I have two major connotations when I hear the word “sprout.” The first is alfalfa sprouts, those itty bitty garnish-like vegetations that have essentially no flavor but sometimes come on a salad or a fancy sandwich. The second is the grocery store chain Sprouts Farmers Market, which, if you’ve never been in one, has vibes somewhere between a Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Sprouted bread, on the other hand, is something I’ve only begun to hear about relatively recently. If you, too, are new to sprouted bread, let’s slice into some new bread territory and learn about sprouted bread together, shall we?
What is sprouted bread?
Sprouted bread is bread that is made from whole grains that have been allowed to germinate, or sprout, before being turned into flour. Your classic white bread and other more processed breads use refined wheat flour, whereas whole grain bread uses the entire grain kernel to make the wheat. Sprouted bread takes this a step further, letting those grains sprout before they’re turned into flour.
What does sprouted bread mean?
Sprouted bread means that the bread has been made from wheat that has sprouted, or germinated. Wheat is a plant, after all, and one of the things plants do is sprout. After this wheat sprouts, it’s ground into flour. Sprouted bread is still made with grains like other breads, but those grains have simply been allowed to germinate.
Is sprouted bread gluten free?
Alas, sprouted bread is not gluten free—it is still made with grains containing gluten and thus would not be suitable for those with severe celiac disease. However, for those with mild gluten allergies, sprouted bread may be more digestible because it contains significantly less gluten than white bread and even less than other whole grain offerings. As Food For Life notes, “Before the sprouted grain is used, it is a living food. Enzymes are released during the sprouting process, which break down proteins and carbohydrates. This process helps make sprouted grain food low glycemic and easier to digest.”
How to make sprouted bread?
To get started making sprouted bread, you’re going to want to soak your grains in water until they begin to form a sprout. From here, drain them, mix them together, and grind them up for flour. Then, make your bread as you would any other bread.
Is sprouted bread vegan?
The answer is a resounding “typically yes.” Sprouted bread of most varieties should be vegan, with no animal products employed whatsoever. But of course, there may be exceptions, so be sure to double check the label to be absolutely, positively sure.
What are the health benefits of sprouted bread?
Sprouted bread is made from whole grains, which boosts its nutritional profile. Even beyond that, the sprouting process itself helps add nutrition by increasing amino acids. Sprouted bread is also typically higher than other breads in protein and fiber, as well as some vitamins. In addition, sprouted bread has a lower carb content, which may help with managing blood sugar.