I’ve always tried to feed my family the most healthful options I could find, but I found myself in a rut when it came to things like crackers, pasta, bread. Those are fantastic and incredibly easy to use crutches, and the main reason that whole-family-gluten-free, whole-family-paleo, whole family anything didn’t work. Unfortunately.
In the past few months, I’ve been baking most of those crutches from scratch. The bread machine my Grandma (thanks Gramma V, if you’re reading this!) gave me has been getting a work out at least twice a week! I flopped some crackers, succeeded with some crackers, messed up some pasta, made some great pasta. It’s had it’s highs and lows.
I’ve felt a lot better about feeding my kids homemade bread than chemical laden store bought bread, no I’m not being ridiculous – look at the ingredients on your bread. Go now. I’ll wait.
I hate to say I told you so. (Unless you buy some fantastic bread that isn’t available up here in the Alberta north)
Like I said, it makes me feel better to make them homemade bread, but still not great. This lead to more digging around on the internet. I found this stuff called Einkorn. While it’s not gluten free, it is an ancient grain and I am SO excited about it.
It’s been over a year since my IgG allergy testing, and I’ve been re-introducing the no/no foods; dairy and gluten. I don’t feel great, but my Naturopath said I should. Unfortunately, I’m not quite sure I should be, I may stop.
This is why I’m so excited about the Einkorn – while it does contain gluten, it’s a completely un-hybridized, non-GMO, organically grown ancient grain that lacking some of the proteins in durum wheat that cause digestion issues, and many people with gluten sensitivities can actually eat without untoward effects. (Disclaimer: This is NOT to say Celiac sufferers can enjoy Einkorn, they should avoid this also.)
So what is Einkorn Wheat really? It’s one of the oldest known grains, that have been purported to be cultivated some 10,000 years ago, and grown wildly long before humans began to domesticate it.
Einkorn wheat is the grandfather of all modern grain, but there are some distinct differences. Einkorn has a single grain attached to it’s stem. Other modern grains have groups of four grains attached to their stems. The other major difference is the Einkorn wheat is the only wheat species to carry only two (2) sets of chromosomes, and to remain un-hybridized, or cross bred with other wheat species.
Why is it better for me? Einkorn has a higher protein content and higher amount of many minerals than modern hybridized wheat, such as potassium and phosphorus, essential fatty acids, and vitamins, such as Vitamin A and Vitamin B6. It is inherently more nutritious.
It also tends to not react with people with gluten sensitivities. Because the Einkorn wheat has 14 chromosomes vs the 46 of modern wheat the gluten structrure is very different, allowing some people (hopefully me, included) respite from the ill effects of gluten!
Why isn’t it more popular?! While Einkorn is a hearty grain and can survive in poor soils, as one of the ancient grains, it is a covered grain which makes it difficult to separate the husk from the seed. The other downside, or upside, depends from which persepective you are looking, is that it is a low yield crop.
Modern wheat has been hybridized for very specific characteristics, high yield, easy to separate the seed from the husk during harvest, disease and pest resistance, and tolerance to heat and moisture. This sounds great for the farmers and people who sell the wheat, but it sounds kind of bad for us as consumers.
Where do you buy it? There’s a small faction of farmers who have committed to growing Einkorn wheat, and I managed to find one locally!
Daybreak Mill in Estevan, Sk, it a beautiful organic farm that grows and mills their own grains! They have been farming without pesticides, herbicides, AND many fertilizers since the 1960s.
Guys, you have to see this stuff! From the handwritten note on the receipt, to the beautiful packaging, to the included Daybreak Mill swag. It’s awesome – and I ordered it personally, not through the blog, so you know they put this much care and effort into each and every order.
Do you have a favourite Einkorn recipe? I’m always looking to add to my collection!!