As much as we all love a good piece of toast, it’s no secret that grain isn’t always easy on our digestive systems. Dr. David Perlmutter, MD., believes that we should nearly cut all grain from our diets. Although his science is compelling, cutting grains completely is something that many people just aren’t willing to do.
Yes, grain does do some really good things for our health. If only there were a way to get the benefits without the assault on our digestive systems. Oh, there is. Besides the type of grain we choose, there are some very cool (and even ancient) methods for giving our breads a health boost. In her book , Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon mentions studies done by Dr. Price. He studies groups of people untouched by civilization. These people have striking health and longevity. This is due, in part, to the fact that they have preserved ancient traditions for food preparation. One practice that he found across the board was dealing with grains in the following ways (Look for upcoming posts for more detail about these methods):
Tip #1: NATURAL LEAVENING
As you probably guessed, this is referring to sourdough, also known as natural fermentation or natural leavening. Sourdough is a bread that rises without the use of packaged yeast. You’re probably aware that the way this works is the bread dough undergoes a fermentation that causes it to rise. It begins with a start that is fed and ferments. Then it can be used leaving a little behind to be fed and used again. There are many health benefits to natural leaven. Watch for the follow up post for a more in-depth look at this ancient techinque. Here are a couple brief reasons why we should consider natural leavening (More to come).
Natural leavening makes wheat much easier to digest because the fermentation begins the digestion process before it ever hits the mouth.
Natural leavening enables nutrient absorption in the body. The phytic acid is broken down so that our bodies are better able to absorb the nutrients found in grains.
Tip #2: SPROUTING
As we know, grains are seeds that have the ability to develop new growth. There are protections in grains that keep them from growing until conditions are perfect. If we provide those conditions, grains will crack open and begin to sprout. Here is where we stop the process and use the grain as we usually do. Again, you may be asking, “Why would we do that?” Sprouting also has some great health benefits that improve the track record of the grains that make up such a large part of our diets.
Grains that are barely on their way to becoming a new plant are easier to digest. It makes sense considering that the toughness is being broken down in favor of a new, tender plant.
Catching a plant at this stage means catching all the nutrients necessary for growth. Not only that, the process makes those nutrients more accessible for our bodies. Another important factor is that there are many nutrients that aren’t available in grains until they germinate. An important one is vitamin C.
For a list of studies done on the health benefits of sprouting go here.
Tip #3: SOAKING
Soaking is another process that improves the healthiness of grains. This provides the conditions for germination that alters the grain enough to make it better for our bodies. Grains can be soaked in water or water mixed with things like salt or something acidic like yogurt, whey or lemon juice. Again, why?
Soaking breaks down gluten which is one of our digestive system’s main enemies. It’s another example of how we partially digest the grain before consuming it. It also has the power to neutralize toxins that clutter our colons.
Soaking is another way that phytic acid can be broken down so that our bodies are able to have full access to the nutrients found in grains.Also, this process that directs the grain towards germination facilitates the creation of enzymes, vitamins, and minerals that our body needs to function properly.
“The Benefits of Soaking Nuts and Seeds.” Food Matters. Permacology Productions. Web. 10 Jan. 2015.
Fallon, Sally, and Mary G. Enig. Nourishing Traditions. Washington, DC: NewTrends, 2001.
Perlmutter, David, and Kristin Loberg. Grain Brain. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2013.
“Sourdough Bread Has Most Health Benefits Prof Finds.” University of Guelph. Web. 10 Jan, 2015.
“Sprouted Whole Grains.” The Whole Grains Council. Oldways. Web. 10 Jan. 2015.
Whitley, Andrew. “In Praise of Sourdough.” NYR Natural News. Neal’s Yard Remedies, 5 Sep. 2003. Web. 10 Jan. 2015.
Ok, first of all, don’t give up! I had quite the adventure figuring out how to make this recipe work for me. Einkorn is a little different. I get it. It’s SO worth it! There’s a learning curve. Second, time and measurments are more about consistency than exactness. The truth is, I can’t tell you exactly how long this bread takes. It could be six hours; it could be twelve. It depends on a lot of variables.
