Sprouting Grains: Breaking Down the Learning.
I’m in the process of learning a TON. Some of the stuff had been festering in my brain for some time, but it’s finally off the shelf and into reality. The class I’m taking is making me break down the barriers of confusion very quickly…very grateful!

*the 3 simple things you can do (one ore all)*
each step breaks down even more of the anti-nutrients
:: Soak / sprout your grains ::
(that includes soaking rice, corn, quinoa, etc before cooking)
:: Mill your own flour ::
:: Soak flour for bread, biscuits, etc. ::

The main thing I’ve learned about this way of preparing grains is that it makes them more nutritious by breaking down an anti-nutrient called Phytic Acid. This particular anti nutrient is found in nearly any nut or grain, and is not digestible by humans. The problem is, in modern day processing we do very little to get rid of it, and without getting rid of it it can make us sick. Things like gluten intolerance, celiac’s disease, tooth decay, etc are all highly effected by this anti-nutrient, and we eat a LOT of it. So, we’re cutting back on our grains, and trying to make sure the ones we get are as nutritious as possible.

The first step is knowing your grains. Most products in the grocery now parade themselves as ‘full of whole grains’. Well, I’m just now understanding that whole grains can be even worse because they are more indigestible. The idea that we need bran for fiber is because bran makes us poop. It makes us poop because our body doesn’t digest it, so is it really beneficial? Are there not other ways that don’t stress out our systems to make us go?

Our thought process on all of it has been under evaluation, and I’m going to tell you right now–there are moments of extreme frustration trying to understand what is ‘good’ food. If you want to be as frustrated and boggled as us, read Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel. It’s a doozy.

One simple thing we did to make our grains more nutritious (because you don’t have to do every step, even just doing 1 makes the grains way more nutritious): we bought the grain mill attachment for our Kitchenaid. It was the least expensive milling option, and why not add another function to our favorite kitchen equipment? It works great, and, using the second simple thing we’ve learned (soaking flour), we soaked that fresh flour with buttermilk to make the biscuits from the Nourishing Traditions. They were great warm with butter and honey, but they cooled into a hockey puck like consistency–far from the biscuit of southern tradition. We’re going to have to work a little harder to make those something we look forward to…(to point out there’s hope, the pancakes we made in a similar way with regular unbleached all purpose/spelt flour were AMAZING!)

Right now I’m sprouting my first round of Hard Red Wheat Berries. The process of sprouting grains breaks down that phytic acid. Once they’re sprouted, I’ll use our oven to dehydrate and then we’ll mill them into flour.  It sounds really complicated, but really the only difficulty is it is planning intensive. The berries have to soak until you see small sprouts, 1-3 days (not sure yet). Then, you dehydrate, which takes at least overnight. Then mill. Then soak again if you desire.

All this means we have to know ahead of time–like a week–if we want fresh bread with our soup. Of course, there are shortcuts–mainly, once you’ve sprouted, dried and milled your grain you can then freeze that flour and just have it on hand. This is a GREAT modern convenience! Just another reason for us to love our extra freezer.

So, that’s a lot for one blog post, and I’m going to stop semi-abruptly there. Later I’ll share how the sprouting goes, how I made a sourdough starter from 1.25cups of flour and a cup of filtered water and whether it works well to actually make bread, and how all this fits into homeschooling–which it does, nearly effortlessly. We’re all fascinated by the science experiments going on all around the kitchen right now…

8 Comments

  • torahmama Posted March 22, 2012 2:50 am

    This is really interesting. I was just talking about soaking grains today… I totally understand about being frustrated with understanding food. To make things more confusing, I had a friend (an herbal therapist) tell me that I should NEVER eat anything sprouted, because it has a super growth hormone (because the sprouting stage is such a quick growth stage), that can cause cells in your body to grow into cancer. She said she got the information from one of the leading cancer researchers in the country. I was like, really?? Are you kidding me?? Sprouts?! Deep breath…… Frustrating. I've ALWAYS been told sprouts are super healthy. So, what to do? At this point, I'm just trying to do my best to eat lots of veggies and less sugar. I've still got a lot to learn in this department. But, so glad that I have friends who are in the path and willing to try new things, so I can benefit from your research!!

  • school house oils Posted March 22, 2012 4:05 am

    My hands are waving feverishly above my head as i say this, 'AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!' i may go back to hohos! ๐Ÿ˜‰ perhaps it's the balance?

  • school house oils Posted March 23, 2012 7:34 pm

    Someone emailed me this article which helps comfort me in the sprouted flour department: http://www.livestrong.com/article/154400-benefits-of-sprouted-wheat-bread/ but, if you send me a link to that info i'd like to see that too!

  • torahmama Posted March 26, 2012 2:37 pm

    I'll have to see if I can find it. I was sort of hoping you would tell me that it was crazy and that I should go on eating sprouts!! Lol. I guess I should really look more closely at the research..

  • school house oils Posted March 27, 2012 3:30 pm

    i'd love to tell you that, but if there's one thing i don't want to eat, it's my words ๐Ÿ˜‰ i've said enough things in the past that have proved to be wrong, i could be wrong about this too…but, for now it's what we're going with!

  • school house oils Posted March 29, 2012 4:07 pm

    i think i've semi-figured it out. Raw sprouts are not that great for you, they really need to be cooked/steamed/etc, otherwise they can–in abundance–be bad for your health…

  • Heather Posted April 4, 2012 8:24 pm

    Thank you for this post. We are just beginning to look into this and I appreciate the honesty and seeing how you are doing it.

  • doug Posted June 25, 2012 11:51 am

    Hi,

    I've been baking sprouted grain breads for about ten years and have not heard this though I've heard lots of other stories. One of my favorite is from an organic farmer I set up next too one day at a farmer's market and he told me that when he first started farming, he got a tip from an old amish farmer so he went out and bought a bunch of old mules that had reached the end of their productive life. He took them off a grain diet and put them on a sprouted diet and got another ten years of work out of them.

    His name is steve. An old hippie type. Very colorful. Extremely well informed. You can still find him in Philly as he sells his organic produce at the reading market on saturdays. That's all I can offer with respect to validation.
    Thanks,
    Doug
    baker
    ColumbiaCountyBread.com

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