Sprouted Grains for Breakfast
This morning I went out out to breakfast with friends, and as they happily munched on bagels piled high with cream cheese and other goodies, I was reminded of my daily ritual as a trial lawyer when I started out most of days with my favorite bagel and coffee.
When time is short in the morning, breakfast, one of the most important meals of the day, can take a nutrition hit. I am not a morning person, and so like so many of us, I needed to keep my breakfasts quick and easy to prepare. Bagels, muffins, or toast was for me the easiest thing to grab. And on a Sunday morning, I loved a bagel piled high with lox, onions, tomato and swiss cheese. Yum!
Unfortunately, almost any bread product made with flour, especially bagels, will make blood sugars rise rapidly, which in turn will cause a sharp insulin response. All of which causes the types of blood sugar highs and lows that wreak havoc with our energy levels and overall health.
You see, most people don't know that ANY products made with flour can have the same effect on blood sugar, whether the flour is produced from whole grains or not. This is because grinding grains into flour increases the surface area upon which enzymes work to more quickly convert starch into glucose. (I repeat, this is true for any whole grain that is finely ground into flour...)
For diabetics or anyone trying to manage their blood sugars, the first meal of the day needs to be nutritious with a good balance of quality protein, good for you fat, and low glycemic carbohydrate (i.e. a carb that metabolizes more slowly and does not cause an immediate sharp rise in blood sugar levels).
So, does that mean absolutely no more bread for breakfast. Absolutely not. A quality, whole grain bread with at least 3 grams of fiber along with some protein and good for you fat (French Toast, whole wheat bread with almond butter spread, scrambled eggs with toast) are great on occasion.
Even better, try Sprouted Grain Bread which is high in protein and fiber, low in carbohydrates and contains no sugars making it a low glycemic food, beneficial for diabetics and anyone trying to maintain a healthy weight.
Sprouting grains and seeds before baking produces a living, nutrient-rich food more akin to vegetables. Bread made from freshly sprouted grains do not contain flour and contain all of the fiber, bran, vitamins and minerals of the original grain plus an average of approximately 100% increase in vitamins and minerals.
The process involves adding a very precise amount of water to organically grown whole grains to unlock beneficial enzymes that when activated cause the grains to sprout. The sprouting process not only significantly increases valuable nutrients and vitamins, but it also causes a natural change that makes the protein and carbohydrates easier for the body to use. In fact, sprouts are lower in carbohydrates and calories than the grains from which they were sprouted.
One of my favorite breakfasts when I am in a hurry is a Sprouted Grain English Muffin from Food for Life Baking Company in Corona, California, which makes the widely distributed Ezekiel Sprouted Grain breads. (including English Muffins and Tortilla wraps).
Sometimes I have a muffin toasted with Ricotta Almond Cinnamon Spread. Or when I get a yen for a bagel with lox and cream cheese. I substitute an English Muffin for the bagel. Breakfast is still easy and fast but this choice is chock full of fiber and nutrients and doesn't wreak havoc on my pancreas.
Here's my recipe for Ricotta Almond Cinnamon Spread on a Sprouted Grain English Muffin.
To make a single serving of the ricotta mixture, mix 1/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese with almond butter (approximately 1 tablespoon), a dash of cinnamon and sweetener of choice. I like to use either Agave Syrup or Truvia. For a more "nutrient dense" version, you can add a tablespoon of vanilla protein powder and some ground flax seeds to the mixture. For chocolate lovers, you can mix some raw cacao powder or Xocai Sipping Chocolate Chips into the ricotta/almond mixture. Healthy dark chocolate that is rich in antioxidants and low in non-refined sugars will actually add to the nutrition content of the mixture.
Next, spread the ricotta mixture on your toasted English Muffin and ENJOY!
Sprouted grain muffins make great mini-pizzas too. Watch for recipes on upcoming blogs.