What are they and why do they matter?
There's a lot of interest in Gluten Free, NON-GMO ancient grains these days. In our breads we feature grains such as teff, quinoa, sorghum, amaranth, flax, and oats, and with good reason. Ancient grains bring the romance of rustic old worlds into our kitchens, and these options avoid complex gluten protein compounds that are harder to digest. They add new interesting flavors to our meals and put us in touch with a slower, more natural way of life, while providing efficient, available energy! We will share why they are chosen for our bread flour blends and are enjoying such a revival today.
What is an ancient grain?
For many years archaeologists have reported finding the remains of grains and grain stores in ancient sites. For example, researchers in China found the remains of charred wheat and millet in Yunnan that are thought to be nearly 4,000 years old!
These heritage grains have been grown by different communities throughout the world as they began settling in one place and forsaking the nomadic life. Oats, which were once the major grain of Europe, were sidelined after the 1800s when faster-growing, higher-yielding wheats took over. We feature oats in many unique ways, including in our famed Oaty Scones, Raspberry-Oat Muffins, and various cookies and crumble toppings!
Why are ancient grains important?
Most ancient grains have a delicious chewy texture, are grown in an eco-friendly way, and many provide useful grain alternatives for those searching for gluten-free and/or wheat-free items. What's more, they are usually cooked in the "whole grain" form which is nutritionally much more beneficial than the over processed and refined modern grain products. Most of our grains are grown organically which is better for the soil and environment, and are minimally processed locally in Eastern Washington, so they are always fresh and nutritive. Often described as "super grains", ancient grains offer us much in the way of natural nutrition and positive health benefits.
Compared to modern grains, ancient grains like quinoa, millet and sorghum have more protein, which is handy for the rising number of vegetarians and vegans with their need for quality plant protein sources. These heritage grains boast more fiber and can be a richer source of vitamins and minerals when grown in the proper soil climate, which we source responsibly for you from our organic and conscious farming partnerships.
Some of the grains we use are specifically nutrient-dense. For example, teff hit the high values for manganese, flax scores over twice as much fiber as other grains, and oats contain an impressive level of thiamin.
Ancient grains tend to be less refined than modern ones. When eaten as whole seeds, such is the flax in our Sunset Bread, you get the whole grain advantage. Whole grains come with their natural bran and germ intact, including those necessary fibers and nutrients that are lost in the process of milling modern grains.
For the egg substitute in all our Vegan-friendly bread products (dairy and egg free), we fresh grind organic golden flax that provides highly available fiber and nutrients, which is a good thing in our world of over-refined fare!
Research shows that people who eat whole grains generally have lower cholesterol levels and are less likely to develop diabetes and certain cancers, most notably breast and colon cancers. Several studies have also linked eating whole grains to a low risk of high blood pressure. Our breads burn slow, providing low glycemic, nutrient dense options for you and your family.