I’ve always been interested in nutrition and became both curious and concerned when a friend who has always eaten whole grain bread recently developed Celiac’s disease in his fifties. While doing research for recipes and information on Celiac’s I kept coming across writings and study references extolling the dangers of the phytic acid in grains that are diminished by an overnight soaking in an acidified liquid (i.e. buttermilk, water and whey, water and vinegar, water and citrus juice.)
Removing or reducing the phytic acid makes the nutrients in the grains themselves more absorbable and makes them easier for your body to digest. The longer the soak time and more lacto-fermentation occurs, the more the phytic acid is broken down and the easier it is for your body to digest.
It’s one of those things that is hard to accept at first but after switching cold turkey to whole grains this year I’ve noticed a huge difference in the way my body digests grains, especially the high protein bread wheats. And it hasn’t been pretty. By soaking them the night before I feel much less bloated and have fewer embarassing moments.
All grains benefit from an added catalyst like buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, whey, vinegar or lemon.
It’s a big jump from cooking the way I’ve learned to cooking with soaked batters. You’ll be seeing many recipe posts in the following days that require soaking times for the grains and flours. You cannot simply substitute regular unsoaked flour in these recipes. And why would you when soaking is something that takes only moments in the preparation and can speed up your actual cooking time when you need it the most?
I’m not to the point yet where I soak all my grains or use sprouted grain flour (which is actually even better than soaking them) but I’m working on it. I am a baker and I’m not yet ready to compromise on quality.
Stay tuned for these new and strange cooking methods…and a word of warning – don’t try them unless you are prepared for more energy (from the B vitamins you were previously lacking) and a general “lighter” feel since your body won’t be bogged down digesting heavy food mass.