There are many ancient grains available for purchase on the Grand Teton Ancient Grains website. Each one is unique in its nutrition and use. Here we will give a brief rundown of each grain and its flour, so you can decide for yourself which grain is best suited for your needs.\
Ancient Grain Flour: Which one’s best for you?
Here is each grain offered by Grand Teton Ancient Grains at a glance. For more information and recipes, continue reading.
- Einkorn– baked goods, bread, cereal, or pasta (requires less liquid and doughs will be sticky)
- Spelt– baked goods, bread, or pasta (replaces wheat in 1:1 ratio)
- Khorasan– pasta, baked goods, cereal (tends to need more liquid in recipes)
- Emmer– pasta, pilafs, and cereals
- Rye– Artisan and sourdough bread, pastry, and cereal
- Quinoa– gluten free baked goods, rice replacement, and soup or salad additive
Einkorn is the oldest and most primitive form of wheat. It is also called farro piccolo, being the smallest grain in the farro family.
Einkorn is a unique and remarkable grain for a few reasons.
Let’s explore a couple of them:
Einkorn ancient grain flour offers an incredible amount of nutrition. Einkorn is high in protein, which may not be something people expect to get from a grain. Proteins are essential for helping build muscles and bones. It also contains a large amount of lipids, which are responsible for energy storage. Einkorn is rich in trace elements like zinc and iron. These elements bolster the immune system and produce red blood cells. Furthermore, Einkorn has a lot of antioxidants, which fight against the aging of cells.
Einkorn has different gluten than wheat. This means that many people who have intolerances or allergies to gluten do much better with Einkorn flour. While that is a benefit, it does mean that bread or baked goods don’t rise as high as we are accustomed to. The flour is also more wet, so it requires less water and is a stickier dough.
If Einkorn sounds like an ancient grain flour you’d be interested in trying, take a look at our online store.
Grand Teton Ancient Grains has both whole grain and all-purpose Einkorn flour available to purchase. While most flour you purchase at the store has had things removed and added to extend its shelf life, at Grand Teton Ancient Grains, we mill the flour within days of receiving your order and get it to you as fast as possible. If you do not intend to use flour right away, we recommend storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
Whole grain flour is what comes straight out of the mill, with all parts of the grain contained within.
Our all-purpose flour contains 85% of the whole grain. Of what is removed, the bulk of it is the bran, which is responsible for much of the color of whole grain flours as well as the rich flavor and a large portion of the fiber and minerals.
Both of our flours have no additives. They are also both 100% organic!
Einkorn ancient grain flour is incredibly versatile. Items made with whole grain flour have a deeper taste as well as slightly more texture. Either flour can be used in breads, muffins, desserts, pastas, and much more.
Prefer to mill your own flour?
Grand Teton Ancient Grains carries Einkorn wheat berries. Berries can be used as a whole grain in pilafs and risottos, as well as breakfast cereals. They can also be milled at home into fresh flour. The benefits of milling your own flour are many.
Einkorn berries are covered in a protective layer that is obviously removed once it goes through the mill. While berries are not likely to spoil quickly, the removal of its protective layers makes it more vulnerable to spoiling and the nutritional benefits begin to diminish. The vitamins contained in Einkorn wheat are negatively impacted by exposure to light and air. It’s also harder to store flour and keep it from going rancid. Many of the flours you buy at the store have the enzymes removed, because they are what cause flour to go bad so quickly. However, enzymes are a very important element of flour. They improve the taste, texture, and aid in digestion.
It’s clear that eating older flour is not nearly as beneficial as eating flour fresh out of the mill. In fact, it may do some harm. A study was done in Germany on rats that indicated that eating older flour and bread made by older flour made the rats infertile after four generations.
Essentially, the faster flour makes it into a recipe, the better.
Spelt, like Einkorn, is in the farro family of wheat. It is called farro grande, because it is the largest of the farro grains. Spelt is also an ancient grain, but it is not as primitive as Einkorn and shares more similarities with modern wheat. It has the same number of chromosomes as modern wheat: 42, and they also share many of the same nutrients.
