What Are Activated Grains?
Activation is a way of preparing grains that increases nutrient absorption and improves digestibility. In order to nourish us best, grains benefit from going through a natural process that unlocks vitamins and minerals, including B-vitamins, iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium. Activation also further breaks down complex starches and proteins, enhancing their digestibility and keeping our tummies happy.
Why Activated Grains?
All grains are seeds – whether it’s spelt, einkorn, wheat, rice, oats, etc – and these unique plant seeds are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, and antioxidants. But grains contain enzyme inhibitors that prevent nutrient absorption, and they’re also composed of highly complex starches and proteins that can be difficult for our bodies to break down and digest. This is why human cultures all over the world, and over the course of many thousands of years, developed various techniques to activate grains.
In nature, seeds are designed to protect their stored nutrients while in a dormant state. The moment a seed encounters suitable conditions for sprouting – like well-watered soil – enzymes are switched on, stored energy is converted into bioavailable food, and the seed begins to send out roots. Activation uses simple, ancient methods to mimic this natural biological process and transform grains into a more nutritious and digestible state.
Unlocks Vitamins and Minerals
Increases Nutrient Absorption
Our Process: Activation with Sourdough Culture
Our grains are activated through a slow natural fermentation with sourdough culture. During fermentation, billions of microorganisms begin to transform the grains by neutralizing phytic acid – an enzyme inhibitor that binds to vitamins and minerals – and degrading complex starches and proteins. After 24 hours, the end result is far more nutritious, more flavorful, and easy for our bodies to digest.
1 - High-Quality Grains: We source certified organic, nutrient-rich grains from local farmers and millers in the Northeast. Learn more about our grains here.
2 - Time: Activation is a slow, time-intensive process. We use a natural 24-hour fermentation to ensure our products are as nourishing and delicious as possible.
Sourdough Culture = Live probiotics + Organic Acids + Active Enzymes
Sourdough culture (aka sourdough starter) is a fermented mixture of flour and water that is home to a symbiotic culture of beneficial microorganisms.
Our Activation Process
Step 1: We mix a simple combination of organic stone ground flour, filtered water, sourdough culture, and sea salt
Step 2: We wait. We ferment our grains low and slow for 24 hours, which allows the billions of microorganisms in sourdough culture to work their magic.
Fermenting > Sprouting > Soaking
There are different ways to activate grains, but the most common are soaking, sprouting, and fermenting. The main difference between the three methods is the degree to which they reduce phytic acid, release nutrients, and improve digestion.
Fermentation takes things one step further than soaking or sprouting by harnessing the awesome power of microorganisms. During a natural fermentation, billions of microbes work symbiotically to neutralize phytic acid, unlock nutrients, and degrade complex starches and proteins (including gluten!). They also create beneficial by-products like lactic acid, which further improves digestion and nutrient absorption, and acts as a powerful antioxidant.