Fermenting grains using Stephan Guyenet’s Simple Fermentation Method . A link to Stephan’s blog Whole Health Source can be found under the Helpful Links section down to the right.
The goal is to remove as much of the phytic acid from the grain as possible before putting it in our bodies. I have been using this method for awhile with rice and recently learned from Wardeh at gnowfglins.com, that it works for all grains. And you can use the same soak water for all of them! A big time-saver in my kitchen!
This method is best used on non-glutinous grains as they don’t have enough phytase enzyme to neutralize the phytic acid on their own. Glutinous grains (like wheat, spelt, and rye) are most often used for breads and soured or sprouted then ground into flour.
Basically it goes like this:
1. Add desired amount of grain to large soaking vessel (I use Mason jars for small amounts and glass bowls for large amounts).
2. Add desired amount of water (refer to chart below).
3. Let sit covered at room temperature for 24 hours.
4. Pour off soak water into measuring cup. Make a note of amount. Reserve 1 pint of this liquid. Label “Grain Soak Water” and store in refrigerator. *
5. Add the same amount of fresh water (that you just poured off into measuring cup) into cooking vessel, along with the fermented grains.
*Grain Soak Water should always be saved and added to the next batch of fermenting grains in the amount of 10% of total soaking water. The more you use your grain soak water, the more effective it will be (because the amount of phytase increases incrementally, allowing you to process out more and more phytic acid).
Why all the extra fuss when you could just put some rice in a pot and cook it up? All traditional cultures prepared their grains by soaking, fermenting/souring or sprouting. This process makes them more digestible and increases their mineral content. It has not been until recent history and industrialized food, that people began skipping this critical step in preparation. Could this be contributing the numerous mineral deficiencies and chronic diseases we are seeing today? I think so.
“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. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long term, many other adverse effects.
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.”
Information from “Enchanted Broccoli Forest” by Mollie Katzen, adapted for SOAKED or FERMENTED GRAINS
Please use your judgment on the cooking times. I have adapted them to fit for soaked and fermented grains. Cooking times are variable and depend on the temp you are cooking at, as well as how long the grains have been soaked/fermented.
|RICE (1 cup)||WATER||COOKING TIME||YIELD|
|Brown Rice (long grain)||2 cups||15 to 25 minutes||3 1/2 cups|
|Brown Rice (short grain)||2 cups||15 to 25 minutes||3 3/4 cups|
|Brown Basmati Rice||2 cups||20 to 25 minutes||4 cups|
|Brown Jasmine Rice||2 cups||20 to 25 minutes||4 cups|
|Black Japonica Rice||2 cups||20 minutes||3 1/2 