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. Sprouted flour is right there with them.
Sprouted grains are one of the newest health trends to hit the baked goods aisle. If you’ve heard of them, 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 in side dishes, pasta noodles, or milled into flour, made into pasta. Are sprouted grains and flours really worth the extra dollar?
Sprouted Grains: What are They & Why Should I Care?
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.
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 germinating process. They begin growing into that tiny little plant. They are then dried before they complete the process.
The germination process brings notable nutritional benefits. The endosperm, phytates and starches begin to break down, which means we can absorb more nutrients and digest them easily.
What Makes A Sprouted Flour
Sprouted flours derive from sprouted grains. These grains include red and white wheat, as well as spelt, amaranth, Kamut, einkorn, sorghum, rye, corn, and more.
These flours are more 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.