Ancient Wheat For Those Who Are Gluten-Sensitive — And A Food Gal Giveaway

Italian cookies made with specialty einkorn flour.

Italian cookies made with specialty einkorn flour.

 

It’s a flour that has 30 percent more protein than modern wheat, along with ample amounts of B vitamins and iron.

But that’s not the only reason you should get to know einkorn. It’s also reportedly the world’s most ancient wheat and the only type to never have been hybridized.

What’s more, the gluten in einkorn lacks the high molecular weight proteins that many people can’t digest. If you are sensitive to modern wheat, einkorn can provide a delicious alternative.

Carla Bartolucci and her husband started growing it in northern Italy seven years ago, after discovering that their daughter, who has gluten sensitivity, was able to eat pasta, bread, and other baked goods made with einkorn with no adverse effect. Today, the family is the largest grower of einkorn in the world.

They sell the flour, as well as products made from it under the Jovial brand. I had a chance to try samples recently, all of which are made in Italy.

The cookies are definitely Italian-style — quite crisp and dry, and barely sweet. They are ideal for enjoying with coffee or tea or dessert wine. The Organic Checkerboard ones are pretty to look at, and taste of cocoa.  Two cookies have 120 calories. The Organic Ginger Spice have that characteristic musky taste of powdered ginger, along with a dash of cinnamon. The ginger taste is pretty subtle, well, at least to me, a ginger addict. Two ginger cookies have 150 calories.

Products made with the ancient wheat.

Products made with the ancient wheat.

Organic Sourdough Einkorn Tomato Basil crackers.

Organic Sourdough Einkorn Tomato Basil crackers.

The sourdough crackers have a great crunch with a clean finish, perhaps owing to the fact that no chemical leavening agents are used. In fact, one batch takes nearly 24 hours to make. The Rosemary Organic Sourdough cracker is redolent of the resiny herb. The Tomato Basil Organic Sourdough cracker would be right at home alongside a bowl of tomato soup. The crackers have just a pinch of sea salt, too, to bring out their flavors without being overly salty. I only wish they were a little larger in size so that it would be easier to enjoy them topped with a slice of cheese or salumi. One serving of 18 of the small crackers have 130 calories.

The Organic Einkorn Fusilli is made with 80 percent of the whole grain, with some of the bran and germ removed. As such, it’s more tender and less dense than full-on whole wheat pasta. It cooks up easily, and has a subtle taste of grain.

Fusilli pasta made with einkorn.

Fusilli pasta made with einkorn.

Cooked up with sausage, zucchini, garlic, tomatoes and basil.

Cooked up with sausage, zucchini, garlic, tomatoes and basil.

Bartolucci also wrote a cookbook, Einkorn: Recipes for Nature’s Original Wheat,which is a great resource if you want to bake with the ancient flour because it does take a practiced hand. Einkorn absorbs liquids and fats more slowly. Over-mixing it can cause it to be quite sticky, too. Jovial is selling the cookbook for $18.75, which includes a free 2-pound bag of whole-grain or all-purpose einkorn flour (and free shipping) to get you started.

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Additionally, for those who are gluten-intolerant, Jovial also makes a few select products that are gluten-free.

CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a $75 gift card to Jovial that can be used toward the cookbook, einkorn flour, einkorn products or anything else on the web site.

Entries, limited to those in the United States, will be accepted through midnight PST Aug. 3. Winner will be announced Aug. 5.

How to win?

Just tell me why you most want to try this ancient variety of wheat. Best answer wins the gift card.

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More: Classic Cream Scones Made With Einkorn

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