Cooking with Whole Grain Flours

Cooking with Whole Grain Flours

Learning to bake with whole grain flours can positively transform your diet in many ways. My favorite flour to cook with is spelt flour and here’s why I love it.

I first started cooking with spelt flour because my daughter, who had a gluten intolerance for many years, could eat baked goods made with spelt without any problems. Even though spelt contains gluten, she, likely many other people with a gluten intolerance, was able to digest it without difficulty. Unfortunately, this tolerance does not apply to people with celiac disease.

As I began cooking with spelt, I learned to love its wholesome flavor. More filling than regular flour, it adds a nutty and slightly sweet taste to many baking recipes. I prefer it to whole wheat flour, white flour and most of the rice-based gluten free flours.

Besides its taste advantages over traditional flour, spelt has health advantages as well. The fiber content of whole grain spelt flour is four times the amount of traditional baking flour. And, though it has a similar number of carbohydrate calories as traditional all-purpose flour, the additional fiber, antioxidants and vitamins in the whole grain spelt flour make it a healthier choice.

Before you go baking and eating all the whole grain desserts you can get your hands on, I want to make one point clear. Even though higher fiber, whole grain flours are healthier baking choices than traditional flours, don’t eat too many slices of my whole wheat pumpkin bread or too many of my spooky spelt pancakes, no matter how good they taste. Remember to control your portions, even if your base cooking ingredients are healthy.

I hope you have had a chance to share my love of these flours (especially spelt flour) by cooking the recipes from the last two weeks. (Here’s the delicious recipes if you missed them: A chocolate chip pumpkin bread recipe using whole wheat flour that can just as easily be made with spelt and a Halloween themed spelt pancake recipe )

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Want to learn about whole grains? The Harvard School of Public Health has a great article on the benefits of eating them. 

You can’t just substitute spelt flour into a recipe that calls for all-purpose flour. Wiki-how has some great tips for how to make that substitution work.




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