2 minutes reading time (363 words)

The Two-Stage Process

The two-stage process is my coined term for soaking, sprouting, or fermenting grains or flour to release more of the valuable nutrients for assimilation, and to improve their digestion. The method used in my recipes is the soaking method. This step is included in the recipes, titled STAGE 1, calling for a 12 - 24 hour soaking time, or 7 hours for brown rice. In addition to the soaking time, a warm environment and presence of an acid ingredient improves the benefits. These conditions help to break down the phytates present in all whole grains that bind up a significant portion of the nutrients, especially calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. A warm environment can be provided by using warm ingredients and soaking at room temperature. The acid ingredient may be cultured milk, such as yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk (see p. 12), or a small amount of whey (the liquid part of yogurt) or lemon juice. If an occasional recipe has a high percentage of citrus or apple juice, or honey, an additional acid may not be included. If almond or coconut milk are used, an acid is added to it.

Two fringe benefits of the two-stage process are more pleasing texture and convenience (believe it or not). Softening of the grain results in lighter textured baked products and often shortens the cooking time of grain dishes. Doing the first stage in advance saves last minute time, when for most of us time is of the essence.

Soaking nuts is also suggested for slightly different reasons, and the method is different. This option is not given as part of the steps in recipes, unless merely added in STAGE 1. Since the method is slightly different, however, you may want to soak nuts separately for the most effective results.

Legumes (dry peas and beans) also should be soaked, but recipes using legumes, unless canned, are not called for in my recipes.

Not everyone is convinced that the two-stage process is necessary for health. I am not one of them, but have presented both sides with the details and my conclusion in my cookbook Breakfasts and Whole Grain Baking. From the latter you will also learn about the sprouting and fermenting methods.

Almond Milk
Marinated Mushrooms
 

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Tuesday, 09 August 2022

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