All About Einkorn
If you have never heard of einkorn wheat, you are not alone! I had only heard about it recently from a fellow food blogger. I decided to check it out for myself. Here are a few things to know about einkorn wheat...
Einkorn is the original wheat. It was first cultivated by man 12,000 years ago. It is the only wheat on the market that is non-hybridized. Please note: the wheat we are familiar with today, such as hard red wheat, hard or soft white wheat, spelt, etc. are not genetically modified; they are hybrids. There is currently no genetically modified wheat available for purchase anywhere in the world, but it is in development.
Einkorn is naturally much lower in gluten than modern wheats, which is why some people with gluten intolerances are able to handle einkorn. Einkorn has only 14 chromosomes, while modern wheat has 42. As wheat has been developed over the years, it has been hybridized to increase the gluten, which gives breads and other baked goods that nice, fluffy rise. Einkorn is much smaller than modern wheats; it is shown here on the right next to soft white wheat berries.
Einkorn has higher nutrient values than modern wheat in almost every way. Einkorn has more magnesium, B vitamins, iron, fiber, zinc, and protein, and that's just a few examples.
I am always looking for the purest, most wholesome forms of real food, so for all of the reasons listed above, I wanted to try einkorn for myself. One of the leaders in bringing back einkorn wheat is Jovial, and they generously sent me wheat berries and spaghetti pasta to try. Jovial works with small, sustainable farmers to carefully cultivate and preserve this ancient wheat.
First, I tried the spaghetti. If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I do not like pasta. I eat white pasta a couple of times a year, but I just can't stand the taste of whole wheat pasta, which is made from durum wheat. I generally think that whole wheat pasta is too bitter and well, wheaty tasting. However, I am pleased to say that einkorn pasta is delicious! It is more hearty than white pasta, but lacks the bitterness and heaviness of durum whole wheat.
My next mission was to make a couple of things from the einkorn wheat berries, which I ground into flour. For lunch I made BBQ Beef Biscuits (recipe here) and later made Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe here) for dessert. I was thrilled that both turned out just as as they did when I have used other kinds of hard and soft wheat. Einkorn holds up well. It tastes similar to soft white wheat (also known as whole wheat pastry flour). It's just ever so slightly sweet but is not noticable in savory recipes, and once again, no bitterness. So far, no recipes using einkorn have needed any measurement adjustments.
Because it does so well in cooking and baking, and because of its fantastic nutritional profile, I've decided to switch to einkorn. I ordered 25 pounds of einkorn wheat berries, which is typical for me when ordering wheat berries. I am ready for baking season, but I am also just really excited to start using einkorn for everyday normal use.