This careful preparation of wheat and other grains is necessary in order to eliminate anti-nutrients such as phytic acid and lectins. It also helps neutralize toxins and break down difficult to digest proteins such as gluten. This process optimized digestibility to allow maximum absorption of nutrients.
Unfortunately, this traditional preparation method has been lost with our modern cooking techniques. Today, home chefs value speed and convenience over nutrient density and digestibility!
Many consumers are returning to these wise and traditional preparation methods, especially as allergies and intolerances to grains continue to explode in the industrialized world. It is amazing to me how many folks label themselves as “gluten intolerant”. If they only realized how simple cooking techniques will easily break down the gluten and allow them to enjoy wheat again! This is exactly what my husband discovered when we started eating traditionally prepared grains in our home.
Benefits of Sprouted Flour
Sprouted flour is substantially more nutritious than unsprouted. For example, vitamin C is produced by sprouting grain, but it is absent in the unsprouted form. Vitamin B content is increased dramatically by sprouting as are carotenes, precursors to Vitamin A.
Sprouting inactivates the irritating substances in the hull of the grain as well. These inhibitors (phytic acid) have the potential to neutralize enzymes in the digestive tract. Hence, sprouting exponentially increases ease of digestion! It reduces the chances of indigestion and bloating too.
From a practical point of view, you feel full more quickly and stay satisfied longer when sprouted foods are consumed. The increased nutrition in each bite is what makes this possible.
Sprouting Inactivates Aflatoxins
Much media attention has been focused recently on the problem of aflatoxins in grains. Aflatoxins are potent carcinogens in grains and are present in high quantities in highly processed foods such as crackers, cookies, chips, and cereals. Sprouting inactivates aflatoxins, which is just another reason to follow the wisdom of traditional peoples in grain preparation!
Sprouting takes a bit of time, but it is quite easy and can be done in bulk. You probably will only need to do it once a month or so depending on how much sprouted flour you use.
Equipment for Sprouting Flour
The first item you need to sprout grain is a glass container with a screen lid (like this one). Many health food stores sell sprouting jars, but they are sometimes pricey. You can easily make one yourself at home using a glass jar and a clean pair of pantyhose cut to fit the lid of the jar and fastened with a rubber band.
The recipe below describes the sprouting process from start to finish.
Homemade Sprouted Flour
How to make sprouted flour yourself at home from sprouted grain for all your baking needs. Sprouted flour is more nutritious, filling and digestible.
Fill sprouting jar no more than half full of grain. Rinse the wheat several times with filtered water until the berries are completely wet.
Fill the jar until almost full with water and let the berries soak overnight. The next morning, tip the jar and drain out the water using the screen lid to prevent the berries from spilling out. Rinse the wheat one more time and then invert the jar and let it sit at an angle to facilitate draining and allowing the circulation of air. I use my grain grinder as a support for the jar so that the draining occurs right over the kitchen sink.
Every few hours, rinse the wheat again and reset the jar in the draining position. In anywhere from a few hours to a few days (depending on the time of year and warmth/humidity in your home), small white buds will appear on the ends of the wheat kernels.
Pour the sprouted wheat kernels into baking pans and place in a dehydrator or a warm oven (150 F) for about 24 hours until fully dried. Keep a shallow depth for the wheat kernels in the pans to ensure quick drying. Take care not to go over 150 F/ 65 C else you will toast the flour in addition to dry it..
After the sprouted wheat berries are dry, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or grind immediately and then freeze the sprouted flour. Use sprouted flour just like you would use regular flour in your favorite baking recipes.
Recipes Using Sprouted Flour
Once you’ve successfully made your first batch of sprouted flour, try one or more of these sprouted flour recipes to enjoy the delicious fruits of your labor!
- Sprouted Brownies
- Belgian Waffles
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Traditional Sprouted Stuffing
- Sprouted Flour Pizza Crust
- Sprouted Crackers
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist