A STEP BY STEP PROCESS ON HOW TO PREPARE GRAINS
You may have heard about phytic acid in grains or it may be completely new to you. It can be overwhelming with all this new information on how to be healthy and at times, be hard to know what to believe. I recommend eating the traditional way, like our great grandparents did. This means consuming foods as close to their whole form as possible such as full fat dairy from grass-fed animals, limited sugar and steering clear of all processed foods. It’s a really simple and easy way to eat and most importantly, the most healthy and satisfying way to fuel our bodies. However, taking care of ourselves can take some preparation!
When consuming grains and nuts there is a process that needs to take place to enable the body to better digest them. Grains contain phytic acid which is the storage form of phosphorus in plant tissues. Phosphorus, in this form, is not bio-available to humans because we lack the enzyme, phytase, which is required to separate phosphorus from the phytate molecule. Due to this, phytic acid binds to minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium, as well as B vitamins. This blocks their absorption and can contribute to a mineral deficiency. Grains that are absent from phytic acid contain 20% more zinc and 60% more magnesium. (see my blog ‘grains the health benefits and why most of your daily intake need to be fermented’ for the function of these minerals and vitamins and how much our bodies can tolerate).
So now that you know what phytic acid does to the body, I am sure you would like to know how to get rid of the phytic acid. The grains will need to go through a fermentation process. Soaking them for a minimum of 8 hours and up to 24 hours, in a lacto-fermented product will allow the phytic acid to break down. This can be yoghurt, buttermilk, raw milk, kefir, lemon juice or vinegar.
The following is instructions on how to prepare different types of grains.
Nuts- place nuts in a bowl and a fill to cover the nuts with filtered, room temperature water. Add 1 tsp of unrefined sea salt per 1 cup of nuts. Cover and leave on bench for 7-24 hours. Dehydrate (stay under 65 degrees Celsius) for 12-24 hours, or until crisp again. You can use your oven or a dehydrator. You can also buy blanched nuts that have already gone thorough this process.
Pancakes & Waffles- Stir the spelt/wholemeal flour and buttermilk together, cover and let sit on the bench overnight (at least 7 hours). Then add the remaining ingredients just before cooking.
Cakes & Muffins- Stir the flour and butter (melted and cooled) or oil then add some buttermilk or raw milk to make it slightly soakable. Let it sit on the bench, covered overnight (or for minimum of 7 hours). Then add the remaining ingredients before baking.
Cookies- Stir the four and butter (melted and cooled), add a few tbs of buttermilk or yoghurt, cover ans sit on bench for at least 7 hours. Add the remaining ingredients and bake. If you have a food processor you will find it much easier to mix as this mixture will be stiff.
Oat Biscuits- Stir the flour, butter (melted and cooled) and oats and then add a little buttermilk or raw milk to make wet but not too much. Cover and sit on bench for at least 7 hours. Add the remaining ingredients and combine before baking. If you have a food processor you will find it much easier to mix as this mixture will be stiff.
Baked Oatmeal & Porridge- Place the oats is a bowl, fill to the top of the oats with filtered water and add a tbs of yoghurt. Sit covered for at least 7 hours on the bench. Add the remaining ingredients the next day before baking. For the porridge just heat up and add some milk and fruit on top. I have a couple of great oatmeal recipes under my breakfast recipes.
Bread- You need a sourdough starter to make a sourdough wholemeal bread. I have made this before but I usually purchase my bread from a bakery that uses a proper sourdough process.
Beans & Legumes- Put them into a bowl, fill with arm temperature filtered water and add 1 tbs of any lacto-fermented product per 1 cup. Cover and sit for 24 hours. There is no need to rinse as the phytic acid evaporates, however, you can if you desire.
Brown Rice- Put them into a bowl, fill with arm temperature filtered water and add 1 tbs of any lacto-fermented product per 1 cup. Cover and sit for at least 7 hours. There is no need to rinse as the phytic acid evaporates, however, you can if you desire.
As you can see, it does take some extra preparation to make grains as healthy as they can be, it won’t take more time, just a bit of planning ahead of time. Another option for baked goods is to use a sprouted flour. Here the seeds have been allowed to germinate, which removes the phytic acid. This method is also used with sprouted bread which is another option for a bread choice.