It’s obvious that whole wheat bread is healthier than white bread. But what about sprouted grains? And what is sprouted grain bread, anyway? I’m personally a big fan of sprouted grain bread. I’ve been eating and buying Ezekiel bread for my family for a longtime, and we all love it! The bread comes in lots of varieties—cinnamon raisin, sesame seed, buns, English muffins, tortillas, and more—so we often choose from multiple loaves in our freezer. Freezer? Yep. Keep reading to learn what sets this bread apart and if it’s worth making the switch.
How does sprouted bread differ from whole wheat and white bread?
White bread is made by removing the wheat kernel’s germ and bran (where the nutrients are), then grinding up only the endosperm into flour.
Whole wheat bread is made by grinding wheat kernels whole, including the germ and bran. Whole wheat flour provides fiber and naturally-occurring vitamins and proteins.
Sprouted-grain bread is made from wheat kernels that have been sprouted, grounded and baked into bread. This process retains more of the nutrients.
What exactly are sprouted grains?
A regular grain is essentially a seed that you could put in the ground to grow a new seed-producing plant. When you let that grain start to grow, but harvest it before the shoot turns into a full-fledged plant, you end up with sprouted grain.
Why are sprouted grains more nutrient dense?
In order for a shoot to grow, the seed digests some of the starch inside and uses it as fuel to break through its outer shell. This process makes the sprouted grain naturally lower in starch, so it has higher proportions of other nutrients (protein, vitamins, and minerals) compared to unsprouted grains. Sprouted grains contain 25% less carbs and 60% less less fat compared to whole grains, according to an analysis by the Department of Agriculture.
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Sprouted grains contains less gluten, which is a bonus for those who are gluten-sensitive.While not gluten free, it can be easier for slightly gluten-sensitive individuals to eat. Plus for vegetarians, sprouted grain products may be a better choice. Sprouted grain breads made with variety of grains and legumes, like Ezekiel bread, deliver all of the amino acids necessary to make up a complete protein, which vegetarians might be missing out on by not eating meat.
Is sprouted grain bread a smarter choice?
More protein, vitamins and minerals, yes please! However, the protein boost at the seed level doesn’t mean much for human nutrition. The sprouted grains in baked products, like breads, lose some of their nutritional benefits during the production process. Most of the nutritional benefits get lost when you take that sprouted grain, then dry it, grind it into flour, and expose it to heat. If you can’t find sprouted grain bread or they are crazy-expensive, similar whole grain products would be just as good.
If you don’t see sprouted bread on the shelf, check the frozen organic food section, where they are often stored in freezers for freshness