Today at We Feed You HQ, we’re putting the spotlight on sprouted grains. Are you a fan? Or do you eye them suspiciously and keep right on moving? Have you ever tried sprouting at home? What the heck are they anyway?
Quite simply, sprouted grains are whole-grain seeds that have just begun to germinate. The process involves soaking the seeds in water, and exposing them to carefully controlled conditions (to get the temperature and moisture right). You can actually do this at home if you’re keen – for example in a vented jar on your window sill. And of course you can buy a variety of sprouted grain products in supermarkets and health food shops. But why? What are the benefits?
During germination, some of the starch breaks down and nutrient availability is often increased.
The soaking and germination also helps to break down phytates, which can bind to nutrients and reduce absorption in our gut.
Nutrients that may be higher in sprouted grains include folate, iron, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, and protein.
Sprouted grains have a delicious, nutty taste, and may also be a bit easier to digest than regular grains – especially for those with sensitive digestive systems.A point to note though: It’s not advised to eat raw sprouted grains, as they can contain unwanted bacteria. It’s best to mash them into a paste for use in baked goods, or cook the raw sprouts before adding them to a meal. For the same reason, you should also keep cooked sprouts and sprouted-grain baked goods in the fridge.