Secret Ingredient: Einkorn, a Grain to Get to Know
Now that the holidays (and food-related excesses) are behind us, it’s time to focus on our health. More than a few of us have an “Eating Clean” resolution on our agenda this year. Which is why it’s completely apropos to introduce you to Einkorn wheat, an ancient species of hulled wheat. Einkorn, which ISN’T corn (translates precisely to “single grain” from German) is man’s first form of cultivated wheat, grown by farmers over 10,000 years ago. Historically, we know that Einkorn has been forgotten and has been passed over for higher yielding and more glutinous (for bread-making) wheat crops.
But today, there is good reason to reintroduce this grain in our diet as testing that reveals Einkorn to be a much more nutritious grain. Genetically speaking, Einkorn is the purest form of wheat. It contains higher levels of protein, essential fatty acids, phosphorous, potassium, pyridoxine (B6), lutein and beta-carotene (lutein). For those with a gluten intolerance, there is evidence that the gliadin protein of Einkorn may not be as toxic as that of regular, modern wheat.
Einkorn is still so “new” to us that it is not widely available. You order buy Einkorn wheat berries (though you would have to mill them yourself!) or Einkorn flour from the GrowSeed.org website. Einkorn.com also sells the wheat berries (but not the flour) and mentions a few recipes for Einkorn based bread product.
Personally, because I’m just never going to be that granola, I’m going the easy route and trying the Einkorn pasta (cook like any other pasta- easy!) from Jovial products, the only brand which offers 100% organic whole grain Einkorn pasta. You can find Jovial Einkorn pastas at Whole Foods or online at Amazon.
Santé to all in 2011!