Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Beginner's Map for Soaking Grains


For ages I've read people raving about the health benefits of soaking grains... and for whatever reason I haven't bothered. Food and lifestyle changes take time and effort, and I suppose I just hadn't gotten that far. My one small baby step towards soaking was a huge failure: I soaked oats in yogurt overnight and in the morning when I cooked them they were just sour and gross. That kind of squelched my enthusiasm. {To regular grain soakers: what did I do wrong? Can you trouble shoot this for me?}

At any rate, I'm getting older and having indigestion issues and feeling concerned about instilling better eating habits into my children. I've been hearing that grains in any form, even soaked, are terribly harmful, and that people should quit them all together. I, for one, can't just quit them. While life without bread may be healthier, I can't see myself being happier. I just love carbs way too much ;). So if I'm going to keep eating them, I feel I ought to try my best to make them easier on my family's digestive tracts.

Enter my map. To get myself started on this grain-soaking journey, I've culled recipes from several bloggers whom I enjoy and trust. I plan to take one recipe every week or two and give it a test spin. If you've ever considered soaking grains, I'd love for you to bake along with me. Here's my disclaimer: if after trying three or four recipes I haven't had success, I probably won't continue. Hopefully it will go great, and my family will be that much the healthier for it. I'm nothing if not optimistic folks.

First, I intend to start by replacing recipes of baked goods I prepare on a regular basis.

Bagels. I adore homemade bagels, and haven't been able to enjoy a store-bought one since I started making them three years ago. Bagels are so great- you make a big batch and can enjoy them as a quick and easy breakfast for days. Lindsay shares her soaked version on Passionate Homemaking here.

Pancakes. Another regular staple in our breakfast menu. Quick and easy to whip up, loved by all. I'll be trying Lindsay's Blender Pancakes.

French Bread. The perfect completer to stuffed peppers, soup, and a host of other meals. I'm hoping that this recipe matches it's name- EASY French Bread ;).

Muffins. By far my favorite baked good to make and to eat. I'd like to make the Pineapple Muffins from Trina Holden's debut ebook Real Fast Food (as well as the apple cinnamon variation), these raspberry ones from Passionate Homemaking, and Kitchen Stewardship's Soaked Famous Pumpkin Muffins (this will be the first recipe I try, because hello, fall= pumpkin!!!).

Then I'll move on to treats my family enjoys on occasion.

Crepes. My favorite excuse for having chocolate at breakfast. Blender breakfast crepes.

Oven-Baked Pancake. The dutch baby, or puff pancake, has become a recent favorite in my kitchen. How did I go 28 years without ever having one of these glorious creations?!? Using another recipe from Trina's book (see muffins).

Lastly, I'll attempt recipes that I have thus far only aspired to making from scratch.

Biscuits. I really enjoy eating biscuits, but haven't tried making them since a childhood fiasco. At this point I can't even remember what went wrong, but something definitely did. I'm giving another of Lindsay's recipes a whirl.

Granola. Another food I love to eat yet have never made. A dear IRL friend made this recipe from The Elliot Homestead, and when I tried it I couldn't believe how delicious it was. Definitely worth the effort!

If you'd like to keep track of my progress, I will be updating my Grain Soaking pin board as I complete each recipe. Knowing that you are checking in on me will force me to follow through ;).

Do you soak grains? Why or why not? And do you have any fantastic recipes to share with us? I am definitely up for checking them out!

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