The Benefits of Sourdough

Many years ago my husband and I starting following mostly a Paleo diet. We eliminated wheat products except during special occasions. Neither of us are gluten intolerant. Eliminating complex carbs during a time of our lives when we were exercising moderately made sense to us for health related reasons, so bread was easy to leave out. My husband lost 70 pounds in two years by changing his diet and exercising CrossFit style and he has kept it off! We still follow somewhat of a Paleo diet, but with far less meat and our meat has got to be clean if we are going to consume it. When I was training for the World CrossFit Games through 2012-2015, it became apparent I needed more complex carbs to make a positive difference in my training, The training sessions where no longer moderate. They were now considered extreme. I added organic white Basmati rice and organic russet potato's. Those foods in moderation made a difference in my recovery and how I felt when I was training. It was not until 2018 when my sister from Washington was visiting us in California and we took a authentic sourdough bread baking class from a Chef from San Luis Obispo. We were both shocked to learn the many benefits and history of sourdough bread. We both found it very interesting to say the least and were eager to snag our 101 year old California sourdough starter gift before departing the class. Ta Da, the bread making venture started there for both my sister and I!

To me it was a no brainer that if I made my own bread, it would be a healthier version because I was in control of the ingredient's. Even the so called healthiest brands of breads out there contain chemicals such as synthetic vitamins in the enriched flour,dough conditioners, potassium bromate, colorings, and aluminum (in the baking powder). These are only a few chemicals I have listed, Look at your ingredient label on your bread wrappers. You would be surprised when you google those ingredients and learn about the dangers of them. Authentic sourdough bread has only 3 ingredients, distilled or filtered water, organic flours and sourdough starter. I understood this comparison and that had convinced me alone if I was going to eat bread, it had best be made by me. When I took the sourdough class I learnt even more benefits of sourdough bread.

Sourdough often has a lower 27-30 glycemic index than most other breads. This means it does not spike blood sugar dramatically. The fermentative nature of sourdough manages to destroy starches. Sourdough bread contains the good bacteria Lactobacillus in a higher proportion to yeast than other bread. When you have more lactobacillus, you have a higher production of lactic acid which in turn means less of the potentially dangerous phytic acid. With less phytic acid, we have a much higher chance of absorbing the natural minerals and digestion improves. Wow, that is huge. The bacteria-yeast combo aids us even more in digestion by predigesting the starches in the grain. If the sourdough predigests the grain that means less work or digestion for us. Sourdough preparation takes a long time. The lengthier time results in the protein gluten being broken down into amino acids. This leads to even more easier digestion. Sometimes we have found some people who are gluten intolerant can tolerate sourdough bread. That is wonderful isn't it? Acetic acid is produced in the making of sourdough bread and this acid inhibits the growth of mold. So here we have a natural preservative in the bread not a chemical additive mold inhibitor. Sourdough naturally preserves itself. The beneficial bacteria is increased through fermentation and the gut and the body reaps the rewards of added good bacteria. These bacteria control the population of yeast in the body so with that function, the overgrowth of yeast and infection are less likely to occur. The integrity of sourdough is so complex that it contains a host of goodness in terms of nutrients. We do not get this in commercial bread as they loose their nutrient value due to all the processing they undergo. In sourdough you find vitamins B1-B6, B12, Folate, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin E, selenium, iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus zinc, and potassium. There are also uniquely balanced proteins and fatty acids. This chef taught my sister and I all this and gave us a note paper explaining all this.

If getting back to nature in harmony is your deal, than baking your own sourdough bread can help bring you there with its wild yeast, bacteria and whole grain flour. It is the oldest and most original form of leavened bread. It is only natural we eat it opposed to other breads. It truly is an ancient art that is crafted in harmony and nature. The Romans traveled around with pouches of sourdough starter attached to their hips. I hope you have access to a sourdough starter and noticed my recipe I posted recently on making sourdough bread. If you do not have access to a already made starter, you can make your own. My sister recently made a starter with her daughter and it turned out great. I am sure they googled it and got the directions. I believe she told me it took a week to make, I have yet to have a loaf of sourdough bread not turn out. Here in the south, my loaves are much bigger and I think its due to the lovely warm weather we are incurring currently this summer. You can also make other dishes with sourdough starter such as pancakes, waffles, etc. So if you consume wheat, get your sourdough on and let me know how it goes.

If you like avocados and know how valuable they are to your health, look forward to a recipe next week called Gaby's Cucumber Salad. It will be my first time making it. The organic avocados are looking good at the grocery here lately.

Peace and Love,