Sprouted grains – what are they and why should you be eating them?

Could your quinoa, chia and flax seed be even healthier? We unpack the growing promise and some of the science behind sprouted grains.

Put simply, sprouted grains are grains that have begun to grow – they’re also a part of a new nutrition concept that’s started to shoot up in popularity.

Sprouted grains are harvested before becoming fully fledged plants, but in the act of sprouting they’re said to lose starch and make way for a richer proportion of nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals.

For Fermentanicals founder Jayta Szpitala, a set of sprouted grain products were the obvious next step for her wholefoods range.

Fermentanicals – as its name suggests – began with fermented turmeric and fermented black garlic capsules. Through research, Jayta found fermentation was the best way to unlock the true potency of superfoods like turmeric and garlic. Fermentanicals' Fermented Turmeric Capsules took out the Health Food Prize at the Food and Beverage Awards this year.

Sprouting has been her second effort to dig deeper into the possibilities of wholefoods.

“We are research nutcases. So, we do the hard yards of pouring over empirical data to find out what superfoods are hard to digest, what makes them easier to absorb, and what the additional benefits are,” Jayta explains. “This has basically led us to specializing in fermenting, sprouting, and activating.”

“We’ve found these age old techniques work to not only pre-digest the food, but it also alters the nutritional composition of the food itself, and it often amplifies it, which is amazing.”

In Fermentanicals sprouted grains range is an organic sprouted chia, which is slightly crunchier and lower in calories. There’s organic sprouted flax, quinoa, and buckwheat flour too.

“Through the germination process, the nutritional composition of the grain changes,” Jayta says. “Although each grain is unique, studies have found that the removal of digestive inhibitors and the deactivation of anti-growth enzymes will effectively increase the micronutrient elements of the grains.”

Basically, sprouted grains will often boast double the antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals than their non-sprouted counterparts.

“It also neutralizes the harsh acids that coat these grains, such as phytic acid, while making the grains more alkaline and reducing the calories,” adds Jayta.

Check out some of Jayta's recipes using sprouted grains here. Or swap regular chia for sprouted chia in an acai berry breakfast bowl, or in this chia, banana and walnut loaf with banana cream, or a lemon and coconut chia pudding. Use sprouted quinoa in our recipe for cranberry quinoa bars

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