Friday, 15 July 2011

Do we need to soak our grains or not?

I bet most people reading this will never have heard of soaking your grains anyway.  Apparently many traditional societies worldwide soaked most of their grains, beans, nuts, and some seeds to make them easier to digest and more nutritious by releasing good nutrients.  In some books, plain water is enough, while other folks advocate using yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, or water with lemon or vinegar added.  These products help to start breaking down the difficult-to-digest products.  This makes it easier for you to get the good stuff before it passes through your system.  With all of the new fangle food allergies out there I think that this is worth a look.  If you would like to read more about this you can check out more information on the Weston A. Price Foundation website. 

But there are many people, including "experts" who believe that soaking your grains, etc is unnecessary.  The reasons are that a.  soaking is not enough to get rid of the bad stuff (the one most often cited is called phytic acid) and that only true fermenting will do this, b.  that we get enough nutrients in our diet and so we don't need to free the nutrients from grains (which makes me wonder why we need to eat them if we aren't getting much from them), c. some critics claim that the people who advocate soaking do not have scientific proof of the benefits, and finally d.  there are critics who don't say much of anything substantial at all.  If you would like to read more about this debate check out NutritionDiva and Kitchen Stewardship to get you started.

I think that with all of these diets the average reader gets bombarded with sciencey sounding words.  And if you don't have a very thorough education in this kind of stuff (as I don't), then you can either be won over or left confused (which I am).   But if you have more than a passing interest in trying to get the best nutrition into your family you have to make a decision.  I don't have too much time on my hands (I am actually typing one handed while trying to calm a fussy baby), and so I will take a leap of faith here.  I am trying out a few recipes from the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook.  I am not sure what I am looking for in terms of results, but here I go.

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