Soaking Grains, Soaking Flour Optimizes Nutrition
Soaking grains in warm water, in an acid medium, or both, will greatly enhance the nutrition of this valuable food. Sprouting grains that will later be used for baked goods
, will also increase the nutritional qualities of that grain or seed.
Here is a fantastic homemade bread recipe using soaked grains
Just about all people prior to the industrialization of society, used fermented or soaked grains, before
they made their breads, porridges, cakes, cookies, bagels and casseroles. Soaking grains is definitely a lost wise traditional culinary art. This practice of proper grain preparation prior to its baking and then consumption, needs to be reinstated for optimal nutrition.
To the right is fresh ground whole wheat flour that I am going to use to bake soaked flour bread. I will be soaking grains or actually soaking the flour from these milled grains in water, which the recipe calls for, along with Bragg Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. This vinegar is my favorite acid medium choice when making whole wheat bread from soaked flour.
Is there a difference between fresh milled whole wheat flour and whole wheat flour bought off the shelf in your local grocery store
This is what the soaking flour looks like once I added the water and a few tablespoons of vinegar as my acid medium. The consistency of the dough does vary from batch to batch. I then just cover my soaking grains dough mixture with a wet towel and let it sit overnight at room temperature, right on my counter.
The next morning my presoaked grains or soaked flour is ready for recipe completion with their better nutrition at hand. I then put in the remaining ingredients and complete my bread recipe.
Please read on and I will further explain this soaking grains process and why it is so very important and highly beneficial. I also hope the following information will encourage you to include the extra step of soaking grains.
Soaking your whole grain flour in water and an acidic base before you complete your baking recipe is a great way to truly up the nutritional qualities of your homemade bread. In this article, I will primarily speak about the soaking of fresh ground whole wheat flour because that is what I mostly use for the baking of homemade bread.
I usually use organic, or close to organic, hard white wheat or hard red wheat when making my bread. The hard red wheat gives a heartier and richer flavor. Sometimes I combine the two in equal amounts. Let your palate and your family's tastes guide you when choosing your grains. It really is fun to experiment! The soaking grains process is the same for both grains.
To continue, let's first learn why
soaking grains, specifically whole wheat soaked flour is a smart thing to do. I know you are smart or you would not be reading this page.
Benefits Of Proper Grain Preparation And Soaked Flour
- Digestion of grains becomes easier and uptake of nutrition is increased
- Antinutrients in grains are neutralized, bye-bye phytic acid content and enzyme inhibitors
- There are increased amounts of many vitamins, minerals and beneficial enzymes
Antinutrients Exist In Non-Soaked Grains
Basically, phytic acid exists in all seeds and/or cereal grains, legumes, and nuts. In cereals and legumes, phytic acid is found predominantly in the bran or outer covering and also in the germ. The more cereal grains, legumes, and nuts you eat, the more you will consume phytate (Lehrfeld, Jacob; Wu, Victor, J., Agric. Food Chem
., 1991) which is a naturally occurring toxicant (Oberleas, D.; 1973).
Phytic acid can combine with magnesium, calcium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract, thus blocking their absorption. That means there is less nutritional uptake by your body.
This is precisely why a diet that is very high in unprepared whole grains may lead to great mineral deficiencies and even bone loss. Calcium and zinc (Lonnerdal, Bo; Journal of Nutrition, 2000) are not absorbed as well in the presence of phytate.
So yes, whole grains are very good for us, but to optimize their nutrition and decrease this phytic acid content and also the enzyme inhibitors, we must properly
prepare them before we consume them. I urge you to consider this soaked grain process.
The wheat grain is a seed. To better understand the life cycle and parts of the wheat seed, please click here
The antinutrients in seeds actually beneficially
serve to keep the seeds from sprouting in unfavorable conditions. Also, these antinutrients and powerful
enzyme blockers (and we all know we need as many valuable enzymes
as we can get) within the seeds truly
discourage predators (who likes major digestive problems?) so that the seeds can carry out their life cyle mission without interference - without being eaten!
