Tag Archives: rice

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!

Chipotle Cranberry Relish with Chicken and Rice

So there I was, innocently wandering the halls of the local Aircraft hanger.. um, I mean Supermarket. I think we may have run out of something, or needed a last minute item, but anyway, there I was. This particular store actually has a pretty nice Organic/Natural section cordoned off from the ‘normal’ food. One product line they carry is Living Intentions, a company that specializes in soaked, dried nuts. So, when I’m there, I look in for whatever Living Intentions products they have. This time, the only two things they had were Pumpkin seeds, and Chipotle Pistachios .

I was not particularly enthused by this meager offering since I’m just not that into Pumpkin seeds, and Chipotle Pistachios?? Well, my wife got the Pistachios to munch on the way home, and they were pretty good, but we didn’t eat a lot of them. But then…

My wife was trying to figure out how to jazz up a rather stale, routine chicken and rice dish.  Normally, we’d add some raw cheese and a veggie on top, but the Chipotle Pistachios inspired my wife.  After a whirlwind of activity, she produced a relish like nothing I had ever had! See below for her creation:

Chipotle Cranberry Relish (serves 4)

(make to taste; amounts are approximate)

3-4 Ounces of fresh Cranberries

Half a bag Living Intentions Chipotle Pistachios (or 2.5 oz of  other soaked/dried nut and add 1-2 teaspoon of chipotle seasoning**)

1 small Orange

1-2 Tablespoon Lime juice

1 Tablespoon Olive oil

1 small bunch of Cilantro (about 1/3 cup)

Sea Salt to taste

Grind nuts in food processor; add cranberries and process.  Then add orange, olive oil, lime juice, and salt (and Chipotle spices** if adding separately from nuts).  Blend, then add cilantro until well mixed.  End result should somewhat resemble the consistency of fresh homemade cranberry relish (thick and a little juicy).

Serve on Chicken and Rice.

If you can’t find Living Intentions nuts at a store near you (or if you have time and prefer doing it the hard way), you can soak your choice of nuts for 6-9 hours, drain, then scatter on a tray in your dehydrator or stove (on it’s lowest setting) and top with Chipolte seasoning.  Let dry/dehydrate for roughly 12-15 hours or until done.

**Chipotle seasoning (roughly from the Living Intentions label): Chili powder, Onion powder, Cumin, Sea Salt, and Tamari sauce (gluten-free).  Wheat eaters could use regular Soy Sauce in place of the Tamari.  Organic seasonings are best as they are non-irradiated.

So next time you get a chance, duck into random Aircraft hangers and look for some soaked nuts in the natural food section–they’re usually behind the torque wrenches.