Bread winners: Sprouted grain and spelt
Craving bread? You can do a lot better than wheat. Modern wheat (a lot like corn) is an indestructible crop. It’s been hybridized and modified so it can withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at it. The problem? It’s pretty much indestructible in your body too. Other grains, like sprouted grains and spelt, are better choices that also can be used to make bread and pasta. Here’s why, along with some brands to try.
What are sprouted grains?
They’re just what they sound like: grains that have been allowed to sprout — the grain starts to grow a little baby plant.
Sprouting tweaks the grain’s nutrition in really beneficial ways. When grains sprout, they fine-tune their nutrients to nourish the new baby plant. Protein, vitamins and antioxidants are increased. Minerals, including iron and zinc, become easier to absorb. All of this makes sprouted grains easier for your body to digest. Almost any grain can be sprouted, but sprouted wheat is most often used in sprouted grain products. Other sprouted grains you might see include barley, millet and spelt.
Another plus: Sprouted-grain foods won’t launch your blood sugar on a metabolism-blocking roller-coaster ride. That’s partly due to all the fiber (which regular whole grains have, too), but partly due to the special “flourless” method of baking sprouted grains. The softened, whole grains are simply mashed into a dough and baked. Your body processes these big pieces of whole grain more slowly than any finely ground flour, even whole-grain flour. You can use sprouted grain products on Phases 1 and 3 of the Fast Metabolism Diet.
As with all packaged products, check ingredient labels carefully. Many products, including sprouted grain and spelt products, contain ingredients not on the Fast Metabolism Diet, including molasses, honey, cane juice, corn and corn flour, and soy.
(Note that sprouting doesn’t get rid of gluten, so take care if you’re gluten-intolerant.)
Spelt is basically an ancestor of wheat, dating back to the fifth century BC — now that’s ancient. Like sprouted wheat, spelt has a better nutritional profile than modern wheat, and is also better digested. Many home bakers use spelt to make homemade bread. Spelt is also a good source of calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, iron, and manganese.
Although spelt does contain gluten, many people who have gluten sensitivities claim that they can tolerate spelt, but it isn’t suitable for those with Celiac disease. You can use spelt breads and pastas on Phase 1 of the Fast Metabolism Diet.
Sprouted grains and spelt: Brands to try
Food for Life’s Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread might be easiest to find nationally. It comes in an orange wrapper, and most stores keep it in the freezer section. (Sprouted grain products have a shorter shelf like than other breads, so it’s a good idea to keep them in the fridge or freezer at home, too.) You can also find Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain pitas, hamburger buns, hot dog buns, cold cereal and English muffins. All have the same ingredients. All have a small amount of sprouted soybeans in them, but it’s a very small percentage. This brand also makes sprouted grain pasta.
Essential Eating makes sprouted-grain cereal and pasta. The single ingredient is 100% sprouted wheat flour.
Manna Organics has some sprouted grain products that fit on the Fast Metabolism Diet. Their Millet Rice Bread contains just four ingredients: Sprouted wheat, brown rice, millet and water. It would be appropriate for Phase 1 on the Diet. Their Sunseed bread would work on Phase 3 since it contains seeds in addition to sprouted wheat.
French Meadow Bakery has quite a few sprouted grain bread products, but most of them include other ingredients that aren’t on the Fast Metabolism Diet. However, French Meadow Bakery 100% Spelt Bread has just three ingredients: Spelt, water and sea salt. It would be appropriate for Phase 1.