Healthy scones may sound like a cruel oxymoron, but by strategically swapping out some of the refined ingredients for more wholesome ones, healthy and delicious scones can indeed be yours. In this recipe for spelt scones, whole spelt flour and buttermilk are used in place of white flour and cream, and the result is as crumbly and velvety as anyone could dream a scone to be.
I don’t know what it is about spelt, but I’m just mad for it and have been adding it to everything I bake recently. Slightly nutty, this ancient grain is high in fiber, more protein-rich than typical wheat, higher in important B vitamins, and makes for such a tender texture.
This is a very basic recipe, quite amenable to additions. Currants are classic, but dried cherries or blueberries can be a nice surprise. Savory flavors work well too if you omit the sweetener and vanilla. Rosemary and sea salt? Yum.
2½ cups whole organic spelt flour
½ cup Sucanat (see the Care2 Directory of Natural Sweeteners for more about Sucanat or alternatives)
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 organic egg
½ cup organic buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line an ungreased baking pan with parchment.
2. Combine the spelt flour, Sucanat, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and with a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter in until it is well combined and resembles course crumbs.
3. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg and whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and gently combine.
4. Drop the mixture into eight balls on to the baking pan several inches apart (they expand!).
5. Bake until golden, from 17 to 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
By Melissa Breyer, Senior Producer, Care2 Green Living