So THAT’S What You Meant
All you mom’s who have asked me “How do you have time for all those complicated recipes?” will be glad to know that I have finally seen the light. Cooking with one extremely helpful toddler is a breeze. Cooking with said toddler while eight months pregnant? Not so much.
With the thrilling but inevitably exhausting arrival of our newborn just ahead, I’ve been tweaking my kitchen techniques to save time/hassles AND testing new, no-fuss recipes that deliver nutritionally. I’ll be sharing new recipes soon, but let’s talk techniques today.
First Up: Grains, Nuts/Seeds and Legumes (Beans)
Anyone that has ever attempted a Nourishing Traditions lifestyle will probably tell you that soaking grains is inconvenient. It’s Saturday morning and you’re hit with the urge to make a huge pancake breakfast for your family? Too bad. Whims and cravings must provide 12 hours advance notice so that proper milling and grain soaking can be done.
Is it really worth the effort? When Katie at Kitchen Stewardship began hosting debates on the value of soaking grains it got me wondering. Sure, our family has noticed a dramatic improvement in the digestibility of our grains, nuts and beans since we began soaking them, but it appears there are even more benefits to sprouting them.
One study out of the University of Minnesota found that the nutrient density of sprouted wheat was in some instances hundreds of times higher than in whole wheat, specifically in vitamin C, folic acid, niacin and riboflavin (vitamin B2). (source) These studies have also demonstrated a significant increase in various enzymes, including amylase, protease and lipase. (source)
Impressive, huh? About a month ago I decided to give it a shot and the results surprised me.
Keeping It Simple
One of the awesome but unintended consequences of making the switch is that life got MUCH EASIER. Here’s why: I used to soak my grains, nuts/seeds and beans in small batches, using one recipe for pancakes, another for tortillas, etc. Almost every single night before going to bed I had to think of what I would make the next day and get it ready.
Now, I sprout a huge batch of whatever I’ve got and then dehydrate it for later use. When I wake up on a Saturday morning craving pancakes I can easily mill the spelt/wheat/whatever into a ready-to-use, nutrient dense flour. No planning required!
Plus, (this is probably my favorite part), with my new Excalibur Dehydrator I can sprout 2-4 weeks worth of grains, nuts/seeds and beans in less time that it used to take to soak just a few recipes.
If you’re interested in learning more about sprouting check out this Dietary Seed Sprouting Guide. Or skip it and use this process to soak and dehydrate larger amounts of what you’re already using to build your well-stocked pantry.
Was that boring? I kind of think it was, but give it a try and I promise you’ll love me ; – ) Don’t forget to check back soon for some quick, yummy recipes!