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Growing in Europe for over 9000 years, spelt is an ancient grain with references even in the Old Testament. It was brought by Swiss immigrants to Eastern Ohio several hundred years ago, but was virtually abandoned as a crop in the 20th century as farmers pursued wheat higher yields and productivity. Spelt has only recently regained popularity, offered as a wheat alternative in the health food market.
Many people who are allergic to wheat can tolerate spelt. Spelt has 15-21% more protein than wheat, and also contains higher amounts of complex carbohydrates, iron, potassium, and B vitamins. Spelt is also often easier to digest than wheat. Spelt can replace wheat in muffin, cookie, cake, pasta and bread recipes and requires ¼less water as traditional wheat recipes. Spelt is also an organic friendly product, since its thick, protective husk serves as a natural barrier for pests, making it easier to grown using organic methods.