Healthy Holiday Menu Choices
Adorning tables across our country during the holidays, bread is comforting and satisfying. Loving everything about bread—the aroma as it bakes, its perfect texture with butter or virgin olive oil—I wish it were as good for me as vegetables. While it will never reach the nutritional heights of the veggie tray, if chosen carefully, bread can be an enriching element of our holiday meal, rather than the empty-carb-diet-busting cheat we regret.
In the journey toward optimal health, sprouted or soaked whole grain products have become the standard in our home. As the holidays inch closer, we are determined to not compromise while also enjoying long-standing traditions. This led me to revamp an old recipe for dinner rolls into a healthier, soaked version we could feel good about.
Two adjustments in this common recipe recreate a holiday staple that is as nourishing as it is comforting. Mashed sweet potatoes are a substitute for regular mashed potatoes. This subtle change incorporates all the added nutritional value of sweet potatoes, while also decreasing the amount of sugar needed.
Soaking the wheat flour breaks down the phytic acid, which can act as an anti-nutrient if untreated. Phytic acid in grain combines with key minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc preventing their absorption. Soaking or sprouting the grain before baking neutralizes this acid, releasing the full benefit of the grain. This simple step also aids digestion, avoiding that too-full feeling often experienced after eating bread products.
Foodie that I am, it is vital to prepare food that is not only healthy, but tastes good too. This dinner roll recipe accomplishes that goal, ready just in time for our Thanksgiving feast.
On-line resources for sprouting or soaking grains: