Traditional societies usually soak or ferment grains before ingesting them. This process will neutralize phytates and enzyme inhibitors and, in a way, predigest the grains so that all of their nutrients are more available. The phosphorus in the bran of whole grains is held up by phytic acid. Phytic acid joins iron, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc in the intestinal tract, blocking their absorption. For this reason, many people who are allergic to grains will tolerate them well, when prepared properly.
Whole grains that have been processed by high heat and pressure, like puffed wheat or rice cakes, are actually very toxic and have caused death in test animals. Breakfast cereal has been heat and pressure treated to make those little flakes and shapes…all breakfast cereals should be avoided. Most importantly, through the heat and pressure treating, most nutrients are destroyed…including phytase, an enzyme that breaks down some of the phytic acid in the digestive tract.
Genetically modified grains contain foreign proteins that are irritating to the digestive tract. Please take care in purchasing your grains and legumes. Grains are best when organically grown. Be careful to check the ingredients label for foreign ingredients. “Enriched” flours will contain additional vitamins and minerals that are not derived from food and are difficult to digest and for the body to absorb properly. Whole, organic, freshly ground grains will contain the highest levels of nutrients.
Sprouting, soaking and sour leavening are three ways we can accomplish “predigestion” for grains to keep the phytic acid at bay. The method for spouting all grains is the same…only the length of time needed varies. Cover with water, soak, drain, rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse. Once they have sprouts…they can be steamed and eaten, dried and ground for use in baked goods.
I love my grain mill (thanks Mom and Dad!) but I know not everyone has one. Another way to accomplish predigestion is soaking the already ground grain. Soak equal parts of flour and water for at least 7 hours…then use. As you can imagine I have had a difficult time changing my recipes to suit a “wet” flour. I am still working on the perfect cookie. But in the mean time I have a wonderful recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Marscapone Cream.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Marscapone Cream
1 Cup filtered water, at room temp
1 Cup Whole grain organic flour, of your choice
Juice of 1 fresh squeezed lemon
1/2 Cup (1 stick) Pasture Butter, at room temp
3/4 Cup unrefined cane sugar or pure maple syrup
3/4 cup raw cocoa powder or carob powder
2 pasture raised eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine first three ingredients in a ceramic or glass bowl, stir until combined, covered with a cloth for 7-12 hours. Pour off the layer of water on top just before using.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Once thoroughly combined and creamy add one egg at a time until just together. Add the remaining ingredients and the soaked flour and stir together. Line cupcake pan and fill almost to the top. Bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
1/2 cup pasture raised cream, preferably raw
1/2 cup Marscapone cheese, room temp
1/4 cup raw, local honey
Zest of 1 lemon
Whip cream to stiff peaks. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Top cupcakes and enjoy!