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Is Kamut Gluten Free?

Is Kamut Gluten Free?

Have you heard about ancient grains? They are a group of grains and pseudocereals that have remained largely unchanged for thousands of years. Ancient grains are often marketed as healthier, and many are also marketed as gluten free. We’ve taken a look at a few other ancient grains previously, but the focus of this blog is on kamut. We’re diving into a discussion on this ancient grain and answering the important question – is kamut gluten free?

What are Ancient Grains?

Ancient grains are often marketed as healthier alternatives than the more common modern day grains. The thought is that unlike most modern grains that have been hybridized and modified, ancient grains are less processed and refined. 

There are 12 ancient grains which include the following:

  1. Khorasan wheat or Kamut
  2. Amaranth (technically a pseudo-grain)
  3. Millet
  4. Teff
  5. Farro
  6. Spelt
  7. Freekeh
  8. Sorghum
  9. Barley
  10. Quinoa (technically not a grain)
  11. Rye
  12. Fonio

It is true that ancient grains may be more nutrient dense than modern wheat, but that doesn’t mean that they are safe or healthy for celiacs or those with gluten sensitivities. In fact, research has shown that they are not safe.

What is Kamut?

Kamut, also known as Khorasan wheat, is an ancient grain that has gained popularity in recent years. It is believed that kamut originated in the Fertile Crescent and earned its full name (Khorasan wheat) from the province of Khorasan in northeastern Iran. 

Kamut has a unique flavor and has more protein, amino acids, selenium, zinc, and magnesium than modern day wheat. However, these nutrients can be found abundantly in plenty of grain free foods like grass fed beef, pastured poultry and eggs, wild caught fish, nuts and seeds (especially brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds), and fresh vegetables (especially dark leafy greens). 

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is the protein in grains that lends elasticity to bread and other baked goods. Gluten is often associated with wheat, rye, and barley. However, we know that gluten protein can be found in ALL grains. Common foods containing gluten include pasta, bread, baked goods, and beer, as well as many sauces, condiments, and marinades.

For those with a gluten intolerance or celiac disease, gluten can be incredibly harmful. Gluten can trigger an immune reaction causing inflammation in the intestines, which can result in a host of other health issues.

If you are unsure if you are gluten intolerant, take our sensitivity test!

Is Kamut Gluten Free?

Kamut is a type of wheat, and is not gluten free. In fact, research suggests that ancient grains like kamut are actually higher in gluten protein than traditional wheat. In addition, research suggests that Kamut is inflammatory to the digestive system. If you are gluten sensitive or celiac, you should not eat Kamut.

Kamut and Nutrition

  • Kamut has a nutty, buttery flavor, and is commonly used  in both sweet and savory dishes. 
  • Kamut flour can is often used in baking, as a substitute for regular wheat flour, or added to soups, stews, and salads for extra nutrition and flavor. 
  • Kamut pasta and bread are also available in many health food stores and online.

Alternatives to Kamut

There are a number of alternatives to spelt, some of which are better than others for those with celiac disease and those who are gluten-sensitive. Check out several popular options listed below, as well as this resource for more on how to use them.

  • Almond flour: Almond flour is made from ground dried almonds and therefore has many of the same health benefits as almonds. It maintains its rich and nutty flavor and has a light texture.
  • Cassava: Cassava is made from the same plant as tapioca (yucca) except that it is made from the entire tuber root, not just the pulp. This results in a flour that is easy to digest and light in flavor, but higher in fiber than tapioca.
  • Tigernut flour: Tigernut flour is made from the root of the plant, not a nut as the name implies. It is high in fiber and protein and acts as a resistant starch. This means it can help to feed the good bacteria in the gut and also help to balance blood glucose levels. It has a nutty and sweet flavor and a texture similar to almond flour.
  • Coconut flour: Coconut flour is made from the meat of fresh coconuts, which means it maintains a light coconut flavor but also contains many of the same beneficial properties – it is a great source of fiber and is low in carbohydrates. Coconut flour is a great option for baking but is a very dry flour that is never used in a 1:1 ratio to typical wheat flour unless extra liquid is added.

The Bottom Line

Kamut is a type of wheat.  It is not gluten free. Therefore, those with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance should avoid kamut. There are plenty of other nutrient dense foods that are also grain free that supply the same (or more!) nutrients that are found in kamut.

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