IS SOURDOUGH VEGAN?
Sourdough is created by mixing flour and water and is thus vegan on that basis.
Regardless that there may be other ingredients in the bread that can make it non-vegan like the use of eggs, honey, butter, etc. but if we talk about the sourdough, it itself is by all means vegan.
IS SOURDOUGH BREAD VEGAN?
This is a different question altogether from, “Is sourdough vegan” as this is now pointing to the final product, the bread.
In most cases, sourdough bread is vegan, although there are exceptions. There are cases where nonvegan ingredients like milk and eggs may be added either in the sourdough or added on top while baking to add color. Thus not all sourdough bread is vegan.
INGREDIENT REPLACEMENTS TO ENSURE A VEGAN SOURDOUGH LOAF
Eggs are replaceable by flaxseeds during baking.
Flaxseed and water are mixed in a small bowl and left to thicken for several minutes. The resultant mix can then replace eggs.
Milk has many vegan alternatives such as almond milk and coconut milk among others.
If any of these types of milk are not thick enough, oil can be added to thicken them.
There are many options as well for replacing butter such as sunflower oil, coconut oil, canola oil, olive oil, and avocado oil amongst others.
Some of these oils can even improve the shelf life of the bread.
Sweetening can also be done by vegan sweeteners.
There are many to choose from including but not limited to maple syrup, beet sugar, agave nectar, and brown rice syrup.
MAKE YOUR OWN BREAD
BENEFITS OF VEGAN SOURDOUGH BREAD
Sourdough contains a lot of antioxidants, which have a lot of widespread benefits such as reducing the release of free radicals.
This means that it is good for the skin and a good agent for slowing aging. It is also reported to reduce the incidence of cancer amongst many other diseases that anti-oxidants mitigate.
HELPS MAINTAIN LOWER BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
Whilst common bread has an average Glycemic Index of 72, the GI for sourdough bread is usually below 49, which is a huge difference.
This means that if you are concerned with having lower sugar levels in your bloodstream you can rely on sourdough bread.
Due to the lengthy time sourdough bread is allowed to ferment for (ranging between 6 and 48 hours) the natural bacteria and yeast in the sourdough mixture get time to break down a considerable amount of sugar and starch in the flour.
This is what manifests as the lower glycemic index it celebrates.
Common bread on the contrary goes through fermentation for less than 3 hours. Consequently, there is not enough time to break down the sugars and starches within it, hence its lower GI.
HIGHER NUTRITIONAL VALUE THAN COMMON BREAD
During the lengthy fermentation, a component of the flower called phytic acid is broken down.
This unlocks the nutritional content packed in the dough because of the absence of phytic acid.
Phytic acid is nicknamed an anti-nutrient because it locks the nutrients of many grains in.
It is a natural preservative that accounts for the reason grains can be preserved for years.
Thus it is not a bad thing at all.
Its natural role is to generally protect grains from external elements to prevent them from going bad.
However, because of that inherent quality, the disadvantage of it locking in a lot of nutrients and minerals from absorption by the human body arises.
Unlike in common bread, the long process of fermentation allows a larger degree of phytic acid to be dissipated thereby unlocking volumes of valuable nutrients.
This means that sourdough bread is more nutritious than common bread.
Assuming one is only eating vegan sourdough bread. There is a guarantee that it is chemical-free as it has no additives other than the main ingredients highlighted at the beginning which are flour, water, salt, and natural yeast.
Despite its lack of chemical additives, it has proven to have a higher shelf life than many types of bread that do.
PROMOTES BENEFICIAL GUT BACTERIA
The natural yeasts contained in sourdough starters usually contain probiotics.
As you may already be aware, probiotics are bacteria that benefit people by being in their bodies.
Most of these probiotics die from the heat of the baking process; however, there is scientific evidence to indicate that even after these bacteria are killed off they remain beneficial to the gut.
Apart from probiotics, there are also pre-biotics. These are fibers found in sourdough bread that happen to feed the good bacteria (probiotics) in the gut.
Prebiotics enables the body to more easily digest sourdough bread.
Sourdough bread also happens to contain resistant starch, which is yet another food source for the aforementioned probiotics.
Apart from this, it has also been indicated as being helpful with health issues that include heart health, blood sugar regulation, digestion, and insulin sensitivity.
So not only does this bread have a low Glycemic Index, it also regulates blood sugar levels.
This type of starch is a very rare component in many foods yet sourdough contains a sufficient amount of it.
Common whole wheat bread actually contains 50% of the resistant starch contained in sourdough bread if we are to make a comparison.
EASIER TO DIGEST
We mentioned in a previous section that the natural yeasts succumb to the heat during the baking process.
However, what we did not detail was that these bacteria still manage in that process to “pre-digest” flour during the fermentation phase.
As a result, our bodies have to do less work to break down the flour and unlock the nutrients after we eat the bread. This means that it is easier to digest than regular bread.
The gluten proteins in flour are broken down as a result of the long fermentation process. Digestion of gluten is difficult for the body.
However, during the lengthy fermentation gluten strands, are chunked into amino acids and peptides which are simpler forms for the body to digest.
It must be noted however that sourdough bread is not recommended for people who are celiac. But one can follow this Gluten-free Vegan Sourdough Bread Recipe Video:
We can never over-state the health benefits of sourdough bread. There is a reason it is one of the oldest versions of leavened bread. Common bread is only but a few centuries old after all.
To learn more about how to add more value to your diet without contributing to the cruelty of animals, feel free to read more topics on this blog, and do not hesitate to click the share button and empower others.