You’re walking down the aisle looking for a new bread to try and see the words “Sprouted Grains” on certain brands. “What does that mean?” many people think as they move to a more familiar bread. Honestly, before doing any research, I didn’t really know much about sprouted grains either. Sprouted grain bread is a healthy alternative to white or whole grain flour breads, especially for those that have mild sensitivities to wheat or gluten, as sprouted grains naturally contain less gluten (if you have severe gluten sensitivity or Celiac, avoid all together because sprouting does not eliminate all gluten).
So how does the process of making sprouted grains differ from regular white or wheat breads? The first step is soaking the grains in water, in a highly controlled environment, until the grain sprouts. Once sprouted, it’s then drained, mixed together, ground up and used. (Fun fact: if you left the grain untouched after sprouting, it would grow into a plant) During the sprouting process, enzymes are released that break down the proteins and carbohydrates in the grain, which increases the vitamin & mineral content and makes the product easier to digest.
For example: because many traditional breads are harder to digest, a person doesn’t absorb as many nutrients from what they’re eating; whereas, sprouted grains provide the body with a grain that’s already been broken down due to naturally present enzymes in the living grain, helping nutrients to be absorbed almost immediately.
Not only are there sprouted breads, but also sprouted nuts, pastas, cereals, legumes, beans, lentils and more. These all go through the same process, so if you have issues digesting certain foods, maybe go with a sprouted grain next time and take note on how you feel (I personally feel more satiated and less bloated after eating sprouted bread or English muffins). You can find sprouted grain breads at your local grocery store, Whole Foods, Central Market and even Trader Joe’s! One of my favorite meals is an Ezekiel English muffin smeared with avocado, a couple turkey slices, spicy mustard and a little salt & pepper.