Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Whole Grains: How to Love Them, Big Finish

It's Tuesday - the day I try to write about things I'm grateful for.  And today, I'm going to combine my gratitude with my final installment of my series on Whole Grains: How to Love Them.

The more I learn about real food and whole grains, the more grateful I am to the Maker for supplying us with such rich and nourishing food.  The more I learn about how to unlock it and really USE it in my own diet, that gratitude just grows.  I am so thankful for bread - especially for sourdough - but I am a lover of breads of all kinds. 

So here's to whole grains and creating the most nourishing bread we can...

This is my short, sweet, totally non-exhaustive list of reasons why the soaking method of preparing whole grains is so, so good for us.

1.  It makes whole grains taste better.  That's right, soaking whole grains in an acid medium - be it lemon juice, vinegar, whey or buttermilk - breaks down not only phytates that can be harmful, it also makes whole wheat flour a lot more tender and delicious.  Sometimes we shy away from whole grains because they taste too...healthy.  But I've found the soaking process can create baked goods that make you forget you're eating so well.  I'm fooling a toddler regularly - and that should speak VOLUMES to the great results of this process.

2.  Nutrition - yes, yes...maybe this is a repeat of something I said in past posts, but it bears repeating.  Soaking whole grains, whether for cookies or cake or waffles, breaks down those harmful phytates and allows our bodies to access all the good things in whole grains.  If you want to know more about phytates and how they can block vitamins and minerals in our bodies, just go catch up on the first few posts in this series...here, here, here and...here.

3. Digestion - the soaking process makes it so much easier on your gut!  I'm not saying this method will suddenly end your fight with chronic bowel problems, but I'm here to tell you, when I'm eating only soaked or sprouted grains, I FEEL better.  And I have a sensitive system - nuff said.  The phytic content of whole grains makes your gut work really, really hard, producing enzymes it shouldn't have to to break down something it can't.  It's a lot of work - and no, it's not a good thing.  It's not about burning more calories in digestion.  It's about keeping your gut in balance and not feeding your body things it can't process. 

4.  Disease prevention - I've said before, a little phytic acid is a good thing!  But it goes a long way.  It blocks mineral absorbtion, and so the nutrition you think you're getting - to prevent cancer or nine million other ugly modern diseases - is just not getting through.  Soaking (and sprouting) ups your absorbtion of iron, niacin, zinc...a TON.  And those are the tools your body uses to keep you healthy and prevent disease.

Those are the big four reasons in my book.  I'm sure there are more...I know there are more...but for me, this little list keeps me coming back to my kitchen to soak, rise and bake. 

I hope maybe you'll try some Bake Lore bread sometime!  There are so many reasons to love it!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

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