I’m in love with spelt.
In case you don’t know, spelt is an ancient cousin of wheat; that is, it’s related to wheat but its not the same as wheat. As you may have heard by now, wheat may not be right for everyone’s digestive tract, but luckily even some who can’t tolerate wheat may be able to tolerate spelt just fine.
Spelt is not like wheat in that it hasn’t been domesticated and hybridized for couple thousand years (or at least since the time of the Pharos in Egypt a lá the story of Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors).
Spelt is also not the most heavily pesticided crop in the U.S., as wheat may be. And it has a more soluable gluten molecule than wheat does; in fact, it may be more easily digested and less allergenic than wheat may be.
Spelt is like wheat in that spelt flour often works well as a replacement for wheat in recipes for baked goods like pasta, pretzels, bread, and even matzah, a fact a number of enterprising companies have figured out.
If you are sensitive to wheat, how do you know if you can tolerate spelt?
Here are the ways I know of to figure this out:
- Take the MRT food sensitivity test. The MRT tests both wheat and spelt but it is not a definitive celiac test. That is a different test. The MRT is 94% accurate and assesses 120 foods and 30 additives and preservatives that are rampant in our food supply.
- Do Muscle Response Testing with a trained practitioner. Many alternative medicine practitioners are trained in Muscle Response Testing and can make an educated assessment. It may seem unscientific, though, and if this bothers you, you should consider the state-of-the-art MRT instead.
- Get tested for celiac disease. If this is positive, it is you may not be able to tolerate spelt after all. But, only 7% of the population is celiac, so it may just be more likely that you may be sensitive to wheat rather than to all gluten. Which may leave spelt available to you. In which case a happy dance may be in order.
Check out my next post for a delicious recipe for baking 100% spelt bread in a bread machine.