These untreated antinutrients within the seeds, that are not good for the predators and help keep them at bay, are not so good for humans to actually consume
either, as they can negatively effect one's health. But hold on here, the good
news is soaking grains will degrade these antinutrients if one wishes to consume these seeds in their varying states. And that also means soaking your whole wheat flour for the soaked flour homemade bread recipe
will break down these antinutrients and you get to be the one to nutritionally benefit.
A seed needs moisture, warmth and a little acidity along with time to sprout. When soaking grains, the warm acidic water enveloping the seed or milled flour is providing similar elements as to what the seed needs to begin the nutrient promoting germination process. The nutritional qualities of a seed are improved when it sprouts, similar to the nutritional improvements that occur in soaked whole wheat flour.
Soaking properly the whole grain flour, which still contains these antinutrients even though it is ground, neutralizes
the phytic acid content and enzyme inhibitors. Enzyme inhibitors can compromise digestive abilities and put extra stress on the pancreas
Natural Predigestion Is Pretty Cool!
The acidic medium used during soaking contains friendly bacteria such as lactobacilli, enzymes and other beneficial organisms that degrade and render inactive the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors.
This warm acid water activates
the enzyme phytase within the seed which also neutralizes the phytic acid in the grain. Phytate degradation in the stomach and small intestine also occurs as a result of this activated dietary phytase. Furthermore, the acidic solution also helps to predigest
the grain resulting in all the less work for your digestive system.
When these enzyme inhibitors are broken down in this soaking grains process, they can no longer hold hostage the many enzymes within the seed. The enzymes can then be released, they can proliferate and they can work their magic
"OK enzymes, it is safe to come out now. It is time to 'Release Your Inhibitions.'"
Yes, these enzymes are no longer inhibited after soaking them, but are free to express themselves. We are the beneficiaries of this expression!
Heating foods does result in loss of enzymes. However, the good news in regards to homemade bread making, is the soaked whole wheat flour in your baked bread is more easily assimilated because it has been predigested by these enzymes that have been released
during the soaking process. The activation
of the formerly dormant enzymes along with the newly produced enzymes, increases the amounts of many
additional beneficial vitamins.
The B vitamins are especially increased from this soaking and fermenting process as Sally Fallon and Mary Enig state in Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
You can read my Nourishing Traditions Review here
will help you learn more about proper grain preparation and it comes with a wide variety of healthy recipes covering the real
food spectrum. The bread recipes are naturally leavened requiring no packaged dry active yeast. I have not thus far had tremendous luck with these bread recipes, and am grateful for dry active yeast.
Nevertheless, this outstanding book is a must have for anyone serious about improving their family's nutrition. If I had to recommend just one book to learn how to eat better, this would be it! Nourishing Traditions really set me straight in the nutrition arena. An absolute must buy!
Make sure to visit my Amazon bookstore
to view all of my top recommended get well and stay healthier reads.
Here is a more in-depth article on properly preparing your grains, nuts, seeds, and beans, and the exciting and ever expanding phytic acid topic at the Weston Price Foundation
How Do I Properly Prepare Grains?
It is simple to break down phytic acid and also enzyme inhibitors that are found in these untreated grains. The easy method of soaking whole grains or milled flour overnight will properly prepare your grains.
As little as seven hours of the whole grain flour being soaked in warm water with a more acid solution will neutralize a large portion of the antinutrients in the grains. Yes, the very easy practice of soaking milled whole wheat flour overnight will vastly improve its nutritional benefits and reduce the negatives from this phytic acid and the enzyme inhibitors.
Once again, only 7 hours of soaking grains time is necessary to largely neutralize a large portion of the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors in the grains. Twelve to 24 hours is even better with a 24 hours soaking time giving the best results.
One study was done on soaked millet and it was found that excessive soaking beyond 48 hours did not bring about significant overall nutritional benefits. No need to overdo a good thing by over soaking.
I personally usually just soak my ground wheat flour overnight. I put a wet towel over the bowl that my soaking flour is in to keep the bugs out and moisture in the mixture. I just set this bowl on my counter.
