I mentioned recently in my article about whether or not bread is Paleo that you can eat grain but it need to processed first. So I thought today I would expand on that thought. The three methods I mentioned were soaking, sprouting, and fermenting.
Soaking Grains To Eliminate Anti-Nutrients
Grains contain anti-nutrients that bind with minerals in your gut and also inhibit digestion. The simplest way to get around this problem is to soak the grains overnight before you cook with them.
The soaking basically starts the sprouting process and disables the anti-nutrients that are the problem. It means you have to plan your meals a little bit in advance, but it will make the grains more nutritious.
Grains, nuts, seeds, and beans are all basically the same thing and should all get at least this basic processing. Some nuts like acorns need extensive processing before they are safe for consumption.
Use these soaked grains immediately, or dry and store them. Make sure they are completely dried before storing or they will mold and spoil.
Sprouting Grains To Improve Absorption And Nutrition
You can take the soaking further to sprout the grains before you use them. There are dozens of sprouted grain brands out there now. This essentially renders the grain no longer a grain. Instead they’re little plants.
Sprouts are similar to micro-greens. The young plant matter breaks down much easier than older plants and most of the nutrition from the grain is available since it’s been made into a usable form to fuel the plant’s growth.
If you wanted to make your own sprouted grain bread, you just mill the sprouts into flour and use it as your bread base. It will yield a much more dense bread than regular flour. But it will be more nutritious as well.
Sprouting is a pretty simple process it just takes some time. A mason jar with a screw-on canning lid makes the process more straightforward. First soak the grains overnight in the Mason jar. The grains will expand as they absorb water so remember to leave lots of room in the jar. Only fill it a third of the way.
Drain and rinse the grains. Remove the metal insert from the canning lid and add a mesh insert or cheesecloth. Set the Mason jar upside down at an angle so the liquid can drain and air can circulate.
Repeat this rinse and invert cycle 2-3 times a day until the grains sprout!
Fermenting Grain To Make Delicious Sourdough
Fermenting grain is a huge topic. It’s used to make sourdough and beer. Instead of trying to cover the topic in this short little post, check out this article on making sourdough from scratch.
If instead of sourdough you’d rather make beer, check out The Complete Joy Of Homebrewing.