So, what’s the difference and does it really matter? Well, think of the flour you are eating as a plant… or better yet, as the seed of a plant. Whole wheat includes the entire grain: bran, germ and endosperm. White flour has been stripped of the bran and germ, making it much lower in nutrients and fibre, and resulting in a larger blood sugar and inflammatory reaction when eaten. Furthermore, white bread is often bleached, so when you eat baked goods made with this flour, you are also consuming remnants of bleach – Yuck!
However, if the plant is left to grow a little longer, with proper moisture and warmth, whole grains begin to sprout (or germinate) into a plant. This changes the grains in many ways that make them a healthier choice. (Think of them as more plant, less grain). In fact, sprouting changes the nutritional profile of the grains, making their nutrients more readily available and easier to digest.
5 BENEFITS OF SPROUTED GRAIN BREAD:
1. Higher in nutrients. Sprouted bread has been shown to have higher levels of fibre, protein, B Vitamins and Vitamin C.
2. May aid in weight loss and blood sugar control. Sprouting partially breaks down the starch in grains, which lowers the carb content. Additionally, it is lower on the glycemic index than whole wheat bread. Finally, the grains absorb water during the sprouting process, making sprouted grains lower in calories than whole-grain flours.
3. Easier to digest. The sprouting process helps to partially break down the starch and lectins in the grain making them “pre-digested” and easier on our systems.
4. Lower in gluten. There is still gluten in sprouted grain, making them a poor choice for anyone with celiac, but for those who are mildly sensitive to gluten, sprouted grains can be a healthy alternative.
5. Such a simple way to make a healthier choice! Dr. Shulman LOVES baking with sprouted grains. Her favourite is the sprouted spelt flour made by Anita’s. (In another article we will discuss why we suggest ancient grains such as spelt and kamut). It is a delicious and easy way to boost the nutrition in cookies or loaves she makes for her family.
Substituting sprouted grains into your usual recipes can be simple and delicious. If you would like to try sprouted grain, speak to someone in our office and let us know. Since Dr. Shulman special orders her grains, she is happy to include any of our patients in her order!
Below we have included one of her family’s favourite sprouted banana loaf recipes:
Sprouted Spelt Banana Muffins
1⁄2 Cup Coconut Oil (semi-liquid)
1⁄2 Cup Honey or maple Syrup (unpasteurized, and preferably local)
2 Cups Sprouted Spelt Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1⁄2 tsp Salt
3 Large, ripe, mashed Bananas
2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
Optional Ingredients: walnuts, chocolate ships, pumpkin seeds, carob, raspberries etc.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3 bread pan (or muffin tins if you want to make banana muffins!)
- Cream the coconut oil and honey/maple syrup together, using a stand mixer or hand mixer for a couple minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, and combine with mixer.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
- Mix dry and wet ingredients together.
- Add the mashed bananas, vanilla and optional ingredients, and fold together.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes (less for muffins). Cool for 15 minutes before cutting.