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Spelt – the Wonder Wheat!!!

January 2, 2013

Finally.  Baking GREAT Low Fodmap Bread!

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This 2 lb bag cost me about $5.50 at Kroger, which is cheaper than the Gluten Free flour I was using.

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Spelt is apparently a wonder wheat for those of us on Low Fodmap.  In the layman terms of food chemists, spelt is an ancient cousin of wheat.  It is usually clumped into the same category as wheat, but it’s food chemistry is different– which means… LOW FODMAP!  Apparently, the fructans that are in the normal wheat grain are not in the spelt grain.

This can be very confusing because most 100% spelt products say “Contains Wheat” on the package ingredients (probably to warn those who avoid gluten).  In reality, products that are truly 100% spelt do not have fructans!  Now, if you are avoiding gluten (the protein), not just fructans (the sugar), then spelt is not for you.  But, for those of us who are not gluten intolerant, it is very exciting!  Apparently, spelt flour recipes bake very similarly to wheat flour recipes! (Warning: double check the ingredients to make sure there are no added fructans like wheat flour, honey, inulin, etc.)

I am SOO excited to give this a try!  Now that I am home from Christmas vacation, I’m going to try spelt chocolate chip cookies and spelt bread.  I will let you know how they turn out!

Here’s the research:  from Feb 2011

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21332832
Most notably: “Fifty-five commonly consumed grains, breakfast cereals, breads, pulses and biscuits were analysed. Total fructan were the most common short-chain carbohydrate present in cereal grain products and ranged (g per portion as eaten) from 1.12 g in couscous to 0 g in rice; 0.6 g in dark rye bread to 0.07 g in spelt bread; 0.96 g in wheat-free muesli to 0.11 g in oats; and 0.81 g in muesli fruit bar to 0.05 g in potato chips. Raffinose and stachyose were most common in pulses.”

In order of lowest to high fructan content:

  1. 0.00 g  rice
  2. 0.05 g  potato chips
  3. 0.07 g  spelt bread
  4. 0.11  g  oats
  5. 0.60 g  dark rye bread
  6. 0.81 g  muesli fruit bar
  7. 0.96 g  wheat-free muesli
  8. 1.12  g  couscous
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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Amanda permalink
    January 23, 2013 10:19 am

    Hi from Australia! I’ve been on a low FODMAP diet for several years & am regularly baking with spelt flour. It seems ideal for biscuits and heavier cakes. such as carrot, banana, “pound cake” etc. It doesn’t seem to be as “strong” in gluten content compared with heathen flours typically used in pasta or bread. I have had variable results with bread, more consistent results (though still variable) with pastry but never tried making pasta with it. I have purchased commercial spelt pasta (very dark brown & heavy… not great) and lots of good commercial spelt bread (especially sourdough). I have found that different brands of spelt flour seem to have higher wholegrain content which can sometimes result in denser results or need extra liquid added. In Australia I can purchase “white spelt” instead of “wholemeal spelt” flour. Happy baking!

    • January 23, 2013 3:23 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Amanda! It’s great to hear the success you’ve had. I can’t wait for Low Fodmap to become a more popular diet in America because maybe we’ll finally get some products we can buy from the store and eat no problem!

  2. Jeff permalink
    September 25, 2015 9:17 am

    The researchers from Monash University who came up with the low-fodmap diet blogged on the topic of spelt. They recommend spelt pasta only at half a cup per serving. On the other hand, spelt bread made with sourdough is better tolerated.

    http://fodmapmonash.blogspot.de/2015/03/are-all-spelt-products-low-in-fodmaps.html

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