Ancient grains are gaining traction. Interest in lesser-known grains such as quinoa, amaranth, and spelt is on the rise.
The list of potential health benefits of ancient grains is also growing, with antioxidant-containing, higher in omega-3 fatty acids, and gluten free claims all being touted.
To be fair, not all ancient grains are indeed whole grains, or even grains at all. The Whole Grains Council defines a whole grain as one that contains all of the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed. This means that 100% of the entire kernel (bran, endosperm, and germ) must be present for it to qualify as a whole grain.
Pseudo-grains like amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat are usually lumped in with true cereal grains, because their nutrition profiles are so similar to that of their closely related botanical grain neighbors.
So what then, is Kamut®?
Kamut (pronounced kah-moot) is an ancient grain, also referred to as an heirloom grain, and a variety of the ancient wheat khorasan. The word Kamut is derived from the Egyptian word for wheat.
Perhaps you have noticed the Registered Trademark ® symbol next to Kamut on food packaging and in recipes? Kamut is a registered trademark of Kamut International, Ltd. Kamut is not the name of a wheat, but rather, a trademark applied to market a grain with certain, guaranteed attributes.
According to the Kamut® khorasan website, the Kamut wheat must meet these qualifications:
- Be the ancient khorasan variety of wheat
- Be grown only as a certified organic grain
- Have a protein range of 12-18%
- Be 99% free of contaminating varieties of modern wheat
- Be 98% free of all signs of disease
- Contain between 400 and 1,000 parts per billion (ppb) of selenium
- Not be used in products in which the name is deceptive or misleading as to the content percentage
- Not be mixed with modern wheat in pasta
Kamut’s flavor is rich and buttery, and it is 2-3 times the size of modern wheat. The protein content of Kamut can be up to 40% higher than other wheat varieties.
Because Kamut has its own naturally sweet taste, it makes for a great puffed cereal, with no added sugar.
I recently tried Arrowhead Mills Oragnic Puffed Kamut Cereal. This is a high volume cereal with minimal caloric contributions. A one cup serving (15 g) contains:
- 50 calories
- 0 g fat
- 0 mg sodium
- 70 mg potassium
- 11 g carbohydrate
- 2 g dietary fiber
- 3 g protein
Considering these numbers, it doesn’t hurt to have two cups – which gets you 4 grams of fiber in just 100 calories, no added sugar and no sodium. You are hard pressed to find a more nutritious cereal!
Combine two cups of this cereal with 1 cup of skim milk and you also have 14 grams of protein. Add a full serving of fruit for another 4-5 grams of fiber.
If you’re looking for a nutritious way to start your day, get your ancient grain on: and try some puffed Kamut®.