Once known mainly to organic food co-op members and health food fanatics, sprouted grain products are poised to make a leap into the popular consciousness in 2015, similar to the quinoa explosion in 2014. On the heals of recent introductions by King Arthur Flour and Panera restaurants, one of the nation’s most mainstream food retailers—Sam’s Club—jumped on the sprouted grain bandwagon.
The chain now offers sprouted seven-grain bread and dinner rolls from Angelic Bakehouse as part of its “Health and Wellness” set at all 634 locations nationwide. The momentum will then continue this February with the introduction of Kellogg’s new Kashi sprouted grain cereal.
The growth of sprouted grain products—which are typically higher in proteins and vitamins and lower in calories and carbohydrates than other whole grains—is the latest example of America’s growing awareness of healthy food choices.
“The sprouted grain category has been growing steadily for several years,” says Angelic Bakehouse CEO/Owner Jenny Marino. “But now that major brands like Panera, Kellogg’s and Sam’s Club are embracing it, we think it is poised to go mainstream in 2015. Like quinoa last year, sprouted grain is about to become a very familiar term with health-conscious consumers.”
Sprouted grain products are made from whole grains and seeds that have been soaked long enough to sprout, after which they are then ground and baked. Unlike white breads and other refined grain products, they use the whole grain—including the nutrient-rich germ and bran, as well as the endosperm. Sprouted grains contain more protein and less fat than other breads. According to an analysis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they have about 75 percent of the carbohydrates of whole grains, as well as 60 percent less fat and slightly more protein. Sprouted grains also have more fiber, are easier to digest and contain less gluten than other breads.