If you feel like your dough is taking a lifetime to rise, you’re probably not alone. So before you swear off natural leavening forever, please watch read more…
When you eat modern bread wheat, do you experience bloat or congestion?
If so, you’re not alone, and that appears to be one of the reasons some people are eating einkorn, the world’s most primitive wheat.
Elizabeth asked einkorn followers, “Anyone out there who’s gluten intolerant but able to eat Einkorn?” Read the answers she received… These people are experiencing that Einkorn is easier on their gut than other types of wheat but what could the reason? read more…
Last night, I made pizza with Einkorn Flour. I literally pulled it out of the oven to let it cool, went upstairs and came back down to the ENTIRE pizza gone. My family consumed it in the minutes I was gone!
Luckily I had frozen the other half of the dough so I made another pizza.
For just the recipe go here.
Before I make anything with Einkorn Flour I grind read more…
Give it a try yourself! For the recipe… Click here
Since I started baking with Einkorn Flour, I’ve learned a thing or two, and I’ve decided to share my tips. For many of you, this is the post you have been waiting for so I hope you enjoy!
I’ll show you how I mill einkorn flour, adapt recipes for einkorn, make white einkorn flour, and add a lovely artisan crust to my einkorn breads.
One of the best things about Einkorn flour, even freshly milled Einkorn flour, is it’s softness. It lends to great baking, especially in quick breads. This flour brings a moistness to the bread and a wonderful airy texture.
So I knew it would be perfect for pumpkin bread.
The air has been cool around here, and the smell of read more…
In the past week, our family has enjoyed several beautiful and delicious einkorn foods, including bread, tortillas, muffins, pancakes, waffles, and pie (crust). With each delicious food, I am reminded of the unique qualities of this dandy farro piccolo.
The first reminder comes about 2 minutes after the first bite. I don’t get the saliva drench and I don’t feel read more…
This slow rise einkorn bread is really quite a treat. Is there anything quite like an artisan bread that has slowly developed flavors, with a hard crust and chewy middle? No, no there really isn’t. The key to the beautiful crust is a dutch oven. The heavy pot with the tight lid that seals on top simulates a professional bread oven circulating the stem back upon itself. It’s as close as we will get to the real thing here at home.
1. Proof 1/2 tsp of yeast in the warm water. I tend to go a little on the hotter side, as long as you don’t go over 110 degrees you are ok.
2. Sift 5 Cups of Einkorn flour, 1/2 tsp sea salt, and 1/3 c powdered milk together.
3. Add the water/yeast mixture into your dry ingredients and mix with a spatula. The dough will be fairly sticky.
4. Scrape the sides of your bowl down to incorporate then cover with plastic wrap.
5. Let it rise for 14 hours in a dark place. The slow rise develops volume and flavor at the same time.
6. After 14 hours preheat your oven to 500 with the dutch oven AND lid in the middle of your oven. This dutch oven is the key to the artisan type of bread.
7. Turn your dough out onto a floured surface. Don’t work the dough too much. I fold each side of the dough inward like an envelope to create some more pockets of air.
8. Once your oven is preheated, place your loaf into the dutch oven, place the lid on it and close your oven. Do this as quick as possible so you do not lose your heat.
9. Bake for 35 minutes, take the lid off and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
10. Cool on a rack until completely cool.
(For a more detailed version of this recipe go, HERE)
Overseas scientists are desperate. A type of stem rust is threatening a most crucial cereal crop. This isn’t just any kind of fungus. It’s Ug99, or Stem Rust. This fungus climbs up the stems of wheat and within a matter of weeks, brings the wheat to it’s knees in a tangled black mess on the ground. The scary part of the fungus is that it travels by wind.
