Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Sprouting changes the composition of starch molecules, converting them into vegetable sugars, so the body recognizes and digests sprouted grains as a vegetable. Enzymes are also created that aid digestion, complex sugars are broken down which can eliminate painful gas, and vitamin and mineral levels increase. Furthermore, sprouting neutralizes carcinogens and enzyme inhibitors, as phytic acid that inhibits absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.
I have stayed away from sprouted flour because it is expensive to buy/ship and hard to find. Mostly, I am skeptical of the quality because I know how quickly flour looses it's nutrition once milled and going through a storage/buying/shipping/process takes a lot of time. Not to mention keeping it on hand for months as you need it. So when I found out I could do it at home, I decided to go for it.
The steps are simple if you have ever sprouted any grain. I used kamut and spelt my first time because I have had great success in sprouting those. I started in the afternoon and soaked the grains in half-filled quart jars, covered with filtered water. In the morning I rinsed them 3 times, swirling each time. I put a cut piece of cheese cloth held on by a jar band (could also use clean pantyhose.) This made it easy to dump the water each time while keeping the grain in the jar. I then let them drain tilted top down in a large bowl. I repeated the rinse in the afternoon and just before bed they had sprouted. Just a short white tail growing out of one end. I rinsed again and spread out in a thin layer on sheet pans. I set my oven to the dehydrate setting at 110 degrees and left them overnight. In the morning they were completely dry and ready to mill.
I only mill as needed and store the rest whole to preserve nutrition. Under these instructions, this flour is a raw food. Most ovens do not have a setting under 170. While this cooks the grain, which effects the enzymes, I feel this is still a worthwhile process. Most flour you are using for baking purposes, thus cooking the flour in the end anyway. I have not experimented much with the end result, but as I use this nutritious flour in recipes I will report back.
Do you use sprouted flour? If so, do you have any tips?
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
A versatile, gluten free grain with a rich history.This small, yellow seed was quickly recognized by early Aztecs as a power food for their warriors. Amaranth is harvested from an attractive plant which grows like a weed and produces edible leaves that can be used like spinach. The grain itself has a mild grassy flavor that is especially wonderful toasted or popped.
To pop use a deep pot with no oil. Heat the pot and add a pinch to see of the pot is hot enough. If those pop without burning quickly, you have found the right heat (about medium high). Add no more than 2 tablespoons at once, quickly swirl around the pot until mostly popped and dump into a galss bowl before adding more. 1/4 cup will yield 1 cup of popped.
20 cents a serving at $2.00 per lb.
1 lb = 2.2 cups dry = 5 cups cooked = 3 cups flour
1 cup grain to 3 cups water
Simmer 15 minutes, soaked
Simmer 45 minutes, unsoaked
Strain and rinse if desired
-Whole - indefinitely in an air tight container in a cool, dry place.
For long term storage freeze for 48 hours before storing.
-Flour and popped grains - up to 2 weeks in an air tight container, or freeze up to 1 year.
-Cooked - refrigerate for up to 10 days, or freeze up to 6 months.
-Grind in blender and cook for a nutritious baby food
-Use flour for thickening sauces and gravies
-Flour may be added to baked goods.
-Cook to make a hot breakfast cereal.
-Whole amaranth adds crunch to breads.
-Pop and use in breads, cookies, candies and salads.
Nutritional Value per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Total fat 7 g
Dietary fiber 7 g
Protein 14 g
Carbohydrate 66 g
Thiamin 0.1 mg 8%
Riboflavin 0.2 mg 12%
Niacin 0.9 mg 5%
Vitamin B6 0.6 mg 30%
Folate 82mcg 21%
Pantothenic Acid 1.5 mg 15%
Calcium 159 mg 16%
Iron 7.6 mg 42%
Magnesium 248 mg 62%
Phosphorus 557 mg 56%
Potassium 508 mg 15%
Zinc 2.9 mg 19 %
Copper 0.5 mg 26%
Manganese 3.3 mg 167%
Selenium 18.7 mcg 27%