Thursday, August 20, 2009
Sprouting changes the composition of starch molecules, converting them into vegetable sugars, so the body recognizes and digests sprouted grains as a vegetable. Enzymes are also created that aid digestion, complex sugars are broken down which can eliminate painful gas, and vitamin and mineral levels increase. Furthermore, sprouting neutralizes carcinogens and enzyme inhibitors, as phytic acid that inhibits absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.
I have stayed away from sprouted flour because it is expensive to buy/ship and hard to find. Mostly, I am skeptical of the quality because I know how quickly flour looses it's nutrition once milled and going through a storage/buying/shipping/process takes a lot of time. Not to mention keeping it on hand for months as you need it. So when I found out I could do it at home, I decided to go for it.
The steps are simple if you have ever sprouted any grain. I used kamut and spelt my first time because I have had great success in sprouting those. I started in the afternoon and soaked the grains in half-filled quart jars, covered with filtered water. In the morning I rinsed them 3 times, swirling each time. I put a cut piece of cheese cloth held on by a jar band (could also use clean pantyhose.) This made it easy to dump the water each time while keeping the grain in the jar. I then let them drain tilted top down in a large bowl. I repeated the rinse in the afternoon and just before bed they had sprouted. Just a short white tail growing out of one end. I rinsed again and spread out in a thin layer on sheet pans. I set my oven to the dehydrate setting at 110 degrees and left them overnight. In the morning they were completely dry and ready to mill.
I only mill as needed and store the rest whole to preserve nutrition. Under these instructions, this flour is a raw food. Most ovens do not have a setting under 170. While this cooks the grain, which effects the enzymes, I feel this is still a worthwhile process. Most flour you are using for baking purposes, thus cooking the flour in the end anyway. I have not experimented much with the end result, but as I use this nutritious flour in recipes I will report back.
Do you use sprouted flour? If so, do you have any tips?