Type 2 Diabetes Guide

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 , though, breads and other baked goodies can cause a blood sugar spike. That's where may be able to help as a .

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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 . 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' cholesterol).

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 cooking.

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.