What do I do if I can’t soak the flour for my favorite cookies or cake? What if the recipe doesn’t have the liquids necessary to soak? As you may very well know, soaking your grains is extremely beneficial for breaking down the phytates that prevent proper digestion of whole grains, as discussed in detail here.
Soaking, fermenting or sprouting are the recommended alternatives in order for our bodies to fully benefit from all the nutrition in whole grains. Over the last few years I have been exploring and experimenting with adapting all my favorite recipes for soaking and I have been successful with my whole grain bread, tortillas, pizza crust, granola, bagels, and some of our favorite muffins and biscuits. I have chosen soaking methods over sprouting because of its simplicity. But there remains a few baked goods that I haven’t had success with, for one reason or another, no liquids in the recipe or certain temperature requirements. Or there has been other times when I needed just a wee bit more flour to roll out my dough or prevent stickiness. I have come to the realization that the best recommendation here is to use sprouted flour.
Why sprouted flour?
Sprouting your grain transforms it so that your body recognizes it as an easily digestible vegetable rather than a starch! It changes the composition of starch molecules, converting them into vegetable sugars. Through the sprouting process, phytates are broken down allowing your body to digest calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc, and enzymes are created that aid digestion. Complex sugars are dissolved which can help eliminate painful gas, and vitamin and mineral levels are increased – vitamin B6, folate, and niacinand to be precise.
Jenny at the Nourished Kitchen shares, “When examining the nutrient density of sprouted wheat to unsprouted wheat on a calorie-per-calorie basis, you’ll find that sprouted wheat contains four times the amount of niacinand nearly twice the amount of vitamin B6 and folate as unsprouted wheat. Moreover, sprouted grain contains more protein and fewer starches than unsprouted grain and is lower on the glycemic index than its unsprouted counterpart.”
Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions points out, “The process of germination not only produces vitamin C, but also changes the composition of grains and seeds in numerous beneficial ways. Sprouting increases vitamin B content, especially B2, B5, and B6. Carotene increases dramatically-sometimes even eightfold.”
So sprouted flour is more digestible and nutritious!
There are two choices when it comes to using sprouted flour. You can make your own (with the use of a dehydrator) or you can buy sprouted flour from many online sources. (See below for details)
Having a quantity of sprouted flour in your freezer readily available is the most convenient option to provide your family with easy digestion. We recommend you store it in the freezer to preserve the nutrients in the flour. I would also not recommend buying a huge quantity at a time unless you have the freezer space. We now intend to use sprouted flour for pie crusts, desserts, my favorite banana crumb muffins, pretzels, donuts, and whatever else our heart desires!
Sources for Sprouted Flour
To Your Health Sprouted Flour - an excellent company that produces organic sprouted wheat, spelt and rye grains and ground flour. I love this option because they offer sprouted grain that I can grind myself at home. This will help preserve the nutrients more.
Resources – How to Sprout
Mini E-book on Sprouting – a very useful little guide on sprouting all your grains and seeds!
Sprouted Grain - a helpful tutorial on Sprouting by The Nourished Kitchen
Why Sprout? – a very thorough explanation of the benefits of sprouting from The Nourishing Gourmet
Making Your Own Sprouted Flour – a pictural tutorial on sprouting flour by Keeper of the Home
Do you sprout? Have you tried sprouted flour? What was your experience?