Heritage Grains: Reviving Ancient Flavours and Supporting Sustainable Agriculture
Updated: Mar 24
Heritage grains have captured the hearts and taste buds of bakers and food enthusiasts alike in recent years. These ancient varieties of wheat and other grains offer a diverse array of flavours and textures, as well as numerous environmental benefits. In this post, we'll explore the fascinating world of heritage grains and how they contribute to a more sustainable food system.
Unlike modern, high-yield grains that have been bred for mass production, heritage grains have remained largely unchanged for centuries. These ancient varieties are adapted to grow in specific regions and climates, often requiring fewer inputs like water, fertilisers, and pesticides. By choosing to bake with heritage grains, you're supporting biodiversity and helping to preserve these traditional and flavoursome crops for future generations.
Heritage grains also offer a range of health benefits, as they are typically richer in nutrients, such as protein, fibre, and essential minerals, compared to their modern counterparts. Incorporating heritage grains into your diet is not only a delicious way to reconnect with our culinary history but also a smart choice for your health and the environment.
Types of heritage grains
Spelt - A member of the wheat family, spelt has a nutty flavour and a slightly chewy texture. It is higher in protein, fibre, and minerals than modern wheat and is often used to make bread, pasta, and cereals.
Emmer - Also known as farro, emmer is an ancient grain that has been grown for thousands of years. It has a nutty flavour and a firm, chewy texture and is often used in salads, soups, and stews.
Einkorn - Another ancient grain, einkorn has a sweet, nutty flavour and a softer texture than modern wheat. It is high in protein and contains more carotenoids (a type of antioxidant) than other grains.
Khorasan - Also known as kamut, khorasan is a large, ancient grain that has a buttery, nutty flavour. It is high in protein and contains more minerals and antioxidants than modern wheat.
Rye - A popular grain in Northern Europe, rye has a distinctive flavour and a denser texture than wheat. It is high in fibre and has been shown to have a range of health benefits, including reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes
Whether you're a fan of spelt bread or you want to try cooking with einkorn or khorasan, there are many delicious ways to incorporate heritage grains into your diet and support sustainable agriculture.
To make the most of your heritage grain bread, store it in one of our Wheat Fields Bread Bags. These Fairtrade and 100% organic cotton bags are designed to keep your bread fresher for longer, allowing you to savour the unique flavours and textures of your heritage grain loaf without worrying about waste.
Embrace the wonders of heritage grains and support sustainable agriculture by choosing these ancient varieties for your next baking adventure. And don't forget to store your creations in our organic cotton bread bags to ensure that every bite is as fresh and delicious as possible.