Essential Eating: Sprouted Baking by Janie Quinn

First jar on left are wheat berries sprouting; middle jar are a few of the sprouted berries that have been baked in the oven; jar on right are the roasted berries ground into malt & can be added to flour for baking bread or goodies.

Definition of sprouted whole grain flour from the first page of Sprouted Baking:

“A fine, powdery vegetable foodstuff obtained by milling seeds of grain (grass) that have germinated into living plants; made from the entire grain including the bran, germ and endosperm; a nutrient-dense source of nourishment.”

My very first thought when I read the title Sprouted Baking was, “It’s about time!”  As a former co-owner of a commercial sprout operation and a “kitchen sprouter” in my own home, this is an idea whose time has finally come.  For many years I have recognized the value of sprouting grains for increased nutrition, but never thought anyone would develop sprouted grains for baking.

Quinn’s new book is part of her “ensemble” of the Essential Eating concept.  As the author explains on page 3 of the introductory pages of this latest book, Essential Eating is all about proper digestion, which is the key to avoiding dis-ease. So how does sprouting fit in? When the grains are sprouted, they take on the qualities of a highly digestible vegetable, which all health care organizations and professionals note we need to increase in our diets, along with more fruits.

Sprouted grains are not a new concept, but when commercial milling took over in the last century, grains were denatured and not allowed to sprout in order to make them “shelf stable,” which also meant stripping them of vital nutrients. Quinn and her team have definitely done their homework as sprouting pioneers, producing sprouted whole wheat and sprouted spelt flour to be the very best possible.  I do believe, as she notes, that the “research and resulting discovery have begun to revolutionize the milling and baking industries, returning taste and nutrition to flour” (p. xii).

Quinn also does a wonderful job of explaining the sprouting process and the benefits of baking with sprouted grains. Additionally, she includes a section also called “Sprouted Baking,” which explains how everyone can make baking a simple, yet simply delicious experience, including hints for better baking results and a description of basic baking ingredients. (For example, on pages 34 and 35, she describes how to soak and dry nuts for better digestion. She also discusses how sprouted grains may be acceptable to people allergic to gluten.)

Even before I reached the recipes, I was ready to stop what I was doing and break out the baking pans! Baking, like cooking, is a loving act that can be satisfying to the baker and to those who enjoy the results. And to me, healthier baked goods are important to my diet.

There is no better way to enjoy the adventure of baking than to try some of Janie Quinn’s sprouted baking recipes, which occupy the largest, middle section. It includes breads, rolls, and crackers; muffins, cakes and pies; cookies and bars; pancakes and waffles; and pizza, pasta, and flatbreads. (Some of the recipes use a bit more sweetener than I would use, but all the ingredients are basically healthy and the recipes are easy to follow.)

Following the large recipe section is a list of resources, a page about composting, and an epilogue called “The Destiny of the Seed,” a short essay that demonstrates the commitment Janie Quinn has for her passion to spread the word of Essential Eating to everyone who seeks better health.

So turn on your oven and start baking with sprouted grains. You will be eating deliciously and nutritiously. For the holidays I plan to try the Sweet Potato Rolls on page 47 and the Cranberry Citrus Muffins on page 67.  Buy the book and choose your favorite recipes using sprouted grains.  Or give it to someone you love a gift. It’s highly digestible!

Note: Check health food stores for sprouted flours.

P.S. I found this in my editing section when searching for previous posts on sprouting, I never posted it, so here it is now, a follow up to “Sprout Heaven” a few days ago.

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