So much information to understand and weed though about grains. Sadly, most of it is not accurate, at least not for all of us.
Grains are not bad. It’s only the way it has been explained by the “new healthy”
who don’t have the knowledge about whole grains…and they insist on writing blogs and books on subjects without all the information, spreading a misguided trend to the public. Some of it is propaganda and rumor. But who’s got time to investigate it all? Here’s some of the missing information:
- Store bought, yes even the whole wheat organic brands (mostly) are altered. Check the label. Notice they add gluten. Gluten in the grain isn’t bad, but adding it isn’t necessary if the dough is prepared properly to release its nutrients and to rise. The higher the gluten content, the more a bread rises. Manufacturers don’t have time to wait for the gluten to be converted properly. The shelved bread may feel and look like a loaf, but won’t contain the maximum nutritionally absorbable nutrients and benefits. It’s the added gluten that causes most of our digestive problems. A real loaf of soft whole wheat bread will have perfect texture, moderate shelf-life, full nutrients, and lovely taste with a mere five unrefrigerated ingredients. No gluten. No white flour. I make it.
- Some put wheat grain in the same category as GMO grains. Wheat is not GMO.
- Some say the grains are not the same as they used to be when our ancestors had it. They are right. But that’s not a bad thing. It’s nature. Most plants morph along the road of history. It’s called cross pollination, either naturally or man intervened. Not to be confused with GMO.
- Most bread (wheat) grains are mass produced, and put through a sifting process to remove the outer layers, leaving the white flour. There are no nutrients in this powdery substance, labeled as flour and all purpose flour, wheat flour, etc. This flour is devoid of nutritional except what has been added afterwards. White flour is not a whole ground grain. It’s been stripped of everything nutritious for the sake of mass production, shelf life, and easy, no fail cooking.
- If anything natural doesn’t go bad when exposed to air, then you have to question what has been done to the foods to make them indigestible in lieu of appearance. Believe half of what you see.
Check out Michael Pollan (youtube, books, website articles) for simple cooking and eating, along with a logical philosophy about eating. If you remember nothing else: stay away from the center isles of the grocery stores (shop in the perimeter). I always say, eat whatever comes closest to its most natural form – and prepare it to taste pleasurable (get familiar with some basic herbs and spices). And if our ancestors prepared a food a certain way, it’s probably safer to eat it. Just be sure the ingredients used were pure (organic) before manufacturers created the product.
With grains, there is a simple way to handle them once you understand the system. I have worked with whole grains for 25 years. I can attest to the health benefits for myself, my children and those who switched. My immune system is stronger (we either get a very mild passing form of major illness, or rarely, if ever get sick with whole grains in our diet), digestion is good (1st defense for immunity), and it’s a great filler if you aren’t a big meat eater. (And it contains proteins/amino acids that “experts” say you can’t get from anything but meat – look up nutrient values for whole grains.)
Read this for the history of how growing your own grains became illegal. Please notice how government controls were set up by agribusiness to benefit only agribusinesses’ pocket-books (not farmers): Wickard v. Filburn
Solution: I bought a NutraMill grinder (saved up for it by not buying junk food and put the savings aside: Where there’s a mill, there’s a way. eh eh. Responsible adults don’t make excuses). Choosing a Grain Mill; I Bought the different grains for bread loaves, pastries, pastas, corn, rice, oatmeal. I learned how to handle them through trial and error, and consulting others. Most bread books are from chefs or use weighted calculations (which are cumbersome for home use) or use white flour. White flour DOES NOT get handled the same as whole wheat. I tried it all until I finally perfected the five simple ingredient bread every time.
This is one of my first successes on bread using only 5 natural ingredients. Time consuming, but simple.
I make all my own grain products from whole, organic, triple cleaned grains, purchased by the buckets from a local supplier (or you can get the pricier version from Central Market or Whole Foods until you find a supplier). It’s actually cheaper in the long run. I can make a loaf of bread for about 75 cents each. Most grains work basically the same. All grains, if eaten whole, require soaking or resting in a liquid to soften the hard outer shell which makes digestion easier, cooking shorter and releases the nutrients. Then cook as directed (exception is rice, rinse white rice; brown rice needs no rinsing, just longer cook times). Think of grains like seeds or legumes to release the magic of nature. If you grind them, then you only need to rest them in a liquid (ex: pancake batter, breads) for 15-40 minutes before baking, depending on the grain.
Side note: NEVER just grind legumes. They MUST BE SOAKED to release the nitrogen. I did this once by mistake, thinking I was cutting corners for burritos – just add water type thing. In theory, it looked and acted like instant re-fried beans. Unfortunately, I ended up with so much gas I thought I was going to explode. Nix that one.
If you want to know anything about the different grains used for breads or baking, do a google search or just shoot me an email. There is not a lot of info about how to make whole wheat loaves without adding gluten or white flour. I can help you get on the road to a healthier way.