Behind the Seed: Whole Grains
As one of the essential food groups we’d be in a tough situation if it weren't for our beloved grains. Grains are commonly eaten in the form of breads, pastries, cakes, cereals, granolas, etc…
Though grains are vital to our daily health and nutrition, many of us know little about them. In recent years, grains, breads, wheat, flour, and all of the other byproducts of grains have gotten a bad rap with the whole gluten-free crusade (that's for another blog post).
Today, let’s talk about whole grains. Whole grain flour comes from the entire grain, which is quite literally why it is called the whole grain. Out growing in the field, all grains start as whole grains, which is the entire seed of whatever type of grain plant it happens to be. The seed itself is made up of three parts: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. For a simple definition of whole grain:
“A grain is considered a whole grain if all three parts of the grain, i.e. the bran, germ, and endosperm, are present in the same proportions that they were when they were growing in the fields.”
Let’s define some more terms:
The bran is the outer skin of the seed kernel, and it contains important, essential nutrients like antioxidants, vitamin B, and fiber.
The germ is the embryo of the seed which, if left in the field, will have the potential of sprouting a new plant through its own reproductive phase. It contains B vitamins, protein, minerals, and of course some healthy fats.
The endosperm is actually the germ’s own food supply and is composed of starch-based carbohydrates, proteins, and some of its own vitamins and minerals.
Generally speaking, whole grains are simply healthier for you. They include all of the nutritional value of the grain, as none of it is removed during processing.
It is more time consuming to process whole grains, which is why manufacturers are often so keen to push white breads and white flours, as opposed to whole grain breads and whole grain flours. This is also why whole grain breads and whole grain flours are more expensive. But they are totally worth it.
For example, white flour is essentially whole wheat flour which has had its germ and bran removed, which takes away a huge percentage of the nutritional value of the grain. But, it is easier to process that way and it keeps for longer, too, extending the potential sale process and shelf life of the product. Manufacturers like this, though it is not necessarily the best thing for the consumer (that's you!).
While we can bake with pretty much anything at 20 Shekels, we choose to use whole grains as much as possible, because, let's face it, they are much better for you and that's kind of our thing. We use the healthiest ingredients available to deliver bread that is a slice (pun intended) above the rest. The end result? Our bread is the best tasting, healthiest bread you will ever eat, hands down, period.
Don’t just take our word for it, we invite you to come by 20 Shekels Bread and try a sample. See (and taste) for yourself! We can be found at 1877 Drew Street, in beautiful Clearwater, Florida.