October 6, 2010

want to know what i've been up to when i'm not cooking, doing dishes, killing the bazillion flies in our house, taking pictures, editing pictures, helping preschoolers write their names, cleaning my house, reading my bible, searching for the perfect piano on craigslist, showering (i take long ones), blogging, figuring out how to fit all my dishes into my tiny kitchen, writing emails, eating apples and peanut butter (a good chunk of the day right there), using my running road, or trying to keep my hair parted on the side where it doesn't want to be parted?

i've been doing research. yes. please ready yourself for a bit of science. i've been a big nerd the last week- collecting data and coming to conclusions, and now i'm ready to turn in my homework to someone. i figured you guys wouldn't mind too much. (right? i hope?) the research has been about....what else? food. from now on we'll just call this my food renaissance era.

i've been looking into eating food to its fullest potential. and when i say food, i am talking about grains (i.e. flour), beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. all so good for us! and found everywhere in our food! but did you know that along with the good stuff, they also contain phytates and enzyme inhibitors? what are those, you ask? they are anti-nutrients. things which block the absorption of essential minerals and nutrients and make it hard for our bodies to digest properly. yikes. if there's one thing i've learned about in the last few years, it's that we assume way too much when it comes to our digestive systems. they were created to do awesome things, yes, but not to do magic. basically, unless we get rid of the phytic acid in our food (yes, even our beloved homemade bread) it is essentially stopping us from getting the "healthiness" out of our oh-so-healthy food.

so how do we get rid of the bad and allow the good to come in? we neutralize the phytic acid by soaking (or sprouting or fermenting) our grains before we eat them! soaking is the key. such a simple process, and it only takes about 3 minutes + the forethought to set it out to soak before you go to bed! so far i've soaked oats for my morning oatmeal, flour for a loaf of bread, a pot of beans, and a batch of oatmeal pancake batter (just the oats, flour, and buttermilk part) and it is so much fun! it's exciting going to bed knowing that my food is already prepping for the next day. all you need to do the soak is: liquid to cover your grains, a tablespoon or two of an acid medium (buttermilk, yogurt, whey, lemon juice, vinegar, or kefir) and a bit of warmth is nice, too. if you're interested, find more detailed instructions on how to soak in this awesome post.

i just have to say: this whole soaking thing makes so much sense! why else would people have been soaking, sprouting, and fermenting their food for thousands of years? it is a very well-known and wide-spread food tradition, but here in america, where our food has greatly deviated from the old traditions, soaked grains and sprouted bread aren't nearly as common. and we have tons of gluten intolerance and grain sensitivities to show for it. in case it hasn't reached you in some way yet: food allergies are on the up and up, in a major way.

isn't this stuff so super fascinating!? i got sucked in one sunday afternoon and haven't stopped reading or experimenting since. and as always, when you learn something new, you start seeing it all over the place. soaking, soaking, soaking. everybody's doing it! if you happen to be as fascinated as i am by all this science, here are some of my favorite posts so far:

so, if you want to, come along and soak with me!
and thanks for indulging me a little "according to my research" time.
i promise to be back with my little lists and other stuff very soon!


Melanie Anne said...

I have been intrigued with sprouting too. I have heard about how much for nutrional everything is sprouted first, but I have not taken the time to reserach it yet.So thank you so much for doing the work for me:) I will happily read the suggested articles and join you in soaking! Please share your favorite soaked or sprouted recipes! Have a great day Summer! I just posted your granola bar recipe on my recipe blog www.sisterscafe.blogspot.cim). It iwas a hit:) We love it!

Eileen said...

this is very interesting! I heart science and always appreciate good research!

I've done soaking only with quinoa previously, and am curious about doing so with flour and beans too.

Do you find that it changes the taste of your grains/legumes much?

Miranda said...

Goodness Summer, I am impressed. I've read quite a bit about soaking before but got so overwhelmed that I decided to put it aside for a while. Bravo to you for jumping right in and trying it!

What have you been using as your acidic medium?

