Reviving a Healthy Tradition
Yes and no. It’s more like returning to a time-honored tradition, but in a modern way. There are manuscripts dated almost 3000 BC that tout the healthful benefits of sprouting grains. Today, makers of sprouted flours are producing the same healthful benefits, but in controlled environments that meet FDA food safety regulations.
What are the health benefits of sprouting grains? My favorite benefit is that bread (or any baked good) made with sprouted flour burns as energy and doesn’t store as fat. The starches in grains are broken down into simple sugars during the sprouting process, so they digest more like a tomato than a potato.
Sprouting increases the vitamins and minerals in grains, especially B vitamins. It also increases the bioavailability of calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc by neutralizing the phytic acid that’s present in all grains. Indeed, many people who have gluten and wheat sensitivities discover they don’t react negatively to sprouted grains.
To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co. sprouts 18 different grains and legumes including ancient grains like spelt (farro), einkorn (available this spring), amaranth, Kamut, and sorghum. To Your Health’s sprouted grains and flours are non-GMO, kosher, certified organic, and most are gluten-free as well.
Gluten-Free Sprouted Banana Bread
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup chopped dates
4 large eggs
2 cups mashed, over-ripe bananas (about 4)
3/4 cup maple sugar (or sweetener of choice)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups organic sprouted brown rice flour
1/2 cup organic sprouted sorghum flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour boiling water over dates in a small bowl. Let stand 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in bananas and next three ingredients until blended. Stir together sprouted brown rice flour and next four ingredients in a small bowl. Gently stir flour mixture into egg mixture, stirring just until blended. Gently stir in melted butter, walnuts, and dates. Spoon mixture into a well-greased 9x5 loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely before slicing.
Herbed Roquefort Biscuits
3 oz Roquefort cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons minced green onion tops
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups sprouted white wheat flour
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (whole fat) buttermilk
Combine first four ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Cut in cheese mixture and butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in buttermilk. (If dough is too dry add more buttermilk, one tablespoon at a time, until you get a pliable dough consistency.) Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly seven or eight times. Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes. Yields about 14 biscuits.
1 1/2 cups sprouted white wheat flour
1 1/2 cups sprouted rye flour
2 tablespoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
3/4 cup lard
1 cup plus 5 tablespoons whole milk
Combine first five ingredients and mix well. Cut in lard with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. (If dough is too dry add more milk, one tablespoon at a time, until you get a pliable dough consistency.) Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly about 10 times. Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness: cut with a biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Yields about 15 biscuits.
Warm Sprouted Lentil and Potato Salad
1/2 cup dried sprouted lentils
2 pounds small red potatoes, halved
6-8 bacon slices
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1 celery rib, sliced
2 garlic cloves
2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Bring lentils and four cups of salted water to a boil in a heavy two-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low: simmer 20 to 25 minutes or just until tender. Cook potatoes in boiling salted water (enough to cover), 15 minutes or just until tender. Drain the lentils and potatoes. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels, reserving two tablespoons of drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon and set aside. Add olive oil to hot drippings in skillet, and heat over medium heat. Saute shallots, celery, and garlic in hot olive oil mixture three minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir in lentils, potatoes, bacon, and parsley.