Kamut is one of the most sought-after cereals for a good diet, because it is rich in interesting nutritional values.
Kamut flour is obtained by processing and milling the tetraploid wheat of the same name, which belongs to the grass family. Kamut is a particular variety of Khorasan wheat (botanically 'Triticum turgidum turanicum'). Khorasan wheat, also called 'oriental wheat' or 'red wheat', originates from what is now Iran and is cultivated in various parts of the Middle East, from which it takes its name.
The grain has a stem as tall as 180 centimetres and the caryopsis, i.e. the grain, is naked and longer than any other wheat. Furthermore, the grains are larger in size and therefore provide more protein, vitamins and minerals than the wheat varieties currently marketed on a large scale. The milling of these grains produces a flour with an amber colour and a slightly sweet taste.
The name 'kamut' is derived from 'ka'moet' which means 'soul of the earth' in the Egyptian language. It is a registered trademark of quality, owned by the US company 'Kamut International' founded by agronomist and biochemist Bob Quinn, who, starting in the 1970s, perfected the process of milling, purifying and processing this type of wheat. Around the 1990s, the Quinn family began marketing wheat and its derivatives under this name. Only wheat that follows the entire US specification is allowed to use the registered trademark, thus assuring consumers that the products contain the pure and ancient Khorasan wheat variety, with high quality standards.
Nowadays, it is mainly cultivated in certified organic farms, which only use a certain type of soil in certain limited areas: Montana, Alberta and Saskatchewan. There are also production areas in Europe and Australia although, in these locations, Khorasan wheat does not find its best habitat and does not give very good yields.
Kamut flour: nutritional values
Kamut is considered one of the most nutritionally complete cereals, let's find out in detail below.
Kamut flour contains the nutritional values of Khorasan wheat, which have a clear advantage over those of common wheat: it contains 40% more protein, is richer in zinc and magnesium as well as polyphenols and fatty acids. Bread made from kamut flour can contain up to 30% more vitamin E than bread made from ordinary wheat flour.
When talking about kamut flour, its nutritional values and properties, it is natural to make a comparison with the more common type 00, 0, 1 and 2 wheat flours.
The white double-zero (00) flour that we find on the market is produced from selected soft wheat varieties to increase yield (higher production at the expense of nutritional properties and therefore low in micronutrients), contains only the endosperm of the grain, is very fine and has a white colour.
Kamut flour, on the other hand, is durum wheat and therefore less refined and contains a higher percentage of germ, bran and fibre. This quantity increases in type 1 and type 2 flour (semi-integral), which are milled in such a way as to preserve more parts of the grain, those rich in trace elements, vitamins and minerals.
In terms of nutritional values, kamut flour derived from Khorasan wheat is richer in protein than 00, 0 and 1 flours, as well as having a higher value of monounsaturated fats. Also higher are the amounts of potassium, magnesium and zinc, which are useful for giving energy and balancing insulin levels in the body.
The calories provided by 100 grams of kamut wheat are greater than those provided by the same amount of common wheat. The amino acids found in the largest quantities in kamut wheat are threonine, cystine, arginine, histidine, aspartic acid and serine.
Kamut flour is a high-energy food that provides a slow release of sugar into the bloodstream, providing the body with long-term energy; finally, the discrete presence of fibre facilitates intestinal function.
To date, there are no known contraindications to the consumption of this flour. And we do not only see this when we consider the calories, but also the fact that it has, for example, less water and more fibre than normal wheat flour; fats, on the other hand, are more present, albeit with slight differences. The fact that differentiates it from normal wheat flour, however, is definitely the amount of protein: when using such a flour, it makes itself felt, for better or worse.
The nutritional values of kamut flour given below refer to 100 grams, which develop about 310 calories:
- Water: 11.5 g
- Calories: 337 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 70.38 g
- Fats: 2,2 g
- Protein: 14,7 g
- B1, 0.591 mg
- B2, 0.178 mg
- B3, 6.35 mg
- B5, 0.9 mg
- B6, 0.225 mg
- Vitamin E, 0.6 mg
- Iron, 4.41 mg
- Magnesium, 134 mg
- Manganese, 2.86 mg
- Phosphorus, 386 mg
- Potassium, 446 mg
- Zinc, 3.68 mg
- Fibers: 10 g
- Sugars: 7 g
Khorasan wheat kamut contains nobler properties than others, making it healthier and more digestible.
First of all, kamut flour has a higher percentage of high-quality protein and mono- and polyunsaturated acid fats. Kamut flour also has a low glycaemic index, almost half that of conventional wheat grains, which makes it more suitable for preparing recipes for people with diabetes.
Rich in trace elements such as selenium, zinc, magnesium, the antioxidant vitamin E, fibre and minerals, kamut flour can be considered high-energy and therefore also perfect for the elderly, children and athletes. It is produced from a very resistant wheat that contains a fair amount of protein and is remarkably pure from chemical contamination with other modern wheat varieties and pesticides.
Like any other cereal, it does not have a high gluten content unless it has undergone special improvement processes, so it is easily digestible even by people suffering from mild intolerances. Due to the presence of gluten, kamut wheat and all its derivatives, however, cannot be eaten by people suffering from coeliac disease.
People often talk about kamut and the benefits of this flour, which stem mainly from the land where it is cultivated:
- since cultivation is limited to a well-circumscribed area, it is clear that the plants that will grow will have the characteristics resulting from the terrain's conformation
- magnesium, selenium, sodium and zinc are among the minerals that are present to a considerable extent compared to the 'average grain'. As far as the other minerals are concerned, you end up staying roughly on the same values
Kamut flour: recipes
Even though it is a durum wheat, the finely milled Khorasan variety is able to yield a soft and tender flour, suitable for all types of dough. Therefore, kamut flour lends itself to the preparation of many recipes and products: from breadsticks, savoury biscuits, breakfast cereals, kamut bread, pizzas, focaccia, savoury pies, fresh pasta and biscuits.
With this flour, one can also make crepes, pasta and flour flours for food use. The kamut grain is also used as an ingredient in soups or salads. The preparation of kamut grain is time-consuming, as it has to be washed and soaked overnight in water. Once the preparation procedure is complete, the cereal can be cooked in boiling, salted water for at least an hour.
The amount of gluten it contains makes it possible to process kamut flour to make many recipes such as pasta, without having to use eggs. It is easily found in specialised organic shops, supermarkets and on the Internet.
The higher amount of protein has its effect when using kamut flour in the preparation of recipes such as bread and cakes:
- it is a 'strong' flour, because the proteins form the 'skeleton' of the bread and, in any case, of the dough, which keeps it in baking
- it is not suitable for leavened and fluffy cakes such as sponge cake (which, to be fluffy, require a weak flour) but, for breadmaking, or for cakes that have leavening such as panettone, it is certainly a flour with an excellent technological quality, i.e. of transformation
- too fine for dough, but this is a defect of the wheat grain itself. The grain tends to flake and the dough, although of very high quality, tends to flake
- is a healthy and nutritionally good flour
- it can be chosen for certain types of preparations
- the differences with normal flour are not so obvious
Buy now kamut flour - Khorasan wheat in 5 kg packs