When I mention the word bread there’s often two reactions: I don’t do carbs or I don’t do wholegrain. Only white. It’s sad really, that the ancient art of bread making has been whipped with the ‘carb’ stick or refined into a sugary, processed shadow of its former self.
But centuries ago, they knew where it was at. Or at least, the Essenes knew where it was at, creating sprouted breads made from grains, seeds, berries and other yummy treats that worked in line with their raw, vegetarian palettes, as well as their healing lifestyle. Since then (they say the bread has been around for 6,000 years) essene, or sprouted breads, have been pushed aside in order for more sugary, processed and less nutritious options to be hailed as THE bread to eat.
But now, sprouting is slowly making its way back into the mainstream, with switched on health types realising that sprouted grains in all their forms are nutritious, easier to digest and, in many cases, eliminate bloating and insensitivity to grains altogether. Plus, raw foodists LOVE this technique as there’s no cooking required (although some of the breads are baked, sprouted grains can be soaked and then swiftly eaten. Nothing to do in-between).
Image courtesy of Shelterness.com
But what is sprouted bread?
Sprouted bread has many different forms, but essentially, it’s a loaf of ‘bread’ compiled by grains that have been sprouted, rather than processed, refined or ground down. The processing of grains involves removing the bran and the germ in order to preserve the grain so it lasts longer. However, this also happens to strip the grains of essential nutrients, leaving you with, well, not much at all. The sprouted bread I eat contains seeds, coconut, magnesium, neem and, depending on the day, garlic, olives or even fruit. It doesn’t really feel or taste like traditional bread that you get from the bakery or supermarket, as they often don’t contain flours, salt, sugar, gluten or other known irritants found in conventional loaves. Just the good stuff!
Why is it good for you?
In short, sprouted bread is higher in protein, enzymes and vitamins than most conventional breads. They are also low GI, so you know, they release slowly into your body leaving you fuller for longer. By sprouting your grains, rather than processing them, you are keeping all those delicious nutrients, vitamins and enzymes in place, allowing the entire grain (the germ, endosperm and bran) to slowly, naturally, do its thing. While the sprouted bread I eat doesn’t contain wheat, it has been said that sprouting wheat breaks down lectins so it’s not as irritating on your gut.
Here are some of the noted health benefits of sprouting grains…
- Sprouted brown rice can help fight diabetes.
- Sprouted buckwheat can protect against fatty liver disease.
- It’s said cardiovascular risk reduced by sprouted brown rice.
- Many say sprouted brown rice decreases depression and fatigue in nursing mothers.
- Decreased blood pressure has been linked to sprouted barley.
What’s that? You’re sold. Where can you buy it?
If you live in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs head to Suveran on Oxford St. in Bondi Junction.
Otherwise, Pure Life Bakery stocks plenty of health food stores country wide. Check out your nearest stockist on their website – www.purelifebakery.com
And Lifestyle Bakery have a range of sprouted bread, too. Take a look at www.lifestylebakery.com.au
Holy moly, you want to make it? OK, try this…
Start by sprouting your grains of choice. Try millet, quinoa, wheat or buckwheat. Whatever you like, just buy the whole grain, place it in a tray and cover them with water. Be sure to change the water everyday to ensure your grains don’t rot. Let them sit in a cool, dry place for 2-3 days.
Once done, lightly blitz your grains (your want about 1 cup of each grain) in a food processor with 1/2 cup of water, 1 tbls coconut oil and any other additions you want. Olives, garlic, thyme, fruit…play around. Once all the ingredients are mixed, simply shape and place into a lined loaf tin and bake for an hour in an oven of 150-180 degrees. If you wanted to go raw, place it in the tin and let it dehydrate for a few days. It’s up to you.
Tell me Happies…
Have you tried sprouted bread?
Do you want to?