Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Seeds that grow - like magic!

I'm continually amazed by how absurdly easy it is to do self-empowering things like growing my own food or cooking experimentally (read: with limited ingredients).  You can have your cake and eat it to ... or at least, I intend to, once I develop my wheat-grinding skills.

See, I invested in three things this last weekend: 1) whole grains from Ozark Natural, 2) a dehydrator, and 3) a wheat grinder.  So far, the wheat berries and the dehydrator have proven themselves as up to the task as I am.  I don't yet know about the wheat grinder, since it hasn't been delivered yet.  Don't worry, I just got the cheapo version.  If I can't stand it, or if it breaks, it's not much of a loss.  It's just a thing, in the end.

Remember how I mentioned I was going on this new diet with my housemate?  Well, the Body Chemistry Diet stipulates only one absolute no-no.  No processed grains or sugars.  Sprouted grains are acceptable, but unless you happen to have some sprouted grain bread handy, you're out of luck for the standard carbohydrates.  Luckily, Ozark Natural is only forty or so minutes away, and they stock their own fresh sprouted wheat breads and sprouted grain pasta.  That gives us two "normal" options for carbs, which I appreciate.

But what about the fun stuff?  What about baking and such?

Thus, the grain-sprouting experience.


Sprouting grain is relatively easy, even in the confines of a suburban kitchen.

The first and most important part of the process is in making the right selection for your grain.  Theoretically, you can sprout pretty much anything--so long as it hasn't been processed.  You don't want grouts, or bleached grains, or any grain where the original seed has been in any way treated or compromised.  You want the whole seed.  In my case, I selected wheat berries, wild rice, and chickpeas.  Any half-decent whole bulk foods store will stock wheat berries, I should think.

Once you've purchased your viable grain, the rest of the sprouting process is dead easy.  You soak your grain overnight in several inches of water (or more, depending on the type of grain--some of this has to be discovered by trial and error), then drain it in the morning.  This soaking process activates the growth cycle.  You want to let the grains breathe while remaining moist.  A jar sealed with loosely meshed cotton or some sort of sieve will work just fine, so long as the jar is tilted so that the grain isn't sitting in the water.

Over the course of the next day, rinse and drain the seeds regularly.  You should see your seeds beginning to sprout by the second morning, and if you're going to dehydrate them and grind them into flour, you should stop the cycle right there.  The chemical changes that make sprouted grains so much better for you than unsprouted grains has already taken place.  You can eat sprouted grains raw (although, I will warn you, sprouted wheat tastes exactly like those wheat grass shots you can get at juice stands ... it's wonderful for you, I'm sure, but a bit ... well ... green), or you can cook them up like you would oatmeal.

And there you go!  I promise you, if your grain is good, sprouting it should be as easy as it sounds.

I will update my blog as I complete the other steps towards grinding my own flour.



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