Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sprouted Grains

I have been reading about sprouted grain flour and finally bought some through Amazon.com.  Sprouted grain is just simply grain that has been harvested and then allowed to absorb moisture so that the grain sprouts.  Before the early 1900's grain naturally sprouted in the fields due to inefficient processing. This often allowed the grain to lose integrity before it was milled and could even mold during the process.  In the 1900s the columbine harvester was introduced which changed the milling industry, allowing the grain the be harvested without sprouting and taken directly into storage bins.  It was more easily produced and stored, but not more nutritious. Modern processes  allow for controlled sprouting of grain, capturing the sprout at its peak, sealing in all the nutrients of the energy laden sprout. Flour made from this sprout is essentially from a plant and not a seed, providing nutrients that are more easily absorbed with much easier digestibility.  In 2008 the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service ruled that sprouted grains are actually more like a vegetable than a grain. Sprouted grains have vitamin C, increased vitamin B, and help the body to better absorb calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc. Sally Fallon, a great proponent of a wholesome, traditional diet and founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation, has a great explanation of sprouted grains in her book Nourishing Traditions.  If you read her book, be forewarned that she also advocates for eating butter, whole raw dairy, fermented foods, and meat, completely in opposition to much of what you read in health literature today.  I must say I think she makes a convincing case!

So I jumped right in and ordered a 5 pound bag of sprouted whole wheat flour from To Your Health Sprouted Flour.  It is a great source of organic sprouted grains. I ordered through Amazon as that is how I stumbled on to their product.  Next time I will order from them directly.

The flour arrived on Friday and came with a nice leaflet of recipes. I decided to make their cinnamon-raisin quick bread.  It was a simple batter of sprouted flour mixed with buttermilk, then eggs, melted butter,  agave nectar (they called for honey), salt, baking soda, cinnamon, raisins and vanilla  extract.  It bakes for an hour to an hour and a half. It says it makes one large or two small loaves.  I should have used two pans as mine ran over (thank goodness I put a baking sheet underneath the pan). I also should have covered the loaf toward the end as it got a little bit dark.  Even with that, it is delicious.   I immediately ate the part that cooked over the edge with some butter!

I ate it this morning toasted with some peanut butter.  It is very filling.  I am surprisingly still not hungry and I ate  4 hours ago!

Does anyone else cook with sprouted grains?  What do you think?