Getting the Most Out of Your Grains

wholegrainsKristen Michaelis, the Food Renegade down in Leander, Texas, wrote another fine article this week called How to Eat Grains.

She discusses the proper preparation of the grains to get the maximum nutrient absorption into our bodies with easier digestion.

Here is an excerpt:

We all know that refined grains are bad for us. In the refining process, the bran and germ are removed from the whole grain, hence removing the fiber and most of the vitamins and minerals. Then the grains are further processed via mixing, bleaching, and brominating. Then, because poor people who switched to eating refined grain products started suffering from severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies, we now “enrich” the refined flour with synthetic vitamins and minerals. These synthetic nutrients can be hard on your liver. Even if they were substantially equivalent to naturally occurring vitamins and minerals (which I don’t believe!), the vitamin and mineral content artificially added back into enriched flours still does not measure up to the amount inherent in whole grains.

Without question, whole grains are nutritionally superior to refined grains. But, they can be even more nutrient dense if your prepare them according to traditional grain preparation techniques.

What Are Traditional Grain Preparation Techniques?

  1. Sprouting — This is when the whole grain kernel is sprouted. You can eat it as is, or you can dry it again before grinding it into flour.
  2. Soaking — This is when the already milled whole grain flour is soaked in an acidic medium like buttermilk, whey, yogurt, lemon juice, or vinegar before being cooked.
  3. Fermenting — This is when the grain is naturally fermented with wild yeast, as is the case with all sourdough breads.

Read Kristen’s complete article on How to Eat Grains.

2 responses to “Getting the Most Out of Your Grains

  1. Does anyone know of any authoritative sources describing the actual nutritional values for all vitamins and minerals for a specific grain in different processing states (i.e. refining, whole sprouted, whole soaked & boiled, whole fermented & baked, etc.; hard winter wheat vs. spelt vs. kamut vs. various other wheat hybrid varieties.)
    I usually look at http://www.nutritiondata.com, but they are not as detailed as I would like.

  2. I have sprouted my hard white wheat berries and then dried them in room air for 2 days. The berries were then ground to make bread. The bread was brick hard and not usable. What is the correct way to dry the sprouted grains? for how long?

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