Back to nature is booming. When it comes to baked goods, the trend is also towards the original. More and more consumers are turning to ancient grains rather than modern, cultivated wheat. This new popularity of the old grains is no coincidence, because ancient grains are better tolerated, more nutritious and have a more intense taste. Ancient grains also benefit the climate and the soil, which is less depleted by these old varieties.
In the beginning there were ancient grains
The most well-known of the ancient grains are spelt, emmer and einkorn. With its mild, nutty taste, spelt has an impressively high content of vitamins, minerals and trace elements such as iron, zinc, manganese and silicon. Spelt is also richer in protein than standard wheat, and it can be used in many different ways, including in bread, pasta and cakes.
Emmer contains significantly more protein and is rich in iron, zinc and magnesium. Also worth mentioning is the high content of carotenoids, which have a positive effect on eyesight. As emmer tastes lightly spicy, aromatic and nutty, it is ideal for cooking and baking. It also has a somewhat darker colour. Einkorn is considered to be man’s first wheat type. Similar to emmer, it contains plenty of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and carotenoids. The latter lends cakes, bread and rolls attractive yellow tones.
Ancient grains are not good for everyone
Spelt, emmer, einkorn & co. – like regular wheat – contain the sticky protein gluten. Anyone with gluten intolerance or coeliac disease should avoid gluten-containing cereals altogether.
Plenty of variety
The recipes that spelt, emmer or other ancient grains are suitable for are as varied as the varieties themselves. Particularly when it comes to sweet baked goods, interesting variants with added value in terms of taste and nutritional content can be made with ancient grain mixtures (e.g. Urkorn Cake Mix from backaldrin).
Sweet and nutritious – the perfect finishing touch
Whether strawberries, melons or cherries, there is a wide range of fresh fruit in summer, and the desire for light and juicy things is particularly high. Nutrition-conscious people can draw from an abundance of variety. Even when preparing delicious shakes, yoghurt desserts or light pastries, there are no limits to the imagination. Here are a few tips for low-calorie, summery pastries with added nutrients:
Reduce sugar: Most recipes will work with one-third or half of the indicated amount. So, a sweet dessert will still be sweet, but significantly reduced in calories.
Save on fat: Too much fat is a burden. Summery pastries should therefore be as low in fat as possible so as not to put additional strain on the body in hot temperatures. That means no greasy creams either. Use a light yoghurt filling rather than heavy buttercream. We also recommend recipes that contain high-quality vegetable oils.
Use high-quality grains: By using ancient grains (spelt, emmer, einkorn), baked goods automatically contain more high-quality nutrients and protein. Taste and colour are also more interesting.
Use fresh, seasonal fruit: Not only a visual benefit, fruit also ensures that cakes are juicy and pleasantly sweet. The use of fresh fruit is also good for your health, as it provides plenty of vitamins and minerals in addition to dietary fibre. Berries of all kinds are real nutrient bombs, offering both intense taste and a low sugar content. By the way: recipes with grated vegetables like carrots or zucchini are also perfect. They are juicy and have a high fibre content.
Recommended examples: sheet cake with fruit, roulade with yoghurt and fruit filling, fruit crumble cake, yoghurt and fruit cakes, carrot/zucchini cake.
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