the final product!
one of the cookbooks that has affected my cooking the most is called "nourishing traditions" by sally fallon. it focuses on traditional preparations of food to make them as digestible and healthy as possible. as our modern society has grown some traditional ways of cooking have been forgotten in exchange for faster, easier to prepare food. faster and easier does not always mean better though! sourdough bread is a great example of a traditional method of making bread that is not necessarily hard but does take some thought and can be time consuming. once you get in the rhythm of making these kinds of foods it becomes just another part of your day and it doesnt seem as hard. my kids love helping me cook, the final product is delicious and the health benefits are worth it for sure!
ive been trying lots of soaked grain bread recipes lately and the sourdough from nourishing traditions has been by far the best. it takes 7 days to make the starter but all you do is add flour and water to it once a day. after that its totally easy. i even kneaded it in my kitchen aid. i love kneading bread dough but it nice to have the option not to. the recipe is long so im not going to post it now but if anyone wants it i will.
from nourishing traditions:
"Grains require careful preparation because they contain a number of antinutrients that can cause serious health problems. Phytic acid, for example, is an organic acid in which phosphorus is bound. It is mostly found in the bran or outer hull of seeds. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in improperly prepared whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
Other antinutrients in whole grains include enzyme inhibitors which can inhibit digestion and put stress on the pancreas; irritating tannins; complex sugars which the body cannot break down; and gluten and related hard-to-digest proteins which may cause allergies, digestive disorders and even mental illness.
Most of these antinutrients are part of the seed's system of preservation—they prevent sprouting until the conditions are right. Plants need moisture, warmth, time and slight acidity in order to sprout. Proper preparation of grains is a kind and gentle process that imitates the process that occurs in nature. It involves soaking for a period in warm, acidulated water in the preparation of porridge, or long, slow sour dough fermentation in the making of bread. Such processes neutralize phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Vitamin content increases, particularly B vitamins. Tannins, complex sugars, gluten and other difficult-to-digest substances are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption. "
click here for more about digesting and cooking grains.