Stem rust has been around a long time. In fact Rome (384 – 322 B.C.) had a Rust God that they offered sacrificial animals to in hopes to relieve them of this disease. It may have even contributed to the downfall of their empire. Over time and many year later scientists discovered a way to control the outbreak, but in 1999 a virulent strain broke out in Uganda. From Uganda it traveled on the wind up through Africa, into Yemen, and across the Red Sea to Iran. It is now headed towards Pakistan and India.
This would be devastating to these countries. Wheat is the most widely grown cereal crop accounting for 35% of their caloric intake. In addition, it brings in the sole income for many farmers in these areas.
This is why stem rust is on so many people’s radar, scientists and government alike. This strain can affect 90% of wheat crops. 90 Percent.
This is where Einkorn can save the day. Einkorn is not one of those 90%. Einkorn carries the Gene Sr35. Researchers have determined that Sr35 has a near immunity quality to stem rust, and if they can pin point it, they can use it to stop the disease of stem rust.
This news attributes again to the incredible species that Einkorn is. Not only is it nutrient dense, low in heavy metals, carries the completely different gluten A genome for gluten, but there is high hopes that it will come to the rescue of the rest of the wheat family.
Who doesn’t like biscuits? These Einkorn biscuits are flaky and light. The Einkorn flour softness contributes to the softness of the biscuits and make them an ideal Breakfast!
Actually these are so good they are great for anytime of the day. I loved how well they turned out so much that I took them to a dinner party that night and they were a huge hit!
See the einkorn biscuits recipe.
Try them for yourself! Get the recipe here
My first attempt at making einkorn carrot cake did not go well at all. To add to the blunder, it was supposed to be for a birthday so I was quite disappointed because it turned out to be more like einkorn pudding in a cake pan :/
As you can imagine, the “pudding birthday cake” only made me more determined to get this right. And that’s just what I did!
My second try turned out so well! You can get my recipe here
The cake was spongy, moist, and had a delicious flavor. My family loved it so much that they nearly finished off the entire pan. It’s very healthy (as cakes go) so it was a score in every way.
…I needed one of those after my first try!
Try it for yourself and let me know how you like it: Einkorn Carrot Cake Recipe
Baking with einkorn takes some practice because it absorbs less water, and it looks like it is baked long before it’s ready to take out of the oven. I’ve been told that I should use 25% less water when baking with einkorn. That seems to be true.
Share your experiences with einkorn baking in the comments below.
We call it “einkorn” but across the world, Triticum monococcum has many names, and that’s no surprise since it’s the world’s most primitive form of wheat.
Here are the names we’ve collected:
- einkorn (German)
- small spelt (Italian)
- farro piccolo (Italian)
- engrain (French)
- Le petit épautre (French)
- tiphe (Greek)
- siyez (Turkish)
- sifon (Hebrew)
The list of names is significant because each has a meaning that weaves read more…
Starting in the 1960’s, and increasingly in the 1990’s, plant breeders undertook efforts to produce hybrid wheat varieties with the goals of improving yield and disease resistance. Both worthwhile goals but it’s possible that wheat hybridization may have led to the rapidly growing prevalence of celiac disease today.
We learn that not all gluten is created equally. A study identifies that, “Gluten proteins from wheat can induce celiac disease (CD) in genetically susceptible individuals. Specific gluten peptides can be presented by antigen presenting cells to gluten-sensitive T-cell lymphocytes leading to CD.”1
The same abstract explains that a study of over 80 varieties of wheat shows read more…
If you’re like me, you often prefer a wrap over a piece of bread. That’s why I searched and tested until I had this simple, yet most delicious, recipe for einkorn farro tortillas.
We use tortillas to make wraps filled with all the usual suspects – quinoa, beans, lettuce, salsa, avocado, and cheese. And here’s a secret for which you may (or may not) thank me: these tortillas make for especially tasty quesadillas.
This tortilla recipe is fast and easy to make. You can see my simple instructions and ingredients list under our recipes page here: Einkorn Tortillas Recipe. If you do have questions, feel free to contact us because getting them just right is a bit of an art.
When we make tortillas, we usually prepare large read more…