Spelt is a decent source of protein; although, it doesn’t have as much protein per unit as some of the other ancient grains. It is a very good source of fiber, so regular consumption keeps your digestion on track. Spelt contains the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin, which help your body convert food into fuel. Along with these, it contains essential minerals.
How to use Spelt:
Spelt ancient grain flour behaves in recipes very similarly to modern wheat. It has very similar gluten content and structure, so it can replace wheat flour in a 1:1 ratio in any recipe. Spelt’s slightly sweet and nutty taste lends itself well to breads, cookies, crusts, and many other baked goods. The Spelt berries can also be used in more savory applications like a risotto or as a cereal. For more tips on baking with Spelt, check out this blog post!
Like all ancient grain flours, Spelt is best freshly out of the mill. Grand Teton Ancient Grains has whole Spelt berries available for purchase. These berries can be used as is, or they can be milled in your home. You may be thinking that this doesn’t apply to you, because you don’t have a mill.
You’re in luck:
Three models of the Mockmill by Wolfgang Mock can be purchased from our Grand Teton Ancient Grains online store. The Mockmill is our favorite grain mill, because it produces beautiful stone-ground flour that can be adjusted from a fine powder to a coarse meal, depending on your needs and preferences. The Mockmill grinds grains as well as dry seeds, legumes, rice, and corn.
Khorasan is another ancient variety of wheat also known as Oriental Wheat or its trademarked brand name, Kamut®. In 1960, Bob Quinn and his father Mack discovered Khorasan at a county fair in Montana. They decided to grow the grain for themselves and trademarked it to protect it from modification or hybridization. The flour became popular enough that people associated the grain with the brand name, Kamut®, rather than its grain name, Khorasan. Read more about the story here.
Because it was brought back to the United States as a souvenir from an Egyptian tomb, it was colloquially referred to as King Tut’s Wheat. It was also rumored to be present on Noah’s ark, giving it another nickname: the prophet’s wheat.
Perhaps Noah and King Tut consumed this grain, perhaps they didn’t.
If they did, it was for these reasons:
Khorasan is more primitive and the gluten is different from what we are used to, so those who are sensitive to gluten report fewer or lesser reactions to it. Studies have been done that indicate that Khorasan may contribute to lowering cholesterol as well as decreasing inflammation and better gut health overall.
It also contains a good amount of protein as well as dietary fiber. It’s a good source of B vitamins and some minerals. It’s especially high in the mineral manganese, which does a lot for the body including aiding in the creation of connective tissue and blood clotting factors.
Khorasan is quite a large grain with a rich, sweet, almost buttery flavor. Its popular uses include pastas, breads, and pilafs, as well as other baked goods.
Kamut® all-purpose flour is available for purchase from other sources, but it has had the bran and other things removed–indicated by the white color. Freshly ground Khorasan retains its bran and, therefore, color as well as more of its nutrients.
It does tend to be a drier grain, so recipes made with Khorasan or its flour may require more liquid. Since it contains different gluten, the texture of things made with Khorasan flour may be slightly dense and crumbly. It’s related to and falls under the class of durum wheat, so it does very well in pastas. Visit the Grand Teton Ancient Grains store to purchase organic Khorasan berries.
Emmer (or Farro) is another wheat in the Farro family, known as farro medio. Farro can be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians and beyond. In fact, an interesting thing about Emmer is that its use was the most widespread of the ancient grains, before it was replaced by Spelt and other higher-yielding grains.
Emmer is a rich source of protein and fiber, like so many ancient grains. It also contains zinc, which is helpful in fighting off illness as well as being critical for human body development. It is also a different structure of gluten, so it is easier on the digestive system, especially for those whose bodies struggle to digest gluten.
Emmer doesn’t contain the D chromosome (along with Einkorn and Khorasan), which studies have indicated is responsible for causing the majority of people’s inflammatory responses to wheat.