The next day or 7-8 hours later, I take off the towel, put in the additional bread making ingredients and bake up the recipe. Sometimes I get antsy and bake the bread before 7-8 hours of soaking and I still know the bread will be far more nutritional than with no soaking at all.
How Much Acid Medium Should I Use When Soaking Grains?
To prepare the whole grain flour, you simply soak it overnight in one of the below acid mediums along with the water in the bread recipe. Sally Fallon of Nourishing Traditions
recommends putting 2 Tablespoons of an acid medium for each 1 cup of grain along with the water to soak the grains.
When I bake, the recipes I use call for whole wheat flour
instead of the grain. Therefore, since 1 cup of grain equals about 2 cups of fresh ground flour, I put about 1 Tablespoon of an acid medium per 1 cup of milled flour. Others put 1 Tablespoon of the acid medium to 1 cup of water. Pick the measurement example that works for you and your recipe. You can also pick your favorite acid medium that will be combined with the water in your bread recipe. Your recipe and palate will determine which medium to use.
Remember, put the dry ingredients in your recipe after you have soaked your flour. If you put your salt in the soaking grains mixture at the beginning of your soaking period, the salt will actually slow down or inhibit the benefits of this soaking grains process.
Can I Soak My Grains In Water Only?
Some people just soak their grains in water to avoid the sour taste of the acid medium, however, it is more optimum to soak the flour in an acid medium also. In one study, phytate in wheat, rye and barley was reduced by 46–77% when water was used and by 84–99% when an acid medium was used to soak the grains.
So simply using water only is a big improvement in nutrition, but the acid solution will certainly further improve the nutrition and bioavailability of your baked good.
Plus, one study mentioned the additional benefit of preventing unfriendly bacteria in the incubating mixture by adding an acid medium.
Bellow are some options you have to choose from for your acid medium.
- Cultured milk
- Lemon juice
You will soak the whole grain flour in one of the above acid mediums along with the water that is in your bread recipe. Basically, you want all
of your flour to soak with all of the water required in your fresh bread recipe along with your acidic liquid.
Some people like to put the oil from the recipe in the soaking mixture to prevent drying out of the dough while it soaks. I usually put my recipe requested oil, such as olive oil, in my bread recipe after
my flour has soaked. The drying out of my dough mixture has not really been a problem for me. It is fine to put the oil from your recipe in the presoaking mixture if you choose. However, no dry
ingredients besides the flour are put into the presoaking mixture. Those additional bread making ingredients are added after your selected soaking period.
At first, I was just excited to be making fresh ground whole wheat bread. Then, I learned on my journey back to wellness
, that I could up the nutrition from the homemade bread I was making by presoaking the flour first. I was not too thrilled about an extra step, but it really is not so bad.
When I make my whole wheat bread, I like soaking grains with the Raw Apple Cider Vinegar by Bragg as my acid medium choice. I find the vinegar does not unfavorably alter the flavor of my bread.
More Energy Experienced From Eating Soaked Grains
I don't know if it is in my head or not, but I swear I seem to get more energy from eating this bread in which I have soaked my flour overnight or for 7-8 hours. Plus, the bread texture is a little lighter, softer and less coarse like some white flour products. So, you get closer to the well enjoyed white flour texture with all the extra nutrition. To learn more about the increased nutrition in 100% whole wheat bread versus white bread, please click here
You really have to try this soaking of the whole wheat flour and see if you feel extra energy too. Even if you don't feel more energy, know that you are truly absorbing more of the vitamins through proper grain preparation.
The research is very fascinating on this phytic acid and how it is an antinutrient which really decreases your body's ability to absorb the magnesium, calcium, copper, iron and especially zinc. The research is also clear as to the enhanced nutrition that comes from soaking grains. I am sure there will be much more exciting research on the subject of soaking grains in the future.
Soaking Grains Reduces Digestive Difficulties
Soaking grains improves their protein and starch digestibility and the availability
of their minerals. For many people, this proper preparation of the grains may decrease their allergic reactions and sensitivities to particular grains. Everyone though, will appreciate this additional nutrition and reduction in digestion difficulties.
