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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?

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Homemade Nut Butter: The Best Cashew Pecan Butter

I have a slight obsession with nut butter

Some form of nut butter makes a daily appearance in my menu line-up.  I love it with fruit, in my oatmeal or straight from the jar on a spoon (which can be really dangerous).  Take a look at it in action below.

Nuts are an amazing way to incorporate healthy fats into your diet necessary for great hormone function and energy supply. The taste is just a lucky byproduct.

This nut butter recipe may change your life. I am not joking, it really is that delicious. You are going to make it and swear that the sugar fairy dumped loads of sweetness in there when you weren’t looking.

But Pecans…WOW!  Their nutty sweetness really comes through when you emulsify them. Pecans, paired with cashews and a few spices make what many of my friends refer to as “Nut Butter Crack”, but it’s just my favorite nut butter — cashew pecan butter!

Homemade Cashew-Pecan Butter

 

Cashew Pecan Butter

This naturally sweet and creamy nut butter is sure to be a staple in your fridge.  It's made with 4 simple ingredients and pairs perfectly with your favorite piece of fruit or as a party dip.

Course Snack
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Unsalted cashews
  • 2 cups Pecans
  • 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Place pecans and cashews in a food processor. (I have a 14 cup Cuisinart and use that thing all the time.)

  2. Lock lid in place and begin to blend for roughly 2-3 minutess.

  3. Stop blending and use a spatula to mix butter that has begun to stick to the sides as well as the oil that has begun to form at the center.


  4. Add cinnamon and vanilla. Put the lid back on and mix for another 2 minutes.


  5. Repeat step 3.

  6. Blend for another 2 minutes. Butter should be warm and a bit runny.

  7. Pour nut butter into a Mason jar or other storage container and store in the refrigerator.

If you’re a big fan of nut butter like I am, you really need to give this cashew pecan butter a try. The perfect amount of sweetness, the perfect nuttiness, an oh so smooth and creamy. Just make sure not to eat it spoonful by spoonful (although it wouldn’t be the worst thing you could do)!

Looking for my more macro friendly AND real food recipes?

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Homemade Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips

I love chips and salsa.

Who doesn’t it?

The challenge is they are extremely high in fat and not in a healthy way. They are typically fried in vegetable oil. Not only does that leave a greasy film on your teeth when you are done, it also makes you feel kind of crappy.

And who wants that?

The average one ounce serving of tortilla chips contains 8 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein and 20 grams of carbohydrates. And all of that is in a measly 10 chips. (wah!). Seriously, who can eat just 10 little chips and call it a day?

(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.)

Homemade Is Always Best

An easy option to combat the average tortilla chip dilemma is to make your own. Besides, making your own chips from your favorite corn tortillas allows you more food and greater control of what you put into that body of yours.  This notion was recently confirmed for me when a friend brought to my attention that the nutritional facts on my favorite bag of tortilla chips were wrong (pure devastation).

My Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips Recipe

My oven-baked tortilla chips are a huge hit in my household. Also, they go great with salsa and other delicious dips. And I’ve been known to use them in other recipes as well! Check it out below.

Homemade Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips

These will knock your socks off because they taste so good and are sooo EASY! My kids prefer that I make them over any other option. You can eat them with salsa or as a side to a favorite soup or as a homemade nacho.

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 270 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 package of your favorite corn tortillas (
  • Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
  • Spray olive or avocado oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place tortillas on top of one another making one big stack.
  3. Cut tortillas in half, in half again and one more time making eighths.
  4. Spread tortillas on a baking sheet, staggered.
  5. Very lightly spray tortillas with a bit of olive oil. You want just enough to allow salt to stick.
  6. Lightly salt chips to taste.
  7. Place chips in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden brown and crisp. (They brown fast so keep a good eye on them as they cook as oven times may vary.)

Recipe Notes

Bonus Dessert Option:

Spray chips with a light spray of coconut oil and sprinkle with cinnamon and coconut sugar then follow cooking times above for a simple and healthy dessert.

 

Macros are calculated based off of nutritional info from Mission Corn Tortilla Chips, 24 count bag.

Looking for my more amazing FREE resources to create a healthy lifestyle, check them out HERE.

What’s your favorite dip to use with oven-baked tortilla chips? And do you have any other recipes that require tortilla chips? Let me know!

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Easy Dinner Veggie

I am Zoodle Obsessed

I am currently obsessed with zucchini.  After having an amazing raw zucchini noodle (affectionately referred to as Zoodles) salad at a summer BBQ, I can’t seem to get enough of them.  In fact it motivated me to come back to this bog post one year later and give it a face lift.

I used to lightly saute the zoodles before eating them up.  After I had them raw, there is no way I will ever look back.  They have an extremely fresh, crisp taste and feel much more similar to a real noodle option when raw.

 

I’ve been making Zoodles for years since becoming gluten free.  It began with a hand held spiralizer and then evolved into making them on my KitchenAid Spilaizer attachment because of the volume and frequency I make them in.  Both are amazing options, but the KiichenAid is a worth while investment if you plan to put their production in high gear.  The bonus is that the attachment is strong enough to Spiralize potatoes of all kinds, including my favorite sweet potatoes.

 

And If You Are Lazy

Finally a company jumped on the veggie noodle train and made a quality option that you an buy fresh in store.  Veggie Noodle Co offers those of you with less time and culinary desire to still have a healthy noodle option on hand.  They offer spiral versions of lots of veggies including zucchini, sweet potato, butternut squash and beets.  You can find them in Whole Foods, Spouts Farmers Market and at Target.

 

The honest truth though is that it is much more cost effective to spiralize your own veggies.  I like to do a whole bunch at once and us them throughout the week for various recipes.  It gives us no excuse not to add a veggie into our meals.

 

 

Check out my video of the KitchenAid Spiralizer in action. This was literally the first Facebook Live video I ever did.  I was entirely nervous but excited.

Spiralized Noodle Recipe Ideas:

Here are a few spiral noodle recipes to get you started!

Zucchini Salad with Grilled Veggies (add chicken for a protein boost)

Shrimp Scampi: Zoodle Edition

Baked Sweet Potato Curly Fries

Skinny Pho

 

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