what is sprouted flour?
Let's break it down.
Sprouting is the process of developing a plant from a seed.
Remember that time, in school, when you had to make a plant grow from an avocado seed?
So you stuck toothpicks in it, plopped it in a glass of water, placed it in front of the window and then waited endlessly for it to grow?
Well, you we're sprouting a seed.
Incidentally, ours NEVER came out looking as good as the picture on the left.
Grains are seeds.
Sometimes they are also called kernels or berries...doesn't really matter...they're still seeds. And there are many different types of them.
Grains that are used to make foods come from grasses (plants) called cereal grasses. And yes, that's why cereal is called cereal. Because the grains used to make whatever is going in that morning breakfast bowl of yours, comes from a cereal grass.
Wheat, rye, spelt, corn, rice, millet, and barley are some examples of cereal grains.
Fun Fact: The word cereal comes from the Latin word cerealis, which came from Ceres, the name of the Roman goddess of agriculture. (One day you'll be able to pull that card out of your back pocket, effectively making you look like a superstar. You're welcome.)
a wheat seed is comprised of three distinct parts.
The bran, the endosperm and the germ. These three parts are separated during the milling process.
The endosperm is the starchy interior and the bulk of the seed. It gets ground into a powdery substance called flour. This is your white flour used in baking.
The bran is the outside of the seed and is a source of fiber your doctor is always talking about. Bran can be purchased separately and is often used in things like muffins and cereals.
The germ, the main source of nutrients, is not included in white flour or bran. It can be purchased separately, usually in a jar cleverly labeled 'wheat germ'. (Baking section, top shelf, somewhere around the yeast and above the flour bags.) Some people sprinkle it on salad, toss in yogurt, etc.
Sprouting a wheat seed changes its composition.
When you sprout a wheat seed (just like the avocado above, except no toothpicks) it begins to grow into a plant. During this process changes occur which make it more beneficial and nutritious.
The acid in the bran of the seed gets neutralized allowing the body to absorb more minerals.
Vitamins A, C, E and particularly B, are increased dramatically.
The starch of the seed (the endosperm) gets broken down into its natural sugars. Digestibility is improved and the glycemic load is lowered. In other words, it doesn't jack up your blood sugar level like traditional white flour.
Once the seed has been properly sprouted it's dried and ground into a powder.
That's actually the definition of flour: a powder obtained by grinding a grain.
It's also why some breads are labeled "flourless". Because they don't grind the grain into a powder.