Hello and Happy Fat Tuesday! Fat Tuesday is the last hurrah before the Catholic season of Lent that begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. Alot of people give up something for Lent. Alot of people also enjoy lots of fried fish sandwiches during this time. What about also incorporating good foods into your diet during Lent?
Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to try soaking grains in one recipe this week. What?! Soak grains? Don't worry. I will explain.
Up until now I have not discussed soaking grains. To be honest, I didn't want to overwhelm you. Most of my readers are making small changes toward healthy eating and I thought it would be very discouraging to hear that you also should "prepare your grains 12-24 hours ahead of time by soaking them in something that is lacto-fermented in order to break down the phytic acid..." (What the heck? Stay with me.)
It's overwhelming enough sometimes just to try to get your kids to eat an apple... and to wrap your brain around the fact that most packaged foods on the shelves today has a "dirty" ingredient in it.
So, if you're just starting out on this healthy eating journey read over the information in this blog and tuck it away for whenever or if ever you're ready. Continue to take baby steps and make small changes. 🙂
But, if you're eating a lot of whole grains already and you want to take this nutrition thing to the next level here's some information for you about soaking grains:
Eating whole grains is important because they provide vitamin E, B vitamins, many important minerals and fiber. But the phytic acid in the grain combines with the iron, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc in the intestinal tract, blocking their absorption. They also contain enzyme inhibitors that can interfere with digestion. - Sally Fallon, "Nourishing Traditions"
So, I recommend that we soak our grains overnight in water. For added benefit, you can also add some whey, cultured yogurt, kefir, cultured buttermilk or lemon juice or vinegar. Soaking them allows the enzymes to break down and neutralize the phytic acid. Then, more of the good nutrients in the grain are released and all the good stuff is more readily absorbed in our systems and the grain is digested much more easily.
That isn't too bad, is it?
Okay...so quick re-cap. Eating whole grains is so, so much better for you than processed grains. Eating whole grains that have been soaked is even better.
It's really not hard. You just have to plan ahead a little more. And I admit it. I don't always soak everything even though I know I should. I try to just do the best I can. That's all we can do, right?
Basic Brown Rice
The difference between brown rice and white rice is not just color! Brown rice as an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of the minerals selenium and magnesium. Added bonus: women who regularly eat whole grains tend to lose weight easier!
Pinch of sea salt
2 cups water
1 cup brown rice
Presoak and rinse rice.
Add water and salt to a pot and bring to a boil.
Add rice. Cover and reduce heat to low.
Simmer for 50 minutes if it is short grain, and 35 minutes if it is long grain.
When done, pull from heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes.
Fluff rice with fork before serving.
Notes: For extra fluffy rice, heat water to a boil. Then put the rinsed grains in a dry skillet. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring until the grains are dry. Add hot dry rice to boiling water, add salt and continue cooking.
Remember: life is a journey not a destination. Enjoy the process. 🙂