Why Sprouted Flour Should Be Your New Favorite Staple
The latest health trend deserves all the hype.
When it comes to food that just sounds healthy, sprouted grains are right up there with wheatgrass and chia seeds.
If you have heard of sprouted grains, one of the newest health trends to hit the baked goods aisle, it was likely in the context of their nutritional value. Perhaps you’ve seen a loaf of bread at the market, or you have a baker friend who enjoys touting their baked goods made with sprouted flour.
Or maybe you’ve just noticed sprouted grains taking the place of regular whole grains—served as a side dish, milled into flour, made into pasta—and wondered about the benefits., Are sprouted grains really worth the extra dollar? Should you try something like, say, sprouted flour?
First, though, what are sprouted grains? Are they any healthier than the commonly known unsprouted variety? After exploring those questions, we’ll get into the specifics of sprouted flour and its benefits.
Sprouted Grains: What are They & Why Should I Care?
It can be easy to forget (or never know in the first place) that the cereal grains we eat are really just dormant seeds, holding the potential for whole new plants within their walls. Just like the seeds you might plant in your garden, these grains are simply waiting for the right temperature and moisture levels to activate their growth process—waiting for the right conditions to sprout.
As the name implies, a sprouted grain is a grain that has been allowed to sprout and begin to germinate as it would do in nature. A tiny awakening takes place in each grain.
All whole grains―sprouted or not―are rich in nutrients like fiber, iron, folate, and B vitamins. Sprouted grains differ not in the production of the grain, but in the processing of the harvested grain. To sprout grains, whole grains are soaked in water until they begin the aforementioned germinating process (i.e. they begin growing into that tiny little plant) and are then dried before this process can be completed.
The germination process brings notable nutritional benefits as the endosperm, phytates and starches begin to break down, so we can absorb more nutrients and digest them easily.
Now, on to Sprouted Flour.
Sprouted flours derive from sprouted grains. But, how specifically does it differ from non-sprouted flour?
Sprouted flour is made from sprouted grains, including red and white wheat, as well as spelt, amaranth, Kamut, einkorn, sorghum, rye, corn, and more.
Known for being supportive of gut health, easier to digest and more nutritious than regular varieties, sprouted flour seems like a magic little bullet.
What are the Benefits of Sprouted Flour?
The germination process behind sprouted flour increases the amount of nutrients the body can consume. It also breaks down phytate, a form of phytic acid that normally decreases absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body. In light of this, sprouted flours pack an impressive nutritional punch. The sprouting process activates the dormant vitamins and minerals found in grains and brings them to life. By some estimates, sprouting increases vitamin C and carotene content, creates B vitamins, and bumps up the amount of trace minerals present.
Other benefits reported for this staple include converting starches into simple sugars that the body uses for energy (as opposed to starches that can be stored as fat) and significantly reducing glycaemic and insulinaemic responses while increasing satiety, both of which are useful in the management of type 2 diabetes and weight regulation.
Recent studies are also beginning to show that refined white flour lacks the fiber necessary for a healthy diet. Emerging science illustrates the benefits of whole grains in combating heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Who Should Eat Sprouted Flour?
If you research this trend, you will find that experts have different opinions on just how much one benefits from consuming sprouted flour. However, generally all experts agree that everyone can benefit from incorporating sprouted flour into their diets—especially those with gluten sensitivities or allergies.
If you’d like to try products made with sprouted flour, try breads, pancakes, buns, muffins, tortillas, crackers, and even pizza crust. (P.S. we’ve heard from close sources that crackers are the easiest for a sprouted baking beginner!)
Finding sprouted flour can prove a bit tricky, but more and more it’s available in comprehensive health food stores in the organic or natural sections. There are also many options to order online including To Your Health Sprouted Flour Company, registered on Producers Market.
We also invite you to visit the Rich Nuts profile, our sprouted nuts producer.