Whole Grains are an important source of fiber, are low in fat and contain vitamins and minerals. Whole grains contain all three parts of the kernel. The bran, or multilayered outer skin of the kernel; the germ, which contains B vitamins, some protein, minerals and healthy fats; and the endosperm, which contains starchy carbohydrates, proteins and a small amount of nutrients. Examples: Rolled Oats, Brown Rice
Refined Grains are whole grains that have had the germ and the bran removed. Whole grains are superior to refined grains because refined grains have had significant amount of the fibre, vitamins and nutrients removed. Examples: white rice, white flour, cream of wheat.
Whole Wheat Flour: Under Health Canada regulations, up to 5 per cent of the wheat kernel (approximately 70 per cent of the germ) can be removed and the resulting flour can still be called whole wheat. Food manufacturers can thus label bread 100-per-cent whole wheat even if they have removed most of the nutrient-packed germ. The germ is mostly removed because it contains polyunsaturated fatty acids which, if not removed, decrease its shelf life.
Sprouted Wheat Grain: Sprouted grains are nutritiously superior to whole wheat flour products because of the lack of processing of the grain and potentially, the increased bioavailability of nutrients. Some of the known benefits include: increased digestibility, increased absorption of minerals, increased antioxidants, and increased vitamin C and vitamin B. They are higher in fibre, riboflavin, folate and thiamine than their conventional counterparts. Sprouted grains may also be less allergenic to those with grain protein sensitivities.
Labels to Choose: Whole Grain, Sprouted Grain
Products may be made with or consist of little or no whole grains: multigrain, whole wheat, unbleached flour, wheat grain, multigrain flour, or organic.
The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread
1 cup / 135g sunflower seeds
½ cup / 90g flax seeds
½ cup / 65g hazelnuts or almonds
1 ½ cups / 145g rolled oats
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt (add ½ tsp. if using coarse salt)
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia)
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee
1 ½ cups / 350ml water
1. In a flexible, silicon loaf pan combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
3. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important).
4. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!
From My New Roots, Sarah Britton