Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Einkorn Wheat Berries are in!
We are now offering certified organic einkorn wheat berries exclusively through our online store. A wheat berry is the entire kernel which includes the bran, germ and endosperm. Unlike modern wheat, einkorn grows with a protective husk that must be removed before milling. Once the husk is removed, we do not polish or pearl the kernel, so you truly get a 100% whole grain product. Jovial einkorn wheat berries are grown on just one pristine farm, where we clean and package the grain so you are eating directly from farm to table. And what a farm it is! You can really feel good about where this product comes from- an area of Tuscany that is clean and where the rolling hills are stunning, just like a dream.
Einkorn wheat berries are similar to what some call farro, but farro is made from the emmer variety of wheat and our wheat berries are 100% einkorn. This gets a bit tricky because in Italy, they can call both spelt and emmer farro, so you cannot always be sure of what you are getting (Triticum Dicoccum for emmer and Triticum Spelta for Spelt). There are very big difference between einkorn, emmer and spelt. If you are interested in learning more details, we have more details on our website.
Wheat berries can be used in a variety of ways and stay fresh in an air-tight container or refrigerated if you live in a very warm climate. They are a great ingredient to have on hand in your pantry because they provide convenient, super nutrition. Cook like brown rice, with no soaking required. Cooking time is roughly 30 minutes or much less in a pressure cooker. You can add a bit of butter, extra virgin olive oil, pesto, tomato sauce or tamari on top and serve as a nutritious side dish and important source of protein (9g per serving). Use them as a substitute for rice in risotto, using the same cooking method. You can also add them to a cold salad for added protein and fiber or cool them down and make a cold wheat berry salad with beans and vegetables.
Crack the wheat berries in a food processor, blender or Vita Mix and use as bulgur in Tabouleh. One of our favorites ways to enjoy einkorn wheat berries is to crack and cook them like steel cut oats for a breakfast that will keep you full for hours. What a great way to start an important day of school or work. You can change things up by cracking rice and einkorn together, or adding other grains too. If you grind the berries finer, you will have warm breakfast cereal that is similar to cream of wheat with oat bran all in one. Einkorn was eaten by the Romans in this very same way! A true breakfast of champions.
Grind the berries in a grain mill for 100% whole wheat einkorn flour. You will not be able to do this in a food processor, so consider that it is an investment to get a grain mill. If you do want to make this investment, do your research and consider getting very good equipment. We will not sell 100% whole wheat einkorn flour because once milled, the wheat germ quickly deteriorates and the flour can become rancid. Commercial millers often treat the whole grain flour with heat to stabilize the germ, but we do not believe in this practice. Our packaged organic einkorn flour is 81% of the whole grain, which is called high extraction flour.
You can lighten freshly milled 100% whole wheat flour by using a fine mesh flour sieve. This separates the larger pieces of bran that can used for muffins or to dust the top of a loaf of bread before baking. The sifted bran will look like this.
Below, you can see the difference of both types of flours mixed with water, each offering their own unique possibilities in your cooking. We are very delighted to offer this new product and will have new recipes soon! And for all of you eager to learn to make your own sour dough starter, we will begin next week. Thanks for supporting our efforts to bring back einkorn wheat. We believe wholeheartedly in our mission and we really need you.
An important reminder to those with Celiac Disease- einkorn is not for you because it does contain gluten. Some sites give inaccurate information saying it has less gluten, but that is not true. Einkorn has the same amount of gluten as regular wheat, it is just different but nonetheless, not safe for you. We have some new products in the works for people who are strictly gluten free, so stay tuned.