Boost the Nutrition of Your Food (part VII)
Traditional Kitchen Tip to Boost Your Nutrition!
The old adage still holds today “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – Benjamin Franklin
One of the most basic ways one can practice prevention is within the foods you buy and how you prepare them. To guide you to prevention with food, the previous 6 blogs covered: know your food sources soils and animal farming, eating true whole foods and seasonally, avoiding kitchen techniques that destroy food nutrition and incorporating simplistic traditional kitchen techniques that boost the nutrition. Each blog also included a delicious recipe. This series will be wrapped up with another traditional kitchen technique (and recipe) that improves nutritional value, digestibility, and taste that is known as Sprouting.
What is Sprouting?
Sprout to begin to grow; give off shoots or buds. Sprouting is the practice of germinating seeds (the process in which a plant grows from a seed).
Why aren’t all commercial seeds sprouted?
Cheaper and longer shelf life, are the two primary words. As we have moved away from eating local foods, many foods today go through miles and miles of transportation and sit on the shelves for weeks and months. When our cultures ate mostly localized foods, grains awaiting their transportation in stacks in an open field would go through their natural process of sprouting. Since this “alive” would not last the non-local transportation or long shelf life, today’s commercialized food era uses modern farming and storage techniques to make foods more abundant cheaper and increase the shelf life the pay-off….eating dead foods that no longer contain their full nutritional value and many times have toxins added to them.
How are commercial foods preserved?
- To increase storage life, modern techniques are used to prevent grains from germinating (aka sprouting)
- Grains are laced with pesticides during the growing season to prevent bugs during long storage times
- Rancidity increases when milled flours are stored for long periods of time, particularly in open bins, therefore, the bran and germ (which together make a whole compliment of nutritional value) are often removed and sold separately. When food properties are fractioned (such as bran and germ), they become less nutritional and less digestible.
The Process of Commercial Grain Foods
Your best ounce of prevention when it comes to grains is to avoid commercial made granolas, quick rise breads and extruded breakfast cereals. Here is a short list of why…
- Improperly prepared seeds, nuts and grains block mineral absorption and cause intestinal distress.
- When grain is fractioned the bran, germ, starch are separated from one another which decreases their nutritional absorption ability
- In the grain-refining process the bran is removed, resulting in the loss of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, lignans, phyto-oestrogens, phenolic compounds, and phytic acid.
- Grains are milled at high temperatures which destroys nutrients
- The process of extrusion is how one gets shaped boxed breakfast cereals. Extrusion forces the contents out of a hole with high temperature and pressure. This extrusion process destroys most of the nutrients in the grains, including fatty acids and usually has added chemical/synthetic vitamins.
So Gluten Free is the Way to Go?
There is a lot of misunderstanding and confusion on the subject of healthy foods and one of the current food type is “gluten free” diet phase. I will briefly touch on it here, but essentially would be its own blog in of itself to explain the pro’s and con’s. In the current hype of “gluten free diets” many companies have jumped on the bandwagon creating “gluten free” processed carbohydrates made with rice, sugar, potato starch, tapioca flour, soy, buckwheat flour, etc. Being these ingredients are typically processed, (aka out of its natural state as its been either extruded, highly heated, bleached, de-odorized etc, just like most gluten products these days), these “gluten free” ingredients can be just as harmful on the digestive tract because they no longer carry the enzymes, minerals and other nutrients it had its natural state. As a result, it requires more of the body’s reserves (enzymes, HCL) to break it down and dispel it as well as, the body treats it like a toxin (instead of a nutrient) alarming and wearing down the immune system.
So now what do I do? Please note, if you truly have an allergy to gluten I’m not proposing that you eat it. What I do highly recommend, is caution what you substitute it with. Again I will present another blog with ways you can avoid gluten and recommendations of whole food substitutes so you can have plenty of enjoyable and tasty options — for now stick with whole foods and whole food recipes.
