Most of us know that it’s healthier to choose wheat bread than it is to choose white. Did you know that there is an even healthier type of wheat bread? One that is completely different than the typical run-of-the-mill wheat breads you find on most stores? Let’s talk sprouted grains!
Sprouting is a way to release all the vital nutrients stored within whole grains. Sprouting grains and seeds before cooking them produces living, nutrient-rich food to optimize your nutritional benefits. The flour made from these sprouted grains provides more protein, vitamins and minerals than regular refined flours. Sprouting grains before consuming them also neutralizes the phytic acid, which is a substance present in grains that inhibits absorption of nutrients. I highly recommend sprouting all your grains before cooking them if possible!
So, how does sprouted grain bread differ from regular whole wheat and white bread? White bread is made by removing the wheat kernel’s germ and bran (where the nutrients are stored), and grinding up only the endosperm into flour. Whole-wheat bread is made by grinding wheat kernels into whole-wheat flour. Whole wheat provides fiber, and naturally-occurring vitamins and proteins. Sprouted-grain bread is made from wheat kernels that have been sprouted, ground up and baked into bread so it retains more nutrients.
Sprouted grains contain about 75 percent of the carbohydrates compared to whole grains, according to an analysis by the Department of Agriculture. They also contain a little more protein, and about 40 percent of the fat of whole grains as well as being easier to digest and containing less gluten.
Two of my favorite brands for Sprouted grain breads are Ezekiel and Trader Joe’s. At most grocery stores, you can find sprouted grain bread in the gluten free/organic freezer section. It’s best to store them frozen or in the refrigerator or they will spoil and go stale quickly. I usually keep mine frozen and toast pieces as needed.