5 Reasons Sprouted Bread Is Better (And Back To School Sandwich Ideas)

The great carb debate is never-ending and poor bread gets a major bad rap.

But like all things — education and quality are key.

I remember growing up watching Iron Kids bread commercials and trying to desperately convince my mom that I needed it.  The power of advertising and targeting kids is strong. What I have realized as a nutrition coach is that adults are really no different.

Although I keep a gluten-free diet, my family does not. I don’t keep our house 100% gluten-free for several reasons. The biggest reason is that I don’t want to force a sensitivity upon them by never exposing them to gluten. I want them to be able to grow up and have a cupcake at a birthday party or a snack at school without being too afraid to eat it. I do limit their exposure and select items that limit their need to digest that. Sprouted bread being one of them.

What’s Up With Traditional Bread?

Both white and wheat breads are made from the berry of a wheat plant. Whole grain bread is derived from the entire plant (endosperm, bran, and the germ) while other types of breads are made from only the endosperm (the starchy middle). In both cases, the portion of the plant is ground into flour and combined with other ingredients to yield bread.

Because the grains used to create bread are highly processed into flour that makes them more readily broken down in the digestive tract and then absorbed into the bloodstream. When carbohydrates are quickly absorbed into the digestive tract this may cause a spike in insulin response thus making it a much higher on the glycemic index.

What is Sprouted Bread?

To create sprouted bread, the whole grain is soaked until germination which causes the release of enzymes that break down both carbohydrates and protein. Once the grains sprout, they are drained and mixed together to be ground up and used. Going through this process helps make the sprouted grains low glycemic and easier to digest. Sprouted bread is a healthy alternative to white flour or whole grain flour bread. It’s great for those with mild sensitivities to wheat or gluten because of the health benefits (especially when compared to white bread). It’s important to remember, however, that sprouted grains still naturally contain gluten.

Why Is Sprouted Bread Better?

Easier Digestion

The interesting thing about sprouting grains is that it jump starts the digestion of proteins within the grain. These proteins include things like gluten which makes sprouted bread much easier on the digestive tract for those that have a sensitivity to gluten.

Nutrients Are More Available

The problem with regular highly processed bread is that it contains phytic acid, sometimes referred to as the “anti-nutrient”. Phytic acid keeps the nutrients within the bread locked up and unavailable for absorption. By soaking grains and allowing them to sprout before consumption the Phytic acid content is reduced and makes the nutrients more readily available for absorption.

In addition, when grains becomes highly processed, nutrients are lost in translation. The less processed the bread then the greater the nutrient availability.

(Want to learn how to fill your body with real food to look and feel your best? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

Increased Accessibility To Fiber

Need more fiber? Studies show that when grains are sprouted the fiber content of the plant tissue (like cellulose) is increased. Bonus for us is that the outcome is a fiber-rich product.  Sprouted bread can then provide a higher fiber source option.

 Lower on the Gl

Sprouted bread also ranks lower on the glycemic index, a scale used to rank a carbohydrates impact on blood glucose levels. Foods lower on the GI don’t impact blood sugar levels as much as those carbohydrates that have a high GI ranking. Consuming foods with a lower GI help to maintain more steady blood glucose levels which offer a slew of health benefits including hormone and insulin balance.

A Healthier Alternative To White Bread

As mentioned above, because the grains are sprouted their protein access increases and carbohydrate content slightly decreases. Because of that, the nutrition profile of sprouted bread becomes even better.

How Do You Know If The Bread Is Sprouted? What do you need to look for?

Buyer beware of sneaky marketing to make you think what you are buying is sprouted when it really isn’t.  Read the ingredient profile and look for them to be listed as “sprouted.”  Two of the most popular and accessible are Dave’s Killer Bread (this is one you can buy at Costco and is on my Costco shopping list). There is also the very popular Ezekiel Bread.

Application To Other Grains

Sprouting grains isn’t just a benefit in bread, but can also be captured in other grains we eat as well. There is a list of intriguing research that shows the value of sprouting grains before consumption.

Sample Sandwiches For Back To School

With the kids headed back to school, healthy lunch options are at the forefront of parents’ minds. The typical school sandwich is an easy kid approved option. I challenge you to up the health game of that sandwich this school year and years forward.

My kids and I came together to create some awesome sandwich options that they have tested and love. All of these sandwich ideas are on sprouted bread. To add a little kid fanciness we used a Pampered Chef Cut and Seal for an uncrusted look that makes this healthy option even more “kid cool”. Of course, this is optional, but it’s pretty fun to use!

Sprouted Bread Kid Approved Sandwich Options

I let my kids be the chefs of their lunches often in the kitchen. Involvement equals buy-in. They are the creative minds behind all of the following filling ideas that are placed within two slices of sprouted bread. We’ve also used our awesome LunchBots stainless steal containers for years for easy lunch packing.  The reusable snack and sandwich pouches pictured above are handmade in the Phoenix Area by Chic Baby Creations.

Sandwich Idea: Peanut butter, Apple, and Honey

Simple Variations:

Sunbutter and Honey

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Almond Butter and Berries

Peanut Butter Banana

 

 

Sandwich Idea: Hummus and “Cucs”

Simple Variations:

Hummus and Carrots

 

 

 

 

Sandwich Idea: Ham and Salami

Simple Variations:

any other high quality deli meat of choice

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s even cooler is you can prep several of this sandwiches ahead of time and store them in the fridge or freeze ahead, just like those nifty little uncrustable type sandwiches!

 

There are a zillion nutrition books about the health of grains, and all of them share conflicting perspective and research. My opinion is that moderation and quality are key. Finding balance in your intake, and that of your children, is a priceless skill to have.

What are your favorite sandwich ideas that you can use with sprouted bread?

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

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