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Kamut… Perhaps Kaput

January 17th, 2012 - By Lari Robling

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It had been staring at me in my pantry for some time — one of those purchases born out of “yeah-that-will-be-good-for-me” thinking.

Kamut is a high protein whole grain and, depending on whose history you believe, has ancient roots somewhere in present day Turkey or Egypt. Oh, and there’s something about an American airman in 1949 saving it from obscurity. The legend and lore, however, was not enough to compel me to actually cook it once I discovered it requires two hours of cook time and an overnight soak is recommended.

But every grain must have its time in the sun, so on a slow Sunday afternoon I cooked up a pot of Kamut.

It was not love at first bite — the grains are quite big so the texture can be formidable. My first thought was that it might make a good breakfast cereal similar to pin oats so I added some milk and cranberries. It was like eating a bowl of bullets. I missed the creaminess of oatmeal.

Some web searching advised that whole Kamut makes a good meat substitute in chili. It doesn’t! About the best use I came up with was adding some to my lunch salad. The texture worked like a crouton and the nutty flavor was a substitute for the handful of almonds I often add.

Still, there’s three-quarter of a pound of this stuff left to cook. Anyone have some favorite whole Kamut berry recipes to share?

Photo by Flicker user Satoru Kikuchi / CC BY-NC 2.0

2 Responses to Kamut… Perhaps Kaput

  • NoKa

    Have a food processor? If you don’t like the whole form, maybe try chopping it up? I love to experiment with items that are new to me, especially healthy foods. So, I’m thinking 2 things here, without knowing anything about Kamut other than what you’ve described. 1.) after the soak, and cook, are they anything like chick peas? Maybe you can blend them with tahini, lemon, garlic, a bit of olive oil, etc. and make a hummus-like dip? 2.) process the kamut and use it as a base for veggie burgers. Add a tough of olive/grapeseed oil, spices, water, mushrooms, shredded carrots…and so on. Whatever you have. Process it to a consistency where you can make patties…or balls a la falafel?

    I think this is what I would try. Curious to hear your results!

  • Lari Robling

    You may be on to something with the patties. I’ll keep you posted if I give it a whirl.

Photo by Flicker user Yolise / CC BY-NC 2.0

About Lari Robling
Lari Robling's food career had its early beginnings as a home ec teacher for the visually impaired. Later, she decided to become a food professional and worked for caterers and restaurants. Lari landed her first job in a test kitchen for a small health food publication, Delicious! magazine. From there, she began a freelance career as a food stylist and food consultant. She is also the author of Endangered Recipes: Too Good to Be Forgotten.

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