Sprouted wheat flour is full of bioavailable nutrients that your body can absorb easier than regular flour. The sprouting process allows your body to digest the flour as if it were a vegetable. Sprouting the flour greatly reduces the amount of gluten and significantly increases the nutrient content.
What is the Sprouted Wheat Flour Process?
The process of sprouting your own wheat has several important key components.
- You need to purchase hard white wheat kernels.
- The kernels need to be washed or rather rinsed several times in clean water.
- Kernels need to sit in water and soak for a minimum of 8 hours and maximum of 10 hours.
- Once they have reached the “chewy stage” kernels need to be rinsed.
- The kernels need to be dried.
- Dried sprouted wheat kernels are then ground into flour using a home wheat grinder.
- The flour is ready to use! It will store nicely in a container for up to 4 months.
The Health Benefits of Sprouted Wheat Flour
Sprouted wheat flour has some many health benefits.
Think of the process a seed goes through in the early stages. When a seed is placed in rich soil, given water, and plenty of sunlight, it begins to germinate. The environment around the seed signals to the seed that it is time to put roots into the ground. Many of the nutrients bound up inside of the seed are then released to help the plant take root!
These nutrients are held captive by phytic acid or phytate which is found in all edible plant seeds (such as nuts, grains, and legumes). Once the phytic acid is broken down (through sprouting, soaking, or fermenting), the seed is essentially changed, and digested much easier.
Some of the wonderful nutrients that are now available for easy absorption in sprouted wheat flour, are iron, vitamin c, folate, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B, and protein.
There are less carbohydrates and less gluten, which make it a great choice for some gluten intolerant people.
Is Sprouted Wheat Flour Better for You Than Whole Wheat or Regular Flour?
Yes! To understand the difference, its best to know that wheat is made up of bran (outer layer, rich in fiber), germ (full of nutrients, inner layer), and endosperm (the bulk part of the kernel, contains some vitamins and minerals).
White Flour- is primarily made up of the endosperm portion of wheat eliminating most of the nutrients in the grain. The absence of the germ increases the shelf life of white flour. It is also chemically bleached to give it a clean look. Easy to find and the most affordable.
Wheat Flour- includes the bran, germ, and endosperm of the wheat. The germ (remember, inner layer) decreases the shelf life making wheat flour harder to find and not lasting as long.
Sprouted Wheat Flour- when sprouting begins, certain enzymes are activated and start to break down and metabolize the endosperm. Protein compounds go through the same change within the kernel increasing the bioavailability of all the nutrients. These changes make sprouted wheat flour the best choice because our bodies can digest it much easier with little inflammation. Sprouted wheat flour is hard to find and expensive because it is a longer process to get the kernels to this optimal state.
If I’m Allergic to Gluten, Can I Eat Sprouted Wheat Flour?
Yes, it is worth a try! During the sprouting process, enzymes essentially “pre-digest” the gluten. Those with non-celiac gluten sensitivities tend to do really well with sprouted wheat flour.
Can You Sprout Your Own Wheat from Home?
Yes! You definitely can sprout your own wheat flour from home! We have been sprouting our own hard white wheat flour in our kitchen for many years and have enjoyed the benefits.
Are Sprouting, Fermenting, and Soaking the Same Thing?
Yes, essentially, sprouting, fermenting, and soaking are all principally doing the same thing. They are neutralizing enzyme inhibitors (phytic acid- the big one!), present in all seeds and encouraging the production of many beneficial enzymes.
In fact, our ancestors for centuries have sprouted, fermented, and soaked all grains before making them into casseroles, porridges, and breads. Before commercial brewers yeast was introduced in Europe, slow-rise breads were made out from fermented starters. Only recently (the past 100 years or less) have we had access to fast acting yeasts.