A spoonful of malt

It’s not just these days that people are conscious of their health and want to stay fit and well – I’m sure it has always been the case and there are so many sayings like ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ which reflect this. I’m not sure when taking malt as a health supplement first started but when my dad Donald was at school children took in a penny a day and a spoon and they had that spoon dipped into a big stone pitcher of malt, which was twiddled to catch the drips so it looked like a big fat shiny brown lollipop.

Donald was not a fussy eater as a child – he once pinched some eggs from the kitchen larder and ate them to see what raw eggs tasted like – he was amazed that his mother knew that he was the one who had done. His mum, my grandma Maudie would have known that neither of Donald’s siblings who were older would have done it, and also she found the empty egg shells bobbing about in the lavatory where he had tried to flush away the evidence, not realising that the shells would float. Unfortunately for Donald he always had a violent reaction to the malt his school friends enjoyed; he tried on so many occasions, taking in his spoon and his penny, but it actually made him physically sick…

When i was a child we didn’t have malt in school but we did have it at home; it was mixed with cod liver oil (sounds disgusting doesn’t it) and my sister and I would have a spoonful every morning. Like Donald’s school friends we loved it, however when i remembered this as an adult and bought a jar, thinking it would do me good, the actual smell of it made me gag! We also used to have Soreen malt loaf which was sticky and delicious – luckily it is still available and still sticky and delicious!! … and of course, there is that essential for pickles and pickling, malt vinegar… and another of course, malt whisky!!

So what is malt and is it actually good for you? Well I know there is malt made from roast barley – but is that the same thing? I know that malt is used in milky drinks – or was, and I guess chocolate Maltesers are or were made from it, or have it as an ingredient.

Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried in a process known as “malting”. The grains are made to germinate by soaking in water, and are then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air… Malted grain is used to make beer, whisky, malted shakes, malt vinegar, confections such as Maltesers and… flavoured drinks such as Horlicks…and Ovaltine, ,and some baked goods, such as malt loaf…

What a very useful substance it is… but is it actually good for you?

Amount Per 100 grams

  • Calories 85
  • Sodium 60 mg 2%
  • Potassium 172 mg 4%
  • Total Carbohydrate 11 g 3%
  • Dietary fiber 0.5 g 2%
  • Sugar 7 g
  • Protein 3.4 g 6%
  • Caffeine 3 mg
  • Vitamin A 1%
  • Vitamin C 0%
  • Calcium 9%
  • Iron 1%
  • Vitamin B-6 0%
  • Vitamin B-12 6%
  • Magnesium 3%

It does seem however, that the malt we were given as children was actually just there to disguise the taste of cod liver oil!



  1. David Lewis

    Not enough fiber but looks good otherwise.I have a lot of fiber in my diet because it counteracts the carbs that I have to count because of type 2 diabetes. I love turnips and all the types of squash. Look after your gut and the rest of your body will love you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. David Lewis

    If you have ten grams of carbohydrates and ten grams of fiber they cancel one another out one for one. So for me fiber is very important and I drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Stay in shape and do sit-ups with 160lbs behind my back for core strength plus lots more.Now if I could only find some one to do back surgery I would be a model for retirees.

    Liked by 1 person

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