Emmer is a medium sized grain and tastes soft, earthy, and nutty. It has different gluten with a weaker structure, so things baked with Emmer flour tend to be dense and don’t hold together as well. However, as a durum wheat, Emmer does well in pastas. Its berries are also extremely popular for use in pilafs and cereals.
Rye ancient grain is closely related to wheat and barley. The origins of Rye as well as its use by humans are unclear. Scientists are conflicted about when it first became a domesticated grain, but there’s evidence of it in use anciently and beyond alongside wheat.
Nutritionally, Rye has many similarities to the other ancient grains. Protein, fiber, and B vitamins it has in abundance. Rye is also high in manganese as well as phosphorus, which is necessary for the production of cells and DNA. It’s also among the ancient grains with a lower amount of gluten than modern wheat.
What’s great about Rye:
Rye has a large variety of uses. Cracked Rye can be used in place of steel cut oats or cracked wheat. Rye flakes are quite similar to rolled oats.
Rye flour is extremely popular for bread making. Perhaps the most well known bread made from Rye flour is pumpernickel. Although Rye flour (depending on how much bran is kept in the flour) is darker than wheat, the reason pumpernickel is so dark is because molasses is added to the bread. The popular strong, earthy, and malty flavor, however, comes from the Rye itself. Rye contains less and different gluten, so it doesn’t rise as much as Spelt or modern wheat. It is still very popular to use Rye for artisan and sourdough breads due to its unique color and taste.
Something to consider when baking with Rye flour, is that the high enzyme content can mess with the texture and rise on the bread. Some bakers counteract this by refrigerating the dough to slow the process or by making the dough more acidic (i.e. adding yogurt). Those same enzymes make Rye an excellent choice for sourdough, because they aid in the fermentation process. Read more about Rye and sourdough here.
Rye flour produces baked goods with a chewy but tender texture, so it also does very well in pastries. Purchase your own Rye berries, so you can discover its versatility for yourself!
Quinoa is one of the more well known ancient grains; although, it is technically a seed. It’s the first ancient grain with origins in South America: hailing from the Andes mountains and the Incan civilization. While it is most commonly found as a light colored round grain, it can be almost any color–black and red are the next most popular varieties.
Quinoa was dubbed a super food and crop, because of its dense nutrition and its sustainability.
What’s super about Quinoa:
First, Quinoa thrives even in harsh climates and environments, making it a great grain to grow almost anywhere. Scientists even say that Quinoa could help solve the world’s hunger problem.
Quinoa is also a source of many vitamins and minerals including manganese, phosphorus, magnesium (muscle and nerve function), folate (creation and function of DNA and other genetic material), and thiamin (energy and metabolic function).
It is also a complete protein, which means that it contains all nine amino acids that are essential for our bodies, and it has more fiber than any grain. It’s also a good source of healthy fats.
Quinoa is completely gluten free, so it is safe for anyone with a wheat or gluten intolerance or allergy. It’s also safe for those with Celiac Disease.
The most popular uses for Quinoa are as a more nutritious rice replacement or incorporated into soups or salads. As it is completely gluten free and with a mild flavor, Quinoa flour is an excellent option in breads and pastas for those who can’t or would prefer not to consume gluten.
The texture of breads baked with Quinoa ancient grain flour is more crumbly than those made with grains containing gluten. That is to be expected because gluten is essentially the sticky stuff that holds everything together. Toasted, bread made with Quinoa flour still hits the spot.
Pasta made with Quinoa does very well with fewer textural differences from more mainstream pasta than its bread. Many people who don’t have negative reactions to gluten or wheat still choose to use it purely because of the health benefits. Shop Quinoa here!
Each and every ancient grain available at Grand Teton Ancient Grains has so many unique benefits. The consumption of any one or all of them would positively impact your health. They are all so versatile and there are so many recipes using each one, that none of them would gather dust in your pantry.