. To cook kamut
flakes, combine 1 part with 2 parts water, bring to a boil, then
let simmer 15-18 minutes. Remove from heat, stir through, and add
non-dairy milk if desired.
Kamut sprouted flour is very much used in breads, muffins, snack
loaves and cookies. It has a nutty flavor, but is also more coarse
than wheat flour (similar texture to cornmeal flour). While this
texture does not work in all baked goods, it is lovely in many,
and the flour can be combined with others (spelt, oat, barley, wheat)
for great results.
: Pronounced "KEEN-wa," this tiny grain can be red, orange,
black, yellow, or white (although white is most common). Quinoa
is a powerhouse of nutrition. It is a complete source of protein,
with all eight essential amino acids, and is high in calcium, iron,
and phosphorous. Uncooked quinoa resembles flattened couscous, with
a little ring around each grain that comes out like a tail when
cooked. This ring holds the majority of quinoa's protein and gives
it a very slight crunch.
sprouted Quinoa, naturally gluten free, is very easy and quick to
cook. Quinoa is very light and fluffy, with a very slight crunchy
texture, and is easy to digest. It is not a sticky grain, like rice
or millet, and so it does not work well in veggie burger or stuffing
recipes, or others requiring the grain to hold a form. It is best
in side dishes and is particularly nice in cold salads.
: Millet , naturally gluten free like Quinoa or Rice, was widely
consumed long before rice and wheat became dominant grains. It is
still a staple in Africa and Asia, but in Western countries it is
sold primarily as birdseed (in its unhulled form). Now that we are
becoming more informed about whole grains, millet is gaining popularity.
can be purchased in health food stores and some groceries. It is
a small, yellowish round grain that looks much like couscous. It
is a good source of phosphorus, B vitamins, iron, and the essential
amino acid lysine. It is easy to digest, and is also easy to cook
and can be used in a variety of recipes.
cook the grains, rinse first and then combine 1 part millet with
2 1/2 parts water and a few pinches of sea salt. Bring to a boil,
then reduce heat to low and let simmer, covered, without stirring,
for 15-20 minutes. If you cook it longer with more water, it will
become soft and mushy, which could be a good thing, depending on
your recipe. For instance, you can make breakfast cereals with millet,
using 5 cups of liquid (combination of water/non-dairy milk/juice),
and cook for 45 minutes or more (you can stir to help break up the
grain). Cooked regularly, millet works well in casseroles, side
dishes, and salads, and is very nice combined with other whole grains.
Since it gets a little sticky when cooled (or cooked longer), millet
also works great in veggie burger recipes and stuffings.
: Spelt can be a great alternative for some people who cannot eat
wheat (although since it is related to wheat, others cannot tolerate
it either). Spelt has a pleasant, mild, nutty flavor. Whole-grain
spelt is an excellent source of riboflavin, a very good source of
niacin, a good source of dietary fiber and zinc, and has up to 25%
more protein than regular wheat. To cook whole grain spelt (spelt
berries), first rinse and then combine 1 part spelt berries to 3
parts water and a few pinches of sea salt. Bring to a boil, then
reduce heat and let simmer for 50-60 minutes, until tender.
flakes are processed from whole spelt berries, and can be used like
rolled oats in recipes and breakfast cereals. To cook, combine 1
part flakes with 3 parts water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and
let simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Stir and add non-dairy
milk if desired.
sprouted Spelt flour is also available in good health food stores
in both whole-grain and refined forms.
Both substitute well for wheat flour in recipes, although you may
need to adjust by either reducing or increasing the amount slightly,
depending on the recipe.
the increasing awareness and demand for these ancient grains, they
can also now be found in a variety of processed cereals, breads,
crackers, and pasta products. Look through your grocery and health
food stores and try substituting a few for some of your wheat-based