Whole grain flour

It is a well known fact that flour is explosive. It is also well known that anything explosive contains energy. The energy of flour is typically calculated in Calories (that’s a thousand Chemistry lab calories), and according to me is the primary nutritional goal of any flour based food (such as bread).

There are several ways to deliver this explosive to the powerful muscles requiring the energy, but the debate on methods of delivery that I have seen to date are not about the explosive at all. Instead, the discussion centers around everything except energy. Like Iron, Vitamin-B, Vitamin-E, and Fiber. With the exception of Vitamin-E found in the germ of certain grains, these nutritional goodies are found in the husk (or bran). Any grain that is sold with it’s original bran included (rather than having the bran stripped by clever machines) is called a whole grain. I definitely used to enjoy ‘white’ grains, and despise whole ones. (Not only because it’s harder to ignite whole grains, but I thought they tasted better). However, by an interesting path, I now prefer the whole grains. This path is a twisted story of the non-energetic nutritional components of grain.

On page 25 of Nourishing Traditions, an important note is made concerning the loading of whole grains into our body. A natural substance found in whole grains binds to a number of useful nutrients, like Iron, Zinc, and Calcium. Enzyme inhibitors present in whole grains also prevent absorption (digestion) of other useful things. Now, what the book doesn’t mention at this point is that energy is still largely available in these whole grains. Anyway, Nourishing Traditions goes on to deliver the punch line: we can neutralize the inhibitors! By fermenting our whole grains, the micro-organism that eat grain in the wild will destroy the inhibitors for us. Alternately, if you sprout your grain, the natural mechanism in the seed (grain) will get rid of the inhibitors. Up to this point I have not mentioned exactly what grain I am talking about. In fact, it doesn’t seem to matter. Vitamin B was discovered in the husk of rice, and the vitamin content of most other grains is also in the bran. My discovery concerning the fermentation of flour had a bit more to do with Teff.

A smallish angry, seed, Teff is gluten free, making it a prime target for my kitchen experiments. Mixing teff flour into various recipes, I noted that the soaked teff became more elastic and pliable. This seems to be the case for most flours, except perhaps for the very fine powdery types like tapioca. Anyway, while the nutritional aspect of flour is improved by soaking or sprouting, I personally like the superior cooking quality of soaked flour.

So try your own today, any flour will do. Let me know how it works!


3 responses to “Whole grain flour

  • Culinary Trivia 4 « Cheese Please

    […] Whole grain flour « Soaked Nuts […]

  • Sallly Niemer

    I am just beginning to learn about the benefits of soaking and sprouting beans and grains. We have not been grinding our own wheat; I do not have a grinder or dehydrator. It all seems intimidating to me at the moment, but I am sure I will slide over the learning curve soon. I would like to start by soaking flour and oatmeal – seems the easiest place for me to begin. Here is my question: I buy Bob’s Red Mill oatmeal and can shop for flours a Whole Foods. I can also purchase fresh ground flour at a local store. Are those the “types” of things you can soak or do you need to buy something more specific or do you need to buy the grain?? What specifically do I buy to soak?


    • soakednuts

      Hi Sally, thanks for stopping by!

      I think that starting with oatmeal is a great place, I have pretty good success with that myself. As for your question, it sounds like you have a good base to begin. I would recomend that you try soaking the oats (in yogurt, kifir, or something similar). For flours, you should be able to soak just about anything. Typically whole grain flours are recomended, but that’s typically what I see in the store anyway. You will want to find a recipe that has flour and some liquid, soak the flour in yogurt or kifir overnight, and then put the rest of it together by the recipe.

      The soaking process using a culture such as kifir causes the enzymes in the kifir to break down (digest) the phytates and nurtients in the flour. An even better way to break down the compounds in grain is to sprout the grains before you dry and grind them into flour. These are two different approaches to get at the same thing, and I personally have only worked with soaking pre-ground flour. To do this you only need to get the flour of your choice, and something cultured to soak.

      Sally Fallon gives a recipe for oatmeal in Nourishing Traditions (p455): 1 cup of oats, 1 cup of warm water, 2 tablespoons of whey, kifir, or yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, an additional 1 cup of water.
      Mix the oats, warm water, and whey/yogurt/kifir, cover and let sit overnight. Bring additional water and salt to a boil, add oat mixture, and cook until done (~5 min.)
      If you have serious problems with dairy, you can use lemon juice or vinegar instead of the whey, kifir, or yogurt.

      I hope this helped, let me know if you have any other questions!


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