I’m loving Nourishing Traditions which isn’t anything new but it is, once again, THE book I come back to for inspiration. Sally Fallon is a ninja.
I have started making bread again after a few months of going without, and before that I was making only gluten-free. I’m using spelt flour exclusively, but I purchased some kamut yesterday and plan to incorporate that grain soon too. I make yogurt at home sometimes, but homemade yogurt has a different consistancy than the organic plain whole milk yogurt Dub loves from Trader Joe’s so I’ve been purchasing a lot of that for soaking freshly ground flour.
If you don’t know why you would want to soak flour just hold on while I readjust in my seat…
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again it is unbelievable how little we know about food. If our doctors (who I admire and look to for answers at the scariest of times ) can know nothing of nutrition as is the case with many, how are we to weed through the myriad advertisements meant to appeal to our base desires and manipulate our senses? Large food manufacturers blatantly LIE, mislead, and corrupt until they get us hooked on items marketed as food that insects will not even go near. You guys. You might even be eating “healthily” for you and still be eating un-food. Sure, you are still alive, but are you living? Do you look in the mirror and curse that belly fat that just won’t leave? Guess what? I’m going to tell you a secret that is so freakishly secret almost no one believes me when I tell them. Those that do are changed forever, and those that don’t “throw me out on my ear” as they say (Mr. H. that was an inside joke for you).
Here it is:
If you eat real food, like butter, grains properly prepared, organic local REAL food, including animal fats and so called “sinful” indulgences like heavy cream, custards, and “cholesterol” (if they are not genetically modified and if they are grass-fed and if they are organic, which by the way is not unaffordable if you know where to look-more on that in another post) you will drop pounds in all the places that bother you until you are exactly as you should be. People didn’t use to have to run marathons to fit into their skinny jeans (also, I refer to a time when women did not wear jeans, but gloves, hats, and cigarette skirts). That is not to say that moderate exercise and fresh air is not heavenly for body mind and soul, but extreme exercise is NOT necessary when you eat real food. Anyway, that’s not what this post is about.
Why would you soak grains?
And just because you think you don’t have time for this doesn’t mean you are correct. Just assume you know nothing about food because most people don’t. It isn’t as time-consuming as one would imagine. It requires a desire to experience change. If your desire is not strong enough, it will not be worth it to spend the extra time to mix up some flour with starter (as in sourdough) or yogurt vs. popping what was once food into a microwave (and 3 minutes later removing a sludgy slab of god knows what because the nuke just changed the molecular structure of the water molecule in the “food” and it is no longer recognized by the human body as fit for consumption)…but I digress.
(As an aside, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the information here, and maybe even beginning to turn off your brain, take a gander at just how messy my kitchen can be. Sure, it doesn’t live like this, but at any given point during the day along with baking, fermenting, cooking and “Weston the Hurricaine” it can be THIS, which makes you cleaner than me and better than me so now we are even. Read on.)
Okay I’ll answer the question:
Grains contain phytic acid in their bran (or outer layer). In order to release the phytic acid grains must be soaked. Ancient peoples somehow knew this, and all traditional consumption of grains included a soaking period. From Nourishing Traditions:
“Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in unfermented whole grains” [read: almost the entirety of our country] “may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may leat to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long-term, many other adverse effects.” Effects we are seeing spring up in people all around us, daily. “Soaking allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize phytic acid. As little as several hours of soaking in warm acidulated water will neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains.”
Just a bit more…
“A diet high in unfermented whole grains, particularly high-gluten grains like wheat, puts an enormous strain on the whole digestive mechanism. When this mechanism breaks down with age or overuse, the results take the form of allergies, celiac disease, mental illness, chronic indigestion, and candida albicans overgrowth…”
What I am saying is that we are seeing the effects of our food-laziness all around us, but no one wants to recognize it. If you simply give yourself a rule like 80-20, you will probably see insane amounts of positive change. Let’s say at home you eat grains properly prepared. Like someone who thought they were lactose intolerant but discovered they can drink raw milk, you realize that it isn’t gluten itself that is the problem, it is the fact that you weren’t preparing your grains properly.
So yeah, there is that.
Separating curds from whey really has nothing to do with that, but I use the same awesome yogurt. The reason I need the whey is because I’ve started lacto-fermenting veggies to help populate the good bacteria in our guts. It’s cool, you should do it too. I’ll post on how easy-peasy that is sometime. What is left when you separate the curds from the whey is delicious cream cheese that you can leave as-is, or mix up into something else like a salmon spread, or a danish, or anything. The whey will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for about 6 months.
This is the easiest tutorial on the internet.
Take yogurt that has live active cultures, is organic, and uses WHOLE milk.
Pour it into a thin towel (preferably one that has never been bleached) or a couple of layers of cheesecloth, and hang that sucker up.
You can be super ghetto-precarious about it and rig something unstable as I do, then you will be cool like me.
Leave it there for 12-24 hours.
When you are done unfold your towel and you will have cream cheese in it.
Underneath will have dripped out the whey, the portion you will use over the next few weeks/months as you work your way through Nourishing Traditions, or just follow me here on the blog.
That just gave me an awesome idea. Maybe I should go through the entire book and document it here on the blog. Like Julie and Julia but Bee and Sally! Doesn’t have the same ring, but maybe we could get really cheesy with it and say “When Bee Met Sally” nope hate it. Anyway, I’ll think about it.
Okay, I’m off to go make the world a better place one recipe at a time. Right now that involves pulling a loaf of yogurt-soaked spelt herb bread out of the oven. It smells like the real heaven in here-not the one of your imagination, but the real one. Be jealous. Real Food is SO good.