Category Archives: Research

Oven baked manna bread

After my first baking attempt with sprouted grains (in the crock pot), I realized this wasn’t very practical, since you can only cook one small dinner sized roll at a time. I did a little more research and looked for some guidance as to how to bake sprouted grain bread in the oven. I realized that the type of bread this would be is called “Essene” or “manna” bread.

According to mannabread.com

“Manna bread, an unleavened “Essene bread” made from sprouted grains, contains no salt, added fat, or sweeteners. Traditionally, the Hebrew tribes in ancient Egypt made this Essene or ’sprouted bread’ by grinding berry roots between rocks or millstones.  The bread was then laid to bake on stones heated by fire or the scorching sun. The sprouted grains are simply crushed, formed into loaves, and baked at a low temperature, resulting in a soft, subtly sweet, moist, dense, and coarsly textured “bread”.”

The recipes I found called for 3 cups wheat berry sprouts, ground and pressed into a loaf pan, or alternately, a cookie sheet (either must be lined with parchment for release.) The temperatures ranged from 200-250 degrees F and the times from two and a half to up to five hours. So I cooked mine in the middle, at 225 degrees for about 3 and a half, maybe closer to 4 hours.

I only had 2 cups of wheat berry sprouts left, so I ground those up. After attempting to shape in some kind of loaf, I figured I’d just go with like a mini flatbread or “crisp” set up. My thoughts were for little open faced sandwiches perhaps?

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It wasn’t until AFTER I took them out of the oven that the light bulb went off – COOKIES! This is totally the base for a delicious sprouted grain cookie! Mind blown. Anyway…

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The taste was exactly the same as the one made in the crock pot, only I did like the thinner aspect of this set up rather than the dinner roll style bread that was cooked in the crock pot. I ate one piece of this flatbread style manna bread with a little bit of Earth Balance (cheat – but it was soo good.)

So hmm… cookies? Crisps? I really want my dehydrator to come so I can start experimenting with these ideas, but keeping the food under a certain temperature to preserve all the nutrients instead of heating it above and ruining the integrity of the nutrients. I really think that’s the direction I’m headed! Eeeeee!

 

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Sprouted grains: they’re aaallliiiivvveeee.

English: Growing sprouts using a wide mouth ma...First step in getting ready to develop my first recipe is going to be learning as much as I can about the benefits, process, and hazards, and then other recipes as guidelines and inspiration.

I have a pretty strong knowledge in the health benefits of sprouted grain through random research at my job (and for personal gain of knowledge.) The sprouting process allows enzymes to become active, the grain is now alive. What does it mean that the food is alive?

Well, when a fruit is picked, it still continues to ripen. Even though it has lost its external source of energy, it will continue the same processes until its own energy is used up, and the processes are unable to be completed, resulting in the fruit going bad. So in the meantime, the fruit is still alive and full of nutrients to pass on to whomever is lucky enough to consume it.

(Just a note to connect nutrition to local produce… I’m not sure anyone has done the research to prove that food miles decrease nutritional value. Its not my main point here so I’m not going to pursue it just now BUT it seems logical. When the fruit is first picked from the tree, it is at its peak nutrition. There’s nothing that can be done naturally to add more nutrition to that piece of fruit. We can’t reattach it to the tree and allow it to continue to grow. And since it has no more plant to feed off of, it will start to use up its own vitamins and minerals to ripen and mature. Hence, the levels of nutrition would decrease. It’s just a theory, but uhh.. it seems pretty obvious.)

Now, it would be easy to think that the process of a fruit maturing or ripening once picked is similar to the process of a person’s body decomposing after its life source is cut off. Let me highlight the difference. Even if an apple is picked from the tree, its seed can be replanted, and can grow into a new plant. There must be something living there, although almost “dormant” you could say. Think about root vegetables. Even once they are dug up and cut from its life source, you can replant it into the soil and grow more! Amazing!

And that brings us full circle around to sprouted grains. Taking a grain and hydrating it almost “tricks” the grain into thinking its going to grow into a plant. Chemical changes start taking place. Enzymes are activated, and the compounds inside the grain begin to break down from compound to simple. The grain is “getting ready” to receive nutrition from soil and metabolize the vitamins and minerals into making more larger compounds to grow the plant. However, when sprouting, the plant never receives soil. So these compounds stay broken into their simple elements, making it that much easier for our bodies to take them in to form our own essential larger compounds (fats, proteins, etc). The enzymes that the sprout now contains are also important for us to consume. The human body contains two types of enzymes: metabolic and digestive. When consuming a raw or living food, we do not need to activate or use up our own digestive enzymes because those enzymes are still intact in the food.

Sprouting also reduces phytic acid, which is a substance that binds throughout  food to many vitamins and minerals and blocks our absorption of it. Since sprouting helps reduce phytic acid, more nutrients are readily available for us to take in.

So, I’m going to work to develop whole wheat baked goods that also contain sprouted grains. First test will be a banana bread. Now, let me just note that cooking sprouted grains does end up killing the live enzymes that were activated in the sprouting process. It’s inevitable, especially since they’re fragile and susceptible to heat. However, a sprouted grain will still be more nutrient-dense than a grain that is not sprouted. The protein and fiber content increases and is more easily digested, and the inhibitors like phytic acid will still be reduced. Overall, it will still be a more nutritious food item. Yum!

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