This week my quote comes from Sprouted Baking by Janie Quinn. I wanted to quote from this book because we've been talking so much lately about various methods of preparing grains. Some of you have wondered which is best – to ferment (sourdough)? to sprout? to soak? All of the above methods neutralize phytic acid, but not to the same degree. Soaking neutralizes the least, and fermenting neutralizes the most. If not checked, the phytic acid would interfere with mineral absorption. So, really, the best combination is to sprout and ferment, like using sprouted flour in sourdough bread, but let's just talk about why sprouting is so wonderful, and more beneficial when compared to soaking of unsprouted flours. To do that I'll quote from Janie Quinn.
Sprouted whole wheat was found to have 28 percent more thiamine (vitamin B1), 315 percent more riboflavin (vitamin B2), 66 percent more niacin (vitamin B3), 65 percent more pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), 111 percent more biotin, 278 percent more folic acid and 300 percent more vitamin C in comparison with unsprouted whole wheat.
Here's more about the sprouting process which makes those vitamin levels go off the chart:
Unsprouted seeds hold the nutrients, vitamins and minerals in a dormant state. The germ portion of the seed contains all the genetic information to turn that seed into a full-grown plant, as well as the enzymes necessary for sprouting. When the grain cell germinates, or sprouts, that genetic information ignites, and the resulting amylase activity, or enzymatic action, ultimately results in plant growth. During the sprouting process, the starch molecules, or complex carbohydrates, are broken down into smaller parts, referred to as simple sugars. Simple sugars are the building blocks that make up complex carbohydrates but in a form that the body absorbs more easily. The body recognizes and readily digests simple sugars for quick energy, as opposed to starches that can be stored as fat. The grain sprouts, transforming itself into a plant, and we know that plants consist primarily of simple sugars that easily digest in the body in the form of vegetables.
So, sprouting neutralizes phytic acid, increases vitamin levels, and transforms the grain into simple sugars. In addition, sprouting increases enzyme activity, lactobacilli growth, and pre-digests gluten.
We've talked about sprouted grains at traditionalcookingschool.com before. Refer to the following posts for instructions on sprouting and recipe ideas – all of them super yummy!
- How to sprout grains for flour
- Sprouted recipes: lemon cake, cookies, tortillas, biscuits, scones, and crackers.
Have you read this book or used sprouted flour? What do you think? Do you like it? How do you feel? Please share in the comments – and if you're quick on the draw, I'd love for you to share a snippet of something you read this week that inspired (even angered!) you this week. Be sure to state the title and author, and/or give a link if appropriate. I am looking forward to reading your gems!
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