Share“No artificial nonsense”. For their raw vegan sprout crackers, Jannis, Johannes and Alexander do not use flour or any baking additives or preservatives. The three founders of AHO consciously use exclusively vegan and unprocessed ingredients of organic quality. To achieve the best balance of nutrients and perfect taste, they rely on premium handmade quality and thus bring to market a ‘slow food’ that will almost disappear in 2020.BFC: You eat raw vegan sprout crackers. What are they?Yannis: AHO crackers are a local superfood. Over 2,000 years ago, people germinated the grains by soaking them for a few days and then forming tortillas so they could be dried on hot rocks in the sun. We have recreated this process and created food that is not baked, so the ingredients do not get hotter than 42°. Now there are many products on the market called ‘raw crackers’. However, they are mostly based solely on fatty seeds, which results in an unbalanced nutrient ratio. AHO combines the best of traditional baking and modern seed-based crackers by taking advantage of the nutritional value of grain and combining it with the essential fatty acids from oilseeds. Our crackers are a product that contains countless micronutrients, enzymes, B vitamins, valuable fatty acids and healthy carbohydrates. AHO is more than a perfect snack, more than just a bread substitute. Our product contains the pure power of live sprouts in the original form of dried bread.BFC: What’s special about your AHO crackers?Yannis: The main ingredients in AHO crackers are grown entirely in Germany. We rely on old varieties of grain and use the original spelt with less than 0.01% wheat added. The grain is soaked and eventually gains an abundance of nutrients through the enzymatic activity of the germination process. Complex carbohydrates are converted into easily used disaccharides*. The vitamin potential is increased, so that, for example, vitamin B1 and vitamin E are increased by 100%, vitamin B6 doubles and vitamin B2 even triples. There are also benefits when it comes to minerals: folic acid, for example, is doubled and vitamin K is increased tenfold. AHO crackers are high in iron, bioavailable amino acids and an optimum ratio of omega-3: 6. The seedlings grow 2 days before we process the sprouts and add spices. Inhibitors such as demineralising phytic acid can thus be broken down.BFC: Phytic acid?Yannis: Phytic acid is one of the biologically active substances. In both plants and grains it serves as a store of minerals necessary for seedling growth. It partially inhibits the absorption of minerals in the human body. Phytic acid is also the reason why many people cannot tolerate whole grain products. Sprouting spelt minimises this acidity and AHO crackers are easy to digest and at the same time nutritious. Once sprouting is complete, the crackers are gently dried at 42° for a full two days. In this way, all the nutrients and enzymes are preserved and the crackers acquire a unique taste. Since we don’t use flour or ovens, but rather dry just sprouted ancient grains, we are fundamentally different from conventional grain products.BFC: What are your biggest successes with AHO?Yannis: In fact, we personally searched for the perfect nutrition for ourselves and finally stumbled upon fresh sprouted grains as the basis for a balanced lifestyle. However, over time, we also realised that it’s not just about health. No one wants to eat sprouted grains and give up bread or chips completely. That’s why we developed a recipe that guarantees health benefits while keeping the taste and crunchy texture in mind. Word quickly spread among friends and more and more people in our circle wanted to buy AHO crackers. It was only because of this that we improved our production process and dared to take the step to launch.On our way to becoming a local food start-up, we have already had several success stories. The most interesting one was definitely the story of Benno (9), a real chocolate fanatic. When he went to school, he always got ‘healthy’ bread made from unsifted flour and sweets or chocolate. When Benno’s mother would put the bag away after school, the sweets were always eaten and the bread was left untouched. When Benno’s mother started ordering AHO crackers from us and one day put them in her son’s bag instead of the usual unsifted flour bread, the story changed. In Benno’s bag after school, only sweets were found: he ate all the crackers. The whole family found out about the story, and eventually we received an email from Benno’s grandmother. We were very touched by this feedback.BFC: What an interesting review. If you make children happy, your crackers must taste really great. What do your crackers taste like?Yannis: The taste of AHO crackers is unique and incomparable. You can’t just swallow it like white bread, you better chew it thoroughly until you get a rich, satisfying taste. Let’s start with three types: natural, pizza and curry. The original AHO Raw Natur Cracker, with fresh sprouted grains, sunflower seeds, brown flaxseed and ancient salt, has a nutty and healthy taste. The pizza cracker is reminiscent of a hearty umami-flavoured bruschetta with sun-dried cherry tomatoes and Italian spices. For those who like it spicy, there’s the AHO Raw Curry Cracker with Ayurvedic spices, chilli, garlic and turmeric. Curry crackers are like fried tortilla chips – only without the angst.BFC: Why do your products really bring health benefits?Yannis: AHO crackers make you happy because they invite you to share with the company. Crackers are perfect for friends and an evening out together, they can always be with you in your backpack or bag. Crackers satiate you quickly and for a long time and satisfy your desire to ‘chew’. Health-conscious people report that they have a lot more freedom because they don’t have to look for healthy food on the go.Usually snacks or bread are quite hard on the stomach. It can really ruin an evening. By the way, the special sprouting process activates a special enzyme: amylase. Amylase promotes the metabolism of carbohydrates. This means that there is no severe indigestion after a meal and the mood does not sink in. The high micronutrient content also keeps us satiated for a long time and we don’t experience sugar spikes – our brain has enough energy and therefore no longer requires sugar. A healthy diet can be so simple.BFC: Can you tell us your favourite recipe with AHO crackers?Yannis: We prefer to combine AHO crackers with homemade fermented soya curd sauce. Soy curd contains no sugar at all, but it does contain good proteins and can be made into a delicious paste with a little black sulphur salt, dill, lemon, cucumber, pepper and flaxseed oil.4 servings of the snack8 AHO Cracker Nature320 g soy yoghurt1 pinch black sulphur salt1/2 lemonpepper3 sprigs of dill1/4 cucumberlinseed oilFor 160 g of neutral curd, you need 320 g of unsweetened natural soya yoghurt. You can buy yoghurt at a health food shop or supermarket. Put a colander in a bowl, line it with a cloth and spread the yoghurt on it. Fold the cloth like a lollipop and secure it with, for example, a household rubber band. Let the yoghurt stand in the fridge for at least 8, or preferably 12 hours. If I want it to process faster, I put a small weight on top.Season the cooked curd with salt, pepper and lemon. Finely chop the dill sprigs, peel the cucumber and cut into small pieces as well. Gently spread the curd mixture over the crackers and arrange the cucumber. Decorate the snack with the dill and drizzle with linseed oil.