October 16, 2007

You Ask, I Answer: Sprouted Grains/Breads

In some supermarkets I've seen breads, bagels, and English muffins in the frozen section.

I never bought them, but I looked at the packaging a few times. It says they are flourless, "sprouted" breads.

I don't understand how it's bread if it doesn't have flour in it. Are they good for you? What's in them?

-- Al Joseph
St. Paul, MN

Sprouted grains -- also known as "live" grains -- have recently gone mainstream after being health food purists' secret for several decades.

I first had sprouted grain English muffins a year ago, and they have since become a staple in my home freezer.

Sprouted bread, for instance, is the end result of a process which begins by sprouting -- rather than milling -- different grains (wheat, spelt, barley, etc.) and legumes (i.e.: lentils, beans).

These sprouts then become dough, which is baked at low temperatures.

This process retains more of the grains' and beans' nutrients, yielding higher amounts of protein, fiber, vitamin A, iron, calcium, and potassium when compared to regular bread, even whole wheat varieties.

I am by no means saying that regular whole grain breads are "bad" or nutritionally empty -- far from it!

However, bread products made from sprouted grains offer even more nutrition.

For instance, one sprouted grain English muffin contains 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber (compared to the already-considerable 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber in a conventional whole grain variety).

What I personally love about sprouted breads (such as Ezekiel 4:9) is the hearty, nutty taste they deliver -- and how incredibly satisfying they are.

Food For Life -- the company that makes the Ezekiel 4:9 line, inspired by scripture -- also produces cereals, pastas, and bagels.

By the way, am I the only one who would prefer a more non-denominational name for their products? Then again, you can chalk it up to a historic, rather than religious, influence.

Back to the topic at hand -- you can only find them in a supermarket's frozen section because they lack additives and preservatives. Storing them at room temperature will lead to rancidity and spoilage rather quickly.

Give them a try and see what you think!

1 comment:

Kevin said...

I tried some sprouted grain bread for the first time today. We found it in the bakery section of the grocery store, not frozen, so I hope it's the same stuff. Very filling bread, and it tasted pretty good too.