Monday, June 27, 2011

Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour

I'm experimenting with our wheat berries since James and I are in the middle of harvesting this year's wheat.  We still have quite a bit left from last year.  James probably tripled the amount grown this year so I need to find a better way to use it. 

I recently read a pizza dough recipe made with sprouted whole wheat flour.  I've never used it so I Googled it.  First of all, a 5 lb bag of sprouted whole wheat flour costs $15.44 so it has to be good for you right?  At least it has to be a lot of work to get it.  It happens to be both of these - good for you and a lot of work (that is, if you grow it yourself).  If you're interested in using it yourself you might find this interesting.

Why Sprouted Flour?

The Benefits of Sprouted Flour:
  • Easier to Digest - Sprouting breaks down the starches in grains into simple sugars so your body can digest them like a vegetable (like a tomato, not a potato).
  • Increased Vitamin C - Sprouting produces vitamin C.
  • Increased Vitamin B - Sprouting increases the vitamin B content (B2, B5, and B6).
  • Increased Carotene - Sprouting increases the carotene up to eight times.
  • Increased Enzymes are actually produced during sprouting.
  • Reduction of Anti-nutrients - Sprouting neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid, which is a substance present in the bran of all grains that inhibits absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.
Until the 20th century, grain naturally sprouted in the field before it was milled into flour. The invention of the combine harvester during the Industrial Revolution changed everything. Grain could be harvested in the field and then moved to storage bins. The time-honored practice of sprouting was cast aside for modern processing.
Unfortunately, nutrition was also cast aside. When whole grains are not allowed to ferment or sprout, they don’t contain the nutrients that sprouted whole grains do. And they retain the naturally occurring antinutrients, even when milled into flour.

Makes sense to me.  So I decided to make some.  First I soaked the wheat berries (seeds) in water overnight.  The next day I drained them.  I let them sit another 2 days, rinsing them off each day, until they sprouted small white sprouts like this.
I dried them in my food dehydrator but you could dry them in the sun, I suppose.  It took maybe 6 hours in the dehydrator at 105 degrees.
When they were dry I ground them in my coffee grinder but it never makes it as fine as I want my flour to be

so today I broke down and ordered a Nutimill wheat/grain mill.
I've been wanting one of these for 3 years but couldn't bring myself to spend the money on one.  Since this is our 3rd year growing wheat I decided it's worth the money and we'll get lots of use out of it in the future.  I can't wait till it comes.  Sprouted whole wheat flour is supposed to be very sweet.  I hope we love it.  I doubt it's as sweet as Rice Krispy Treats.  It's definitely more work but I'm sure it's a healthier addition to our diets. 


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