Baking With Spelt Flour
A Diet Alternative that Helps Keep Blood Sugar Levels More Stable
For many people, giving up baked goods is too horrible to even
consider. For those of us with type 2 diabetes
though, breads and other baked goodies can cause a blood sugar spike. That's where
baking with spelt
may be able to help as a
natural way to control blood sugar
This article may contain affiliate links. When you purchase through links on this site, I may earn a
small commission at no extra cost to you.
What is Spelt?
Spelt is an ancient grain that is distantly related to the wheat
that's commonly sold in the grocery stores. Spelt contains much less gluten than
regular wheat, but it is not gluten-free so it may not be a suitable
choice for people with a sensitivity to gluten.
Spelt has more protein and fiber than regular wheat flour. It contains
a wider range of nutrients, plus it's also highly-water soluble, making
it easier to digest.
How is Spelt Beneficial to People with Type 2 Diabetes?
Spelt has a low glycemic index.
That means that it allows for a gentler and more modulated increase
in blood sugar rather than a quick and dramatic spike. It has a higher
fiber content that also helps to lower LDL cholesterol levels (the 'bad'
Does It Taste Like Flour?
Some people say spelt has a 'nutty' flavor and tastes a little 'sweeter'. Others don't
really notice any difference in taste from regular flour. Breads and baked goods made with
spelt tend to feel softer than those made with wheat flour.
Where Do I Buy It?
Organic spelt, both light (or 'white') spelt flour
and whole spelt flour,
can be found in the health food stores or in the natural foods section
of some grocery stores. Sometimes it can also be found in bulk bins.
And of course you can buy spelt flour online.
Spelt Baking Tips
It is generally easier to bake with light spelt flour,
but whole spelt flour
will work too.
- In most recipes, you can substitute spelt for wheat flour approximately one-to-one.
For example, if a recipe calls for 2 cups of wheat flour, you can
substitute 2 cups of spelt.
- Baking with spelt requires less water than it would with common wheat.
Use a little less liquid when using spelt (I normally decrease it around
10% to 20%, depending on the recipe... or put in a little extra spelt).
- Spelt has less gluten than regular wheat flour. To add structure
and a bit of 'loft' to the finished baked product, consider adding an
extra egg for every cup or two of spelt used as well as an extra 1/2
tsp of baking powder.
If you're using all whole spelt
(rather than light spelt,
or a mixture of the two), the finish baked product may be too dense unless
you add something like Xanthan Gum
(note: not everyone can tolerate Xanthan Gum!). I typically use 3/4 to
1 tsp of Xanthan Gum per cup of whole spelt.
- The gluten in spelt is fragile. That means it is possible to
over-mix or over-knead! Three to four minutes of mixing should be plenty
(don't under-mix, either, or the finished product may be too crumbly).
- For even more fiber, consider a mixture of spelt and coconut flour
in your baking.
- Spelt can also be used in cooking, ie. for breading, to thicken sauces, etc.
However, it's best used at moderate and low temperatures rather than in high-temperature
Baked Goods - Recipes Made With Spelt
There are lots of tasty recipes specifically designed to use spelt.
But it's also pretty easy to substitute spelt for common wheat in most recipes.
Here are a few favorites, including a couple that combine spelt and coconut flours:
Baking with spelt comes with so many benefits. You don't have to give up taste,
either, since spelt is delicious! Of course, the use of spelt flour isn't a cure
for diabetes, and it's still necessary to continue the
set out by your doctor and diabetes educator.
The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience,
and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual
situation should be directed to your doctor.