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Turnip the Beet! Nutrition and Wellness

Timely news, information, and innovative ideas to promote health and influence change.

Sprouted Grains: New Craze?

So, you’ve heard of ‘multigrain’ and ‘whole grain’ but have you heard of sprouted grains?

If not, you will be hearing a lot more about them as major food chains will be adding different types of sprouted grains to their menus in place of traditional carbohydrates- white and wheat flours.

I will let you in on a little secret. Sprouted grains may be a new buzzword going around the nutrition-conscious community but they have been around as long as people have been growing grain crops. Over a hundred years ago, farmers would harvest their fields, tie the grains into sheaves and leave the grains there until they were ready to be processed. Heat and moisture would then cause some of the grain to naturally sprout. Today, however, companies are able to germinate different grains with germinating equipment in carefully-controlled conditions which allow for peak moisture and warmth. Too much moisture can cause the grains to rot.

So why are they gaining in popularity and getting so much attention right now? The answer is simple: They really are good for you!

whole grain

sprouted grain

There is currently no standard definition for sprouted grains but research is continuing to find many health benefits. Here are a few:

  • Sprouting increases key nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin C, folate, fiber and essential amino acids
  • It is reported that sprouted grains are more easily digested which is great for those with grain sensitivities
  • They have also shown to reduce glycemic response after eating and help to control blood sugar and lipid levels

Eating and Enjoying sprouted grains:

This isn’t rocket science. It is simple substitution. To include more into your diet just swap out traditional grain products (all-purpose flour, wheat flour, rice, etc) with sprouted grain products. You can purchase sprouted grain products from your local health food market, food hub, online retail outlets, and possibly local grocers. You can even pick up some sprouted grain flours for all of your baking needs! If you aren’t sure where to look, just call your local grocer and ask for more information and if they carry any sprouted grains.

I have recently seen some delicious looking recipes for breakfast, main entrees, sides, salads, soups, desserts, and beverages all of which containing sprouted grains. The ideas are endless and I can’t wait to try them!

You can also sprout your own seeds at home for easy access when cooking. Here are some resources to get you started:

Oregon State University Extension: Jump-start spring by sprouting seeds indoors

Virginia Cooperative Extension: Sprouting Seeds for Food

University of Wisconsin Extension: Growing Edible Sprouts at Home

Clemson University Cooperative Extension: Raw Sprouts & Food Safety

Happy Sprouting!!


Whole Grains Council


St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Photos courtesy of Oldways and the Whole Grains Council

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