Before the advent of modern agriculture, crops sprouted naturally in the fields before being harvested. Only recently, as agriculture has become mechanized, have we completely eliminated sprouted grains from our diets.
Many cultures also intentionally sprouted grains for their improved taste, texture and digestibility. Evidence from Egyptian bread residue from 1350 BC found that sprouted grains were used at this time. Their climate excludes the possibility of storage or pre-harvest germination, suggesting that sprouting was a deliberate act of food preparation.
In many places, sprouting has been passed down through generations and is still alive today. Here in North America, sprouting is experiencing a resurgence as food prepared in a slow and thoughtful way continues to gain traction. There is no shortcut to sprouting grains, seed and pulses. This means consumers feel assured they are receiving the whole, naturally sprouted grain, seed or pulse when buying sprouted products. The act of sprouting is to bring these ancient cultural practices alive in the modern world.
NUTRITION & DIGESTIBILITY
A lot of changes occur within a seed during germination; a nutrition facts panel may remain unchanged, but molecular changes enhance digestibility and bioavailability.
During germination, starch, protein and lipid degrading enzymes are all activated which act as a symphony of metabolic processes that pre-digest the grain, seed or pulse, converting dense protein chains into simpler amino acids and complex carbohydrates into simple sugars. These sugars are easier for our bodies to break down and digest. Despite this conversion from starch to sugar, the glycemic index of sprouted cereal grains is very low.
Whole grains contain phytic acid, which can inhibit our digestive systems from fully absorbing the grain's nutrients. Sprouting has been shown to reduce the levels of phytic acid, dependant on the seed and sprouting time. After a germination time of 48 hours, phytic acid levels of chickpeas show a 67% decrease. Enzymes that are activated during germination unlock these nutrient inhibitors, converting the nutrients naturally present in the seed into a more useable form so the seed can grow into a plant. Sprouting jumpstarts this process but stops before the seed becomes a plant, increasing the bioavailability of its nutrients.
As the demand for healthier, whole, minimally processed food grows, many individuals and companies are turning to whole grain ingredients. In baking and cooking, whole grains can often be difficult to work with;
sprouting makes whole grains user-friendly.
HOW SPROUTED GRAINS CAN IMPROVE BAKED GOODS
Increased Loaf Volume
Whole grain flours often result in a short, dense loaf, but sprouted flours can actually increase loaf volume. We will work with you to custom sprout grains according to your specific requirements. A loaf that is using a small percentage, 50% or 100% sprouted whole grain would be sprouted differently in order to achieve maximum performance and nutritional benefits.
Incorporating Whole Seeds
We can also custom sprout and blend a variety of grains and seeds that can be incorporated into bread or baked on top for extra nutrition and texture.
Increased Shelf Life
For bakers, one of the biggest challenges to using whole grain flours is that it spoils quickly. Our real time shelf life studies indicate that sprouted wheat flour does not go rancid as quickly as unsprouted wheat flour and has a shelf life of over 1 year. Our in house research has shown that using sprouted flour causes bread to stale at a slower rate than an unsprouted control.
Improved Flavour and Texture
White flour is a flavourless blank slate, whole grain flour can be dense and bitter, but a wide variety of sprouted flours can boost the flavour and texture of any baked good. For example, sprouted wheat flour packs all the nutrition of a whole grain flour while maintaining a soft, fluffy texture and mild, sweet taste.
In Pancakes, muffins, cakes, cookies etc.
In baking trials with 100% sprouted wheat flour, we achieve light, soft, flavourful baked goods. Overmixing batter made with white flour results in flat, chewy baked goods, but because sprouted flour is whole grain, bran cuts the gluten, allowing batter to expand, resulting in soft fluffy baked goods even if it’s overmixed.
HOW SPROUTED GRAINS, SEEDS AND PULSES CAN IMPROVE MEAL PREPARATION
Reduced Cook Time
Many whole grains and pulses are inconvenient or even unrealistic to work with because of long cook times. Sprouting reduces the cook time of grains and pulses, in many cases by half. This allows for much simpler preparation and makes it possible to work with a wider variety of whole grains.
Custom Grain Blends
Because sprouting affects the cook time of whole seeds, it provides the unique opportunity to create custom blends of grains that otherwise could not be cooked together.
No Pre-Soaking for Pulses
There is already soaking required for the germination process, so this step in the cooking of pulses can be completely eliminated.
Improved Flavour and Texture
During germination a number of structural changes occur, producing complex flavours and delightful textures. Sprouted brown rice, hulless oats, emmer and wheat berries have a soft and delicate texture when cooked, while grains and seeds like buckwheat and millet become crunchy. For pseudo cereals such as quinoa and amaranth, the soaking and sprouting process helps to rid the seed of naturally occurring saponin which is responsible for bitterness. In other seeds and grains such as buckwheat, rice, sunflower and pumpkin, flavours become more subtle with earthy, nutty tastes.
SPROUTING IS A SUSTAINABLE CHOICE
Our sprouted flours are 100% whole grain, meaning there is higher output and less waste than refined or whole wheat flours.
Our sprouting process is specially designed to reduce the amount of water we use, giving you a sustainable product that you can feel good about.