Sprouted Grains look to be a new trend this year. It may sound new, but sprouted grains have been around for many years. Don’t write them off as another fad before trying these germinated gems.
What are sprouted grains? Seeds that germinate and being to grow. Made from whole grains, sprouted grains offer the same or better nutrition benefits when compared to regular whole grains. When the seed begins to germinate it uses some of the carbohydrate found in the seed to sprout. That leaves the consumer with a grain higher in protein and other nutrients. Many say that the enzymes that are activated help to break down the grain’s starchy core yield, and produce an easier to digest grain and greater nutrient accessibility.
Depending on the grain the sprouting process can increase vitamin C, folate, soluble fiber, antioxidants, and decrease gluten and insoluble fiber.
I enjoy sprouting mung beans, wheat berries, lentils, and millet. These germinated seeds can be added to a variety of dishes and will add variety, a chewy texture and unique flavor profile. Sprouting grains at home is super easy. The most common method is the “soak, rinse, and drain”. First choose your seed, then place seed into ball jar or a container that has a mesh lid (that allows for draining). Rinse the seeds, drain and cover the top of the jar with cheesecloth if you don’t have a mesh top. Repeat for 2-3 days and soon you will see the seed begin to germinate.
It is important that you take precaution with your home batch product. The seeds like a warm and humid environment that is ideal for bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria, and E.coli. To prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria make sure all equipment is sterilized and kept clean. It is also important to keep them refrigerated after sprouting. You can also cook them to minimize the risk of food poising.
Sprouted grain products continue to rise and look to see more sprouted grain options in stores. Even today it is easy to find sprouted bread, crackers, and tortillas.