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The ancient Pharaoh grain that's taking the world by storm

It's easier to pronounce than quinoa ... but is kamut the next big health trend? By Liz Connor

Protein kick: kamut grains
Protein kick: kamut grains

There's been an unmistakable buzz around ancient grains over the past few years.

From quinoa and teff to farro and bulgur, the foods that were once favoured by ancient civilisations have spiked in popularity, thanks to their touted health benefits over processed wheat grains.

Now kamut (pronounced ka-moot) is set to be the next big earth-grown food we'll be stirring into plant-based bowls and hashtagging on social media.

Also known as 'khorasan wheat', it's been dubbed the 'Pharaoh grain', owing to the fact that the seeds were rumoured to be discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs.

So what exactly does it contain for health buffs to love? As well as being high in fibre and vitamins B and E, kamut contains all eight essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.

According to the Whole Grains Council (, ancient grains are defined as those that have gone largely unchanged over the past several hundred years. In contrast, most of the high-yield dwarf wheat we eat today has been developed by cross-breeding and crude genetic manipulation, meaning we don't get the same nutritional benefits.

Kamut is a particularly good food option for gym-goers; as well as having an impressive protein content (6g in every 100g), Harley Street nutritionist Rihannon Lambert ( says it's known as a "high-energy grain", because of its high percentage of lipids, which provide more energy than refined carbohydrates.

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Matt Miller, a nutritionist, personal trainer and founder of Broga (, says: "It has a very particular taste profile. It's golden in colour and has a very buttery flavour, so if you're making bread - oh my God, is it amazing!"

To cook the grains, just soak them overnight and then simmer in a pan with water for around 45 minutes until they're soft enough to eat, and they can be stirred into salads and stews.

Miller's favourite way to use it is in a homemade focaccia bread (just substitute it for normal flour) or added to American-style breakfast pancakes for a buttery protein kick.

Belfast Telegraph


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