Whole Foods Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle


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Phytic acid in the bran of grains binds key minerals

Introduction to Whole Foods    Page Two 

The Two Stage Process 

A Preparation Method Maximizing 
the Nutritional Value of Whole Grains

     Just because you've switched from white flour to whole grains does not mean that you are getting all the nutritional value. In fact you may experience new problems with digestion. That is because whole grains contain phytic acid in the bran of the grain. Phytic acid combines with key minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc and prevents their absorption in the intestinal tract.

     Soaking, fermenting, or sprouting the grain before cooking or baking will neutralize the phytic acid, releasing nutrients for absorption. This process allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to not only neutralize the phytic acid, but also to break down complex starches, irritating tannins and difficult-to-digest proteins including gluten. For many, this may lessen their sensitivity or allergic reactions to particular grains. Everyone will benefit, nevertheless, from the release of nutrients and greater ease of digestion.

      The first stage of preparation in making whole grain porridges or baked recipes, is to soak the whole grains or whole grain flour in an acid medium such as buttermilk, yogurt, or other cultured milk, or in water with whey, lemon juice or vinegar added. As little as 7 hours soaking will neutralize a large portion of the phytic acid in grains. Twelve to 24 hours is even better with 24 hours yielding the best results. 

     Brown rice, buckwheat and millet are more easily digested because they contain lower amounts of phytates than other grains, so they may be soaked for the shorter times. Other grains, particularly oats, the highest in phytates of the whole grains, is best soaked up to 24 hours.

     There are two other advantages of the two-stage process. Several hours of soaking serves to soften the grain, resulting in baked goods lighter in texture, closer to the texture of white flour. The longer the soaking, the less necessary is the baking powder. Baking soda, alone, will give enough rise. Secondly, this is a great step in convenience, dividing the task into two shorter time periods, cutting the time needed to prepare the recipe right before cooking and baking when you feel rushed to get food on the table.

     Our blender batter baking recipes include the soaking process as a recommended option. Our preferred acid medium is buttermilk, but you can substitute an equal amount of water with whey, lemon juice or vinegar--2 tbsps. per cup--as an alternative.

     We encourage you to use the two-stage option, because we suspect that many problems with whole grains would be minimized. As Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, PhD point out in Nourishing Traditions, "...virtually all preindustrialized peoples, soaked or fermented their grains before making them into porridge, breads, cakes and casseroles."  p. 452.   For further documentation see Wise Traditions, Summer 2006: "Against the Grain: The Case for Rejecting or Respecting the Staff of Life" by Katherine Czapp. Learn more . . .  

   For further research into the significance of phytic acid in food science see Wikipedia

   The waffle/pancake recipe at the end of this tour incorporates the Two Stage Process.

 What about whole foods nutritional standards?
    more . . . 

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Soaking cereal overnight in a pan neutralizes the phytic acid

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It is convenient to soak batter overnight in a blender

Nourishing Traditions provides valuable information on the Two Stage Process

The SueGreggCookbooks have been called "The Nourishing Traditions for Dummies."

Print out Two Stage Process with recipe pdf file Print brochure

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