Research shows that the proteins in grains, especially the gluten, are very difficult to digest. A diet high in unfermented whole grains, especially the high gluten grain like wheat, is very difficult on the digestive system. With increased digestive difficulties comes allergies, celiac disease, candida albicans overgrowth, chronic indigestion, and even mental illness.
Fermenting and soaking grains first will break down or predigest
the gluten and other difficult-to-digest proteins. Remember, there is phytic acid in the gluten and soaking the grains or soaking your flour will neutralize the phytic acid - disable
its negative aspects. Additionally, these proteins will be partially broken down into simpler parts that are easier on the digestive system and more bioavailable.
Delicious Mouth Watering Bread Awaits You
Here are a couple of loaves of homemade bread that were made with my soaked grains whole wheat homemade bread recipe
. All your work really pays off!
These guests at Health Banquet also love this homemade bread soaked grains recipe
The homemade bread aroma has now fully spread throughout our home and the hungry crowds are gathering. OK, time to slice this warm, delicious bread. Nothing like right out of the oven!
Alright, next I freely slather my bread with scrumptious butter and raw honey. Yes, butter is a good fat and it is very good for you. Good fats contain fat-soluble vitamins A and D that when consumed serve as a catalyst to help us even further absorb the nutrients in the bread and other foods.
, time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. In this case, the grains
of your labor.
I use the L'Equip 760200 Nutrimill Grain Mill
for grinding my wheat. It quickly
transforms your grains into soft flour. Excellent grain grinder!
If you want to grind your own grains, the Nutrimill will not disappoint you. In fact, I marvel at how easily the grains are turned into flour, every time this easy process occurs - and right in the convenience of my kitchen!
You can learn how to make flour
with my Nutrimill instructions video and view this best grain grinder owner's manual too.
Here is the picture at Amazon if you would like to order it. Nutrient abundant, fresh whole grain flour will bring many happy baking memories to your family!
It is easy to recommend the Bosch Universal Plus with Blender Model: MUM6N11UC
, if you are looking to make your own bread. The Bosch mixer will perfectly "knead" your bread making ingredients together to easily produce the perfect dough texture, so you don't have to.
You will be very pleased if you purchase this number one
bread making appliance, the Bosch mixer.
Native Peoples Thrived Eating Soaked Grains And Good Fats As Part Of Their Diets
The best nutritional researcher of the twentieth century, Dr. Weston Price, discovered in his research how important whole food nutrition is to one's health and wellbeing. He repeatedly taught the critical
importance of consuming fat soluble vitamins found in animal fats. Some yummy choices include the superfood raw milk
and nutrient rich butter.
To see Dr. Weston Price's phenomenal nutritional video
which shows native peoples that thrived on whole foods including properly prepared grains and plenty
of good fats, please view the nutritional video on my home page.
When you bake your own bread, you know for sure you are consuming the entire whole wheat grain. To learn about the highly nutritious components of fresh ground whole wheat flour, please click here
So remember, whole grains are
good for us. They are a wonderful food. But, virtually all traditional cultures pre-treated their grains first. Yes, they used soaked
grains. The process of germinating, fermenting or soaking grains really does enhance their nutrition. Ancient cultures implemented this essential knowledge on proper grain, nut and seed preparation. It is time to bring back this largely lost very important soaking grains culinary art
Remember, fresh ground whole wheat is perishable and does have a limited shelf life
Did you know wheatgrass grows from this same whole wheat grain. To learn about this powerful healing food, please click here
Delicious Whole Wheat Bread Recipe Using Presoaked Grains
Click here to view my instructional whole wheat soaked flour recipe
for making delicious homemade bread.
View this reader's disappointing soaked flour in buttermilk homemade bread making experience
, in which their bread turned out very "doughy" and did not rise. My comments are below the post.
Homemade Bread Recipe Using Soaked Flour
Whole Wheat Flour Components Page
Amazon Homemade Bread Making Appliances Store
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