I grew up in the 70s and 80s in a little fishing village in southeastern Alaska. My parents did their best to raise my brother and me on a plant-based diet, which back in those days was pretty challenging. Thankfully, there was a nice health food store in town which we would visit weekly. There wasn’t a huge selection, but we could find items like tofu, sprouted bread, soymilk, and soy yogurt! But if you happened to have a gluten sensitivity, forget it. You may as well have said goodbye to bread altogether! The world has definitely come a long way since then. Yet, even with the many gluten-free bread options out there today, you will find that most have little nutritional value.
Empty carbs and sweeteners dominate the ingredients in most gluten-free breads. At the top of the list, you may see things such as tapioca starch, potato starch, cornstarch, rice flours, xanthan gum, commercial yeasts, and often multiple sweeteners. These typically are not the tastiest ingredients and can often worsen any health challenge. So, can a nutritious and delicious gluten-free bread be found? Thankfully, the answer is YES!
Some years ago, Simple Kneads’ CEO and founder, Tristaun LeClaire, set out on a quest to develop the perfect gluten-free bread. He pulled from the best aspects of various breads from around the world and created a product packed with the nutrition of whole ancient grains, no starches, fillers or gums, one that was free of the top eight allergens, 100 percent plant-based and made through the true artisan sourdough process of fermentation!
Before commercial yeasts came on the scene, bread was made using the method of fermentation we call sourdough. Sourdough is much more nutritious than bread made with dried yeasts. French baker and founder of the Celtic Sea Salt Co., Jacques de Langre, PH.D., has much to say on this subject:
“Baking with natural leaven is in harmony with nature and maintains the integrity and nutrition of the cereal grains used … The process helps to increase and reinforce our body’s absorption of the cereal’s nutrients.” (Excerpt from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions.)
He goes on to say that yeast was introduced into Louis XIV’s court in 1668 and was strongly rejected because of the perceived health risks! Melissa Richards, in her book Baking with Natural Yeast, mentions that in the 1980s when rapid rise yeast came into the picture, so did the rise of celiac, gluten sensitivity, acid reflux, and other serious conditions. In fact, many have noticed that when they switched back to naturally leavened bread, they stopped experiencing symptoms like heartburn, constipation, diabetic spikes, and other allergic reactions. This begins to make sense when you consider that true artisan sourdough can have a positive impact on your digestive system. “Natural leavened bread, because of its inherent beneficial ferments, slowly re-creates the population of friendly lactobacillus digestive bacteria in the absorption tract. The end result is recovery of the digestion and proper elimination by the effective action of friendly bacteria.” (Naturally Leavened Bread by Jacques de Langre.)
The benefits of sourdough are numerous! Simple Kneads offers gluten-free sourdough bread that’s sole aim is to bring healing and balance back to the body. Truly, this is the pinnacle of natural foods!
By Sandy K. Workman, SK Director of Brand Development