Abbotsford-based Silver Hills Bakery has over 20 scrumptious sprouted grain products, including a new line of gluten-free breads
What do former professional Ironman triathlete and author Brendan Brazier, Canadian Olympic Cyclist Svein Tuft, Running Room founder John Stanton and I have in common? We all love Silver Hills Bakery sprouted grain breads.
Sprouting grains (allowing the whole seed – bran, germ and endosperm – to germinate) is said to increase nutritional content, resulting in higher quantities of vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein. Because it’s relatively high in fibre and protein, sprouted grain bread keeps you feeling satisfied for longer because it helps maintain steady blood sugar levels.
Sprouted grain breads may also be easier to tolerate for people with gluten sensitivities because the sprouting process begins to break down the gluten protein into more manageable components.
“When the grain sprouts,” says Silver Hills co-founder Brad Brousson, “it releases enzymes that a non-sprouted kernel doesn’t have, which makes it easier for the body to digest.”
Silver Hills Bakery Promotes Healthy, Holistic Living
Silver Hills' Steady Eddie bread is a low glycemic food that helps you maintain steady blood sugar levels (Image: Silver Hills Bakery)
I discovered Silver Hills when I first moved to Vancouver, after my naturopathic doctor recommended I switch to sprouted grain bread. Initially drawn in by the super-fun, brightly coloured packaging (which is biodegradable), I was hooked after reading the list of whole, nutritious ingredients and enjoying my first bite of dense, chewy goodness.
It wasn’t until recently that I discovered this local company's new line of gluten-free products. But what I really love more than their products is that their core values align with mine, from their commitment to “healthy, holistic living” to their NEW START principles, an acronym for Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunlight, Temperance, Air, Rest and Trust in a divine power.
Silvery Hills began their bread-making journey rather serendipitously when, in the early 1980s, co-founder Brad Brousson was on staff at the Silver Hills Guest House, a sprawling ranch about 90 kilometres northeast of Kelowna in the Okanagan.
Everyone Can Benefit from the Digestive Benefits of Sprouted Grains
With 20 different products, you can eat a variety of Silver Hills' breads and know that you're always getting wholesome, preservative-free nutrition (Image: Silver Hills Bakery)
“We recognized the health and digestive benefits of sprouted grains early on,” says Brousson, whose mom used to bake sprouted grain breads when he was a child. “We started baking the [sprouted grain] bread for the health guests at the Silver Hills Guest House. They were unable to find a wholesome, all-natural bread that aligned with their dietary values, so we created one for them.”
Since then, the demand for the vegan, kosher and almost-entirely organic bread outgrew their facilities and the Silver Hills Bakery began to germinate. “The response and feedback from our sprouted grain breads continues to be overwhelmingly positive,” says Brousson.
There’s a Silver Hills product for everyone (20 and counting), from their best-selling Squirrelly bread (made with organic whole sprouted wheat, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds) and Steady Eddie bread (made with organic whole sprouted wheat, rye and soybeans, and organic whole apples), to their new line of gluten-free products that includes the Chia Chia and Mack’s Flax breads, as well as a line of sprouted grain bagels.
I’ve tried at least 10 of their products (including the new gluten-free Chia Chia and Mack’s Flax breads) and they are all absolutely delicious and hearty, plus they leave me without the bellyache that regular bread sometimes does. I rarely go a day without having a slice or two of Silver Hills bread.
Silver Hills’ New Gluten-Free Breads Deliver Taste Without Sacrificing Nutrition
Following the launch of the delicious gluten-free Chia Chia and Mack's Flax breads, more additions are planned for Silver Hills line of gluten-free products (Image: Silver Hills Bakery)
Diagnosed with a possible gluten-intolerance, I went gluten-free for a year during university and found it very tough to satisfy my craving for tasty bread with the poor selection of gluten-free versions available to me at that time.
Brousson says he heard similar complaints from customers and was inspired to create Silver Hills’ gluten-free line of products as a result. “Taste and texture are definitely a challenge for those looking for gluten-free products,” says Brousson.
“A number of the breads available have created a decent taste profile at the expense of health and nutrition and use of starchy/binder-type ingredients. We feel that one of the major differentiators of Silver Hills gluten-free bread is that it not only tastes great, but is also healthy, organic and vegan – a triple-threat of goodness that we currently hold the exclusive claim to in the market today. Our ingredient list is short and simple. Seven ingredients. There are no refined starches, gums, stabilizers, eggs or dairy in our product. Just good whole food packed with fibre.”
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac disease or suspect you may be sensitive to gluten, Silver Hills’ sprouted grain gluten-free breads are a great option that not only taste great but are an organic, high-fibre, locally-made product free from animal products and preservatives.
Look for their expanding line of gluten-free products – “Some of the exciting things we have up our sleeves are buns, pizza shells, sprouted wraps and some delicious new sprouted recipes,” says Brousson – in the freezer section of your local grocer.
In fact, because they lack preservatives, it’s best to keep the rest of their products, which you can find on the shelves next to regular breads, in the freezer as well.