What is considered “healthy” food seems to change by the hour — maybe even the minute — these days. Not only that, but there are people from every direction telling us what is and isn’t healthy now. It’s not just the typical people like fitness or nutrition professionals, it’s everyone. Your Aunt Mary in Michigan and Uncle Mike in Mississippi. Nutrition advice is everywhere. Half of it is sound, half of it isn’t worth a hill of beans; but everyone has an opinion. I’ll tell you mine.
First, I have to preface this by admitting that I have struggled with food my entire life. This is no surprise to anyone who has seen me in person — the struggle is stamped across my hips, waist, thighs, and everywhere else. Trying to figure out the “right” diet resulted in horrible yoyo dieting all through my teens and early twenties. One week I’d be vegetarian, then I’d be paleo, then I’d be low carb, then I’d be high carb. Weight watchers, slim fast, shakes, diet pills — you name it, I’ve tried it. I’m still on a journey trying to lose weight, but it’s a battle I haven’t won yet. Where I am currently, though, I feel like I have a good grasp on what is and isn’t healthy and what is right for my body. Implementation is where my struggle lies now.
I’ve come to the strong belief that real food is the answer. I’m talking about whole ingredients, minimally processed, and produced in a way that provides optimal nutrition. I’m talking about pastured meats, raw dairy, real fats, whole veggies. That’s where true health and nutrition lies. Not in boxes, not from drive-thrus, not in gimmicks. In tradition. My mantra has become: Eat less, better. Meaning eating smaller quantities of better quality, nutritionally dense foods. Something Paul Gautschi of Back to Eden garden fame said has really stuck with me: We are starving with full stomachs.
Now, in terms of weight loss — I’m a firm believer that everyone’s body is different. Some people can’t tolerate dairy, some can’t tolerate grains, some get fat on too many carbs (hi hello, that’s me), etc. So the exact diet, quantities, and types of food — that’s all individual, baby. Ya gotta find what works for you. But quality matters.
No matter what type of diet you’re eating — paleo, low carb, keto, primal, Mediterranean, Trim Healthy Mama, and on and on — the food itself needs to be real. It needs to something that your great-great-grandmother would recognize immediately as food. It should be an ingredient, not contain a dozen or more of them.
Einkorn wheat is one food that has been around a long, long time.
Einkorn is an ancient grain, and is one of the earliest wheat varieties that has been grown by humans. It was domesticated for the first time around 7500 BC. That’s old, y’all. We’re not talking about a hybrid here, we’re talking about the original wheat. Along with its age, einkorn is higher in nutrients than modern wheat. Einkorn is easier to digest and higher in protein, B6, essential fatty acids, lutein, beta-carotene, cartenoids, and potassium than modern wheat. In short, einkorn is a healthier, more nutrious grain than modern wheat.
It’s also slightly different in terms of how it looks, tastes, and behaves, but I think you’ll be impressed with the results in this pie crust.
The first time I made pie crust with einkorn flour, I immediately realized it was the best crust I’d made to date. I followed my typical technique, but did have a softer dough than usual. Einkorn absorbs liquid more slowly than modern wheat, so don’t be tempted to add extra flour.
The results were a buttery, flaky, tender, beautiful crust — tastier and healthier than any I’d made before.
Here’s the Recipe:
Einkorn Pie Crust
2 cups einkorn flour
8 tblsp butter
pinch of salt
Cut the butter into the pie crust using a pastry cutter or two forks until the largest chunks of butter are approximately pea-sized. You don’t want to over do it, because the butter chunks are what makes the crust flaky and amazing.
Add cold water slowly while working the dough with a wooden spoon. You want the dough to come together as a ball. It should not be sticky or wet, but should be soft enough to be easy to roll. It should be soft and malleable but should not stick to your skin. Don’t be tempted to add extra flour to make the dough stiffer. (Knowing the right consistency comes with practice.)
Stick the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Allowing the dough to chill prevents the butter from melting, and melted butter = no flaky goodness.
Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Work quickly to roll the dough out into your desired shape, 1/4″ thick and an even thickness all around. This recipe makes enough dough for a top and bottom crust in a 9″ pie plate.
Use in whatever recipe you would normally use a pie crust.