Einkorn

The O.G. (Original Grain).

What Is It?

Believed to be the first wheat variety consumed by man, einkorn is truly ancient: It showed up during the Paleolithic era, and the first domestication of wild einkorn was recorded in approximately 7500 B.C. Fast forward a few centuries, and einkorn had all but vanished in a sea of hybridized wheat suited to high yield, low cost and easy processing. However, with the increasing popularity of ancient grains, einkorn – thankfully untouched by modern science – is making a comeback. It boasts a simple genetic structure, with a high level of protein, phosphorous, vitamin B6 and potassium, and its low gluten content makes it easier to digest than modern wheat.

What Do I Do With It?

Einkorn isn’t as omnipresent as quinoa or amaranth, but it can be sourced locally from Janie’s Mill in Ashkum, Illinois, as well as ordered online and occasionally found at Whole Foods Market. It’s milled into flour, but also sold as whole berries. Einkorn flour can be used in any recipe, but bear in mind that it has a composition unlike all-purpose flour, so it will act differently. To make the most of the berries, soak them overnight and then pulverize them in a food processor for a creamy breakfast porridge, or break them down in a food processor first and then cook them for a lumpier effect. You can also make nourishing einkorn wheat berry bowls and salads with ease.

Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning blogaperiodictableblog.com, and her work has appeared on websites such as Bon Appétit, Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen.

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