History of Sprouted Foods
- Medicinally and nutritionally, sprouts have a long history. It has been written that the Ancient Chinese physicians recognized and prescribed sprouts for curing many disorders over 5,000 years ago. Accounts of sprouting appear in the Bible in the Book of Daniel
- Credit goes to the Chinese several centuries ago that began sprouting mung beans for its Vitamin C to prevent scurvy
- Examples of Traditional grain recipes around the world
- India, rice and lentils are fermented for at least two days before they are prepared as idli and dosas;
- Africa the natives soak coarsely ground corn overnight before adding it to soups and stews and they ferment corn or millet for several days to produce a sour porridge called
- Mexican corn cakes, called pozol, are fermented for several days and for as long as two weeks in banana leaves; before the introduction of commercial brewers yeast
- Europeans made slow-rise breads from fermented starters
- America the pioneers were famous for their beer, sourdough breads, pancakes and biscuits;
- Europe grains were soaked overnight, and for as long as several days, in water or soured milk before they were cooked and served as porridge or gruel
The Nutritional Boost of Sprouting
- Makes foods more nutritious and digestible (many people who can’t eat gluten once their digestive tracts have been cleansed and nourished can slowly add grains that have been cultured/sprouted)
- Increases the level and absorption ability of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes even beyond its raw state
- such as Vitamins B(s), C, K2, carotene
- supplies digestive enzymes from our food
- sprouting increases enzyme activity as much as 6 times!
- Neutralizes natural problematic nutrients that can interfere with digestion such as: phytic acid, tannins, sugars, oxalic acid, phytoestrogens, aflatoxins.
- Phytic acid is a natures way of preserving, preventing the food from sprouting until conditions are right.
- All grains, nuts, and seeds contain phytic acids and should be soaked prior to eating/cooking.
- If these elements are not neutralized it could have the following impacts: digestive interference, block the absorption of iron, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc.
- In the sprouting process starches are converted to simple sugars, thus making sprouts easily digested
- Facilitates colon elimination (great for constipation)
Basic Instructions for Sprouting
(The process is the same for all grains & seeds other than length of time)
- Items needed: filtered water, glass jar(s) 16 – 32 oz, breathable air top lid (or cheese cloth & rubber band), item being sprouted
- Fill jar 1/3 full with item to be sprouted
- Add filtered water past the food, add 1Tbs or liquid whey or fresh squeezed lemon juice, then cover with breathable air top and soak (obtain a Free Sprouting Chart email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- After soaking step is completed, rinse the product with filtered water and do not add any more water
- With the breathable top in place, invert the jar and let it sit an angle so it can drain and allow air to circulate.
- The food should be rinsed a couple times a day
- In one to four days sprouts will be ready (obtain a Free Sprouting Chart email email@example.com)
- Rinse well, seal off jar with non-breathable top & store in fridge until ready to add to your meal
Recipe – Vanilla Date Sprouted Granola
- 1.5 cups soaked Irish Oats
- 1 cup of sprouted Buckwheat groats
- 1/4 cup soaked raw walnuts or pecans
- 1/4 cup soaked raw almonds
- 2 tbsp soaked raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1 tbsp freshly ground flax seed
- ¼ cup chopped dates
- ½ cup dried fruit (optional)
- ¼ tsp of Premier Pink Salt (air-dried)
- 1 tbsp Premier Golden Canadian Honey (untreated, unheated)
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (preferably grade B, C, D) (optional)
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Soak oats, nuts and pepitas in water overnight and rinse off the next day.
- In a food processor chop all nuts, seeds, dried fruit (optional) and place in bowl
- In bowl of nuts/seeds/fruit mixture add and Irish oats, sprouted buckwheat groats and stir
- In same bowl mix in: salt, cinnamon, maple syrup/dates, honey, orange juice, butter and vanilla
- Let items meld in the bowl for 30 (or more) minutes)
- Your baking dish (preferably a stone or glass), glaze it with a little melted coconut oil or butter (to prevent sticking), then add your granola mix.
- Dehydrate in oven on warm (or dehydrator) until the mixture is dry it may require overnight but worth the wait.
- Store in air tight container.
Tracy Coe, Certified QRA Nutrition & Wellness Practitioner emphasizes a nutritionally dense diet, opening internal pathways to assist physical transformation, target specific health issues, guides clients to live healthier, more vibrant lives and freeing your body and mind of major and minor aches pains. As a part of Tracy’s Wellness programs, she shares useful daily living practices that can be immediately implemented to support a journey of health and wellness for themselves and the entire family. Click here to read what her clients are saying, to read more of Tracy’s Wellness Blogs click here.
To Great Health & Wellness,
Tracy PMA-CPT, certified QRA & Wellness Practitioner
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Weston A. Price Article: Replacing White Flour with Whole Grains in Four Simple Steps
Posted on March 2, 2003 by Lori Lipinski http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/replacing-white-flour-with-whole-grains-in-four-simple-steps/
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Movie: “The Beautiful Truth” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qA7T6P4mS8
“FOOD” Documentary – A Revealing Look at the Sourcing of Our Modern Food Supply http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/11/food-documentary.aspx
Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2006/10/17/dirty-secrets-of-the-food-processing-industry.aspx
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