Thank you to our intern, Sean, who researched raw versus cooked grains to further our pursuit of sprouting and roasting. Here are some of his findings:
- Generally, raw foods contain more nutrients than cooked foods. When food is cooked, it loses water, thus losing water-soluble vitamins.
- However, grains, unlike vegetables, should almost always be cooked before consumed, since raw grains are difficult to digest. Cooking helps to break down the enzymes that prevent humans from digesting them.
- Sprouting, however, increases digestibility of grains.
- The sprouting process usually involves a drying process. Just like when food is cooked, the drying of a sprouted seed can lead to lower nutrition due to water loss.
- Seeds/grains can remain wet after sprouting. Wet sprouted seeds/grains are usually mashed into a puree and used in breads and baked products.
- Raw sprouts may be higher in overall nutrition and digestibility, but in most cases, cooking is necessary to ensure a safe product.