Foods Grain Sweetened Naturally

Eunice Familant shares secrets for making a natural sweetener from sprouts, including a recipe for sprouted-wheat bread and information on malting, grain honey and parched corn.

| May/June 1975

Eunice Farmilant is the author of The Natural Foods Sweet Tooth Cookbook: a unique collection of recipes that produce satisfying breads, pastries, snacks, desserts, and beverages without the aid of sugar, honey, maple products, or any concentrated sweets whatsoever. Ms. Farmilant has already shows that the natural sweetness of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains can be enhanced to yield delicious results and she's recently come up with some further methods which she describes in the following article. 

Given the rising cost of sugar and increasing shortages of natural sweets such as honey, sorghum, and maple syrup, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover how easy it is to make your own sweetening agents.

In the course of my work on The Natural Foods Sweet Tooth Cookbook, I did a lot of kitchen alchemy in search of ways to create substitutes for honey and sugar. Since then I've learned a few new techniques and would like to pass them on to you. You'll find that a little effort produces some very interesting results . . . so interesting that I hope you'll be inspired to do some experiments of your own in this area.

Grain Sweetened Naturally: Sprouts for Sweetening

Wheat berries, whole barley, rye, and oats can all be germinated and the sprouts used to sweeten bread dough . . . or malted (roasted) for additional flavor and added to muffin, cookie, and cake batters. Soft winter wheat or pastry wheat yields a very sweet product. (A nutritional note: Sprouted wheat is highest of the above grains in protein content, oats lowest.)

To prepare grains for sprouting, simply rinse the kernels and soak them overnight in about double their volume of water . . . preferably spring water, or tap water that has been boiled and cooled. One cup of whole grain will give you around the same amount of crushed sprouts for breadmaking.

The following day, drain the cereal and spread it in shallow earthenware containers or place it in glass jars. The vessels should then be covered with damp cheesecloth or muslin and put in a dark place. I find that grains germinate much more easily than beans or other seeds and need to be rinsed only once a day (except in very hot weather, when you'll probably want to refresh them two or three times daily).

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