Spelt or spelt flour is a common replacement for wheat flour in bread, cookies, pasta, pies, cakes, etc. Since the taste and texture of spelt are the same as wheat, is it similar in gluten content too?
A lot of people choose spelt over wheat flour thinking that it is gluten free. However, things are a bit different. Is spelt gluten free?
No, spelt is not gluten free. Spelt belongs to the same gluten grain family as barley and wheat; hence, it is not safe for anyone facing gluten intolerance.
Read on to know why spelt is not the right grain for celiacs, what possible side effects it could have, and most importantly, why it is not gluten free.
Table of Contents
What is Spelt? Is Spelt Gluten Free?
Spelt is a gluten grain similar to wheat and barley. It mainly comprises carbs, has the same elasticity, and works as a binding agent. No, spelt is not gluten free since the grain contains gluten and belongs to the same gluten grain family.
Spelt, also known as Triticum Spelta, is actually a form of wheat, and people used it as a wheat substitute for making bread, pasta, cookies, pies, etc. Spelt is considered to provide more essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. People often consider spelt to be a healthier alternative to wheat.
Nutritional Value of Spelt
As I mentioned earlier, Spelt flour is a healthier alternative to wheat flour and offers more nutrition. Spelt flour has a nutty and slightly tangy flavor, making it the perfect substitute for wheat flour.
Spelt grains are mainly carbohydrates, and it’s a great source of dietary fiber as well. Besides, spelt contains other essential vitamins and minerals like- vitamins B1, B3, B6, E, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, selenium, zinc, etc.
One cup of cooked spelt contains-
Is Spelt Healthy? Health Benefits of Spelt
Spelt is rich in numerous vitamins and minerals, which are essential for our body’s healthy growth. Following are some of the common health benefits of spelt–
#1. May Improve Digestion
The fiber content in spelt helps promote a healthy digestive system by improving the health of healthy bacteria. It also helps reduce inflammation. Consuming more fiber also reduces the risk of diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, etc.
#2. Helps with Weight Loss
Fiber rich grains like spelt help with weight management and may help in weight loss. It also prevents the risk of obesity.
#3. Reduces the Risks of Heart Diseases
The nutrients in spelt help reduce cholesterol levels, which in turn helps reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
#4. Curtails the Risks of Diabetes
Fiber rich grains like spelt help reduce the chances of diabetes. Fiber slows down digestion which reduces the sudden surge in blood sugar levels.
Gluten Free Substitutes for Spelt
Even though spelt provides multiple health benefits, it’s not celiac friendly. If anyone with gluten allergies consumes spelt, they might deal with gluten reactions; therefore, it’s best to look for gluten free spelt substitutes.
Mentioned below are some of the best gluten free substitutes to spelt celiacs or anyone with gluten intolerance can easily consume-
#1. Rice Flour
Rice flour is an easily accessible and affordable substitute for spelt. Rice flour is made from either white or brown rice, and it’s entirely gluten free. You can use rice flour as a thickening agent in soups and stews. Rice flour is great to use in baked goods too.
#2. Oat Flour
Oat flour is another great substitute for spelt. Oat flour contains essential vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. Oat flour contains beta-glucan, which is an important fiber that helps reduce cholesterol levels.
Oat flour has a slightly nutty, sweet flavor that is best to use in baked goods and other recipes.
#3. Buckwheat Flour
Buckwheat flour is a healthier and gluten free alternative to buckwheat flour. Buckwheat flour contains high amounts of fiber, minerals, vitamins, and protein. Buckwheat flour is great for making cookies, noodles, cakes, etc.
#4. Quinoa Flour
You can use quinoa flour instead of spelt flour. Quinoa seed does not contain gluten, so people having issues digesting gluten can safely consume quinoa. Quinoa contains a higher amount of dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, etc.
#5. Amaranth Flour
Amaranth flour is again another gluten free substitute for spelt flour. It’s made from amaranth seeds which are rich in protein, iron, fiber, etc. Amaranth flour has a slightly sweet and crispy texture. Amaranth flour is great to use for baking, thickening soups, gravies, etc.
Does Spelt Flour Have Less Gluten?
Yes, spelt flour has less gluten compared to wheat flour which is why it can be more easily broken down. But it causes the same allergic reactions to anyone dealing with gluten or wheat allergies.
Is Spelt Gluten Different?
No, spelt gluten is not different. It’s the same as barley or wheat, and anyone with issues digesting gluten should avoid spelt.
What Flour Has No Gluten?
Flours like- rice flour, quinoa flour, oat flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, buckwheat flour, almond flour, etc., are gluten free.
Is Spelt Inflammatory?
No, spelt is not inflammatory. In fact, the dietary fiber in spelt may help to reduce inflammation by promoting healthy digestion.
That’s everything you need to know about spelt or spelt flour. As stated, spelt is not gluten free, so there is no way celiacs can have it. You should instead go for gluten free substitutes to spelt flour to avoid gluten allergies.
Let us know if you still have any queries, and keep following Nothing Gluten to get regular updates on gluten free food.