Renee said...

guess i need to read some of the articles you posted, because i am wondering how you "soak" flour??
am curious too, what you have been using for your acidic medium? ... yogurt?

Anonymous said...

I think making your own bread is so worth it and it's a lot of fun! I have been making a lot of bread lately, mostly because I can't find any bread that I really like where I am living now (Germany) and because I think it's healthier. I started making sourdough bread with my own sourdough starter which is really cool but a bit time consuming (you have to feed the starter 2x a day while it's getting started). I was always scared of using a starter but it isn't all that hard! The breads come out awesome and taste so different than the yeast breads I've been making. Give it a try if you think you have the time. I have a recent post on my blog about sourdough starters if you are interested and some links to some good sites about sourdough. Sorry this was such a long comment. : ) Laura

Tawnya said...

I just experimented with soaking our beans this weekend (instead of buying canned!). What a coincidental post. I make and we (the kids and I) eat hummus like crazy, so I decided to try and make it with home-soaked beans. It turned out great and with just a minor tweaking next time it will be perfect. AND, you're right, it's not really that much more work. VERY INTERESTING INDEED!

Anonymous said...

It looks like you've been reading all the blogs I've been reading. So what do you think after your meals that you've soaked. I soaked oatmeal once but I didn't care for the sour taste. Maybe I did it wrong. Maybe I'll have to give it a try with a different recipe.

Marisa said...

Don't forget to rinse!! There shouldn't be any sour taste to soaked things because you must RINSE all those anti-nutrients away. I soak my oats every night (with lemon juice) and double- or triple-rinse them in the morning.

In just a few months, my facial breakouts dramatically decreased and I no longer need my iron supplements. Amazing stuff, this soaking.

summer said...

@ miranda.. hi miranda! so far i've used buttermilk, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice as my acid mediums, and all have worked just fine! i know, it can be super overwhelming! i'm trying to take baby steps and just keep researching so that way i can gently immerse myself into it.

@ renee (hi mom!).. soaking flour is basically just stirring it up with some water and letting it sit out before you use it in your bread recipe. it's so easy! this is where i first saw it done:


check it out if i'm not making any sense! (which i don't doubt)

summer said...

@ theartfulgardner.. wow, what a coincidence! i just 'started' my own sourdough starter yesterday! but i'm still coming over to your blog to check yours out- i'm totally fascinated and into sourdough right now. yay!

@ tawnya.. another fabulous coincidence! i just did my first from-scatch soaked beans, too-- and eat hummus like a crazy woman, too! we're the same, my friend. isn't it so fun to try new things? i'm loving it.

@ karenannj.. so happy to hear you're enjoying those awesome blogs too! about that sour oatmeal of yours.. yes, i understand. my first bowl was sour, too. what are you using as your acid? i first tried vinegar- and that was the sour one. then this last time i did lemon juice and that was much better! marisa brought up a great point about rinsing too. i'm sure that would help. (thanks, marisa!!) if you're looking for a nice not-sour recipe, here's the one that i looked at most recently:


summer said...

@ eileen.. i haven't noticed much of a change in taste, except for the one time i soaked my oats (for oatmeal) in vinegar. that was pretty sour. since then i've switched to lemon juice and that is much better!

kristin said...

when i did my oats for oatmeal, they were pretty mushy. should i have used steel cut? instead of the 10 min kind? (i'm seriously asking, as i'm posting i'm starting to thing this is pretty a silly question...sigh!)

Misplaced Country Girl said...

This is so fascinating. Man, I love this blog! This is fantastic.



about this blog

Hello, I'm Summer. A people-loving introvert whose hope and life is in Jesus. His promises are my passion and my ministry is homelife. This blog is a place for me to write about everyday things. Especially food. My favorite thing to do is sit around a table, lingering over a long meal with good conversation. I live with my husband and our 2 littles. We like blizzards, thrifting, grammar, guacamole, cheerful hearts, nice manners, good movies, and making simple, real, nutrient-dense food.

"If Christ be anything, He must be everything."
-C.H. Spurgeon

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