Better known as “Mother Nature’s original wheat,” einkorn flour may be tolerable for those who are sensitive to conventional wheat.
Want a flat tummy and strong digestive system? Then avoid anything with wheat flour. That’s the advice most nutritionists and health coaches preach to their followers.
That means no to most breads and other baked goods and pasta. Without doubt, that’s sage dietary advice. Especially for those who overindulge starchy carbohydrates.
But are health gurus lumping all wheat in the same basket? Just like all meat isn’t of the same quality—bacon vs. grass fed beef, for example—not all wheat is created equal.
In fact, wheat that comes from einkorn flour recipes, might just be good for you. Unfortunately, almost all wheat products sold in your local market are not made with einkorn.
Still, it is possible to purchase it. And here’s why you should if you’re craving carbs but want to eat a healthy type of flour….
Why is einkorn flour better for you?
Einkorn flour comes from the archetype wheat. It just might humanity’s original flour. And approximately 10,000 years after its initial cultivation, it’s still possible to eat this genetically non-hybrid wheat.
But what makes wheat products from this flour healthier?
Modern wheat is drastically different from einkorn. The processing of modern wheat has transformed gluten into an allergy-inducing nightmare nutrient.
Einkorn (loosely interpreted from German as ‘single grain’ ) is better for you because the gluten is different from the gluten molecules in conventional wheat flour.
The gluten in einkorn flour contains smaller molecules. It’s the large protein-rich molecules in gluten that many people have trouble digesting.
And it’s not only the size of the gluten molecules that makes einkorn superior for health. There’s simply less of it in einkorn in comparison to modern wheat.
Furthermore, einkorn flour recipes contain more vitamins and minerals than modern wheat.
Einkorn has nearly a third more protein than modern wheat. Also, einkorn contains 15% less starch. And, it’s also richer in B vitamins, zinc and iron and antioxidants.
A word of caution, though, if you have Celiac disease: unfortunately, einkorn is not safe to eat.
Is Einkorn Flour Paleo-Friendly?
It depends. People who eat strict Paleo probably pass on einkorn. But that’s assuming that you should avoid all grains on a Paleo diet.
This assumption stems from the belief that early humans did not eat grains. Instead, ancient humans were hunter gatherers.
However, there is some overlap of einkorn cultivation and the Paleolithic era. The Paleo era ended roughly 10,000 years ago. Einkorn cereal is believed to have been harvested at least 17,000 years ago.
In light of this, if einkorn is good enough for latter Paleo man, it’s probably not going to give you a wheat belly.
Does einkorn flour taste different?
Taste, of course, is subjective. But many people who consume einkorn prefer its taste over modern wheat flour.
Einkorn flour has a fuller, grainier taste. Many conventional wheat products lack taste altogether. Maybe with the exception of sweet because of the healthy added sugars and corn syrup.
What makes einkorn taste different than modern wheat is the processing.
Modern wheat processing involves threshing. Threshing is when the the edible part of wheat separates from the indigestible chaff. Next, the grain undergoes winnowing. Winnowing separates the chaff from the wheat grain.
Einkorn differs from modern wheat because its grains are smaller and sealed with very tough husks. Because of this, einkorn harvests are much smaller than modern wheat varieties. So, even though einkorn flour is healthier for you than wheat (including whole wheat), it’s not in most foods because the grain yield is much smaller.
Where is Einkorn grown?
Traditional einkorn grows in the mountains of Northwest Africa, Europe, including Italy, and Russia. In general, it grows in climates harsher than where mainstream wheat thrives. Einkorn also grows in the western U.S. and Canada.
Another reason Einkorn flour is a drop in the bucket in comparison to modern wheat is that it’s difficult to farm. As climate change produces hotter and drier summers in some regions, einkorn grains shrink. And they’re smaller to begin with than modern wheat. In light of this, already small yields (compared to conventional wheat) get smaller.
Nonetheless, the remarkable thing about einkorn is it’s still grown very similarly to how it was cultivated thousands of years ago.
Jovial einkorn flour
Jovial is one of the leading brands of einkorn products. This includes einkorn flour. The brand is the creation of a husband and wife, Rodolfo and Carla. The couple’s daughter was previously suffering from several maladies.
Upon discovering their daughter’s illnesses were due to modern wheat sensitivity, Carla and Rodolfo sought to discover healing foods and offer them to the public. Einkorn is one of those foods.
Carla and Rodolfo are part of a team in Italy that in essence was resurrecting ancient seeds from obsolescence.
Jovial organic sprouted wheat flour is grown on small family-run farms in Italy. The amino acids, and other nutrients increase from the sprouting process. And great news if you are watching your starchy carb intake: the amount of starch decreases as a result of sprouting einkorn. Not only that, a nutrient that interferes with your digestion—phytic acid—also decreases.
There are 4 grams of protein in Jovial organic einkorn flour. The protein is easy to digest, also because of the sprouting process.
In addition to flour, Jovial sells several styles of pasta such as spaghetti and rigatoni made with einkorn.
Einkorn wheat berries
The berries that come from einkorn are the whole grain. Or, in other words, the seed. Farmers mill the seed into flour. Einkorn wheat berries contain two nutritious parts that are missing in modern wheat: the germ and bran.
If you love cooking and miss eating grains, consider using einkorn wheat berries in your recipes. According to Jovial’s website, you can prepare wheat berries like brown rice or risotto. You can even use them in soups.
And if you want to make your own flour from the wheat berries, all you need is a counter-top mill.
Einkorn wheat berries require no other prep if you’re going to use them for baking. That’s because einkorn wheat grows in a hull. This hull is does not separate from the kernel when the farmers harvests it.
Einkorn berries are the result of a delicate, expensive dehulling process. That’s why it’s difficult to grow your own einkorn. But you can easily buy einkorn berries online. And if you are an avid DIY sprouter, you can try your hand at sprouting your own einkorn berries.
According to Einkorn.com, there’s no einkorn seed suppliers in the United States. Einkorn not too long ago was virtually on the brink of extinction. Not too many people were interested in its cultivation. And though, today, it’s experiencing a rediscovery of sorts, it’s supply is still miniscule.
If you are interested in growing your own einkorn, there are companies in North America that sell it. One such company–Prairie Garden Seeds—is located in Saskatchewan, Canada. Good luck growing your own einkorn. You’ll need it. And a very expensive dehulling machine.
Einkorn Flour: Conclusion
If you’re cooking low carb recipes, as long as you can limit your other carbs, there’s no reason why you should not use Einkorn flour. Unless you need to eat a Ketogenic diet for medical purposes, this is the healthy wheat flour you’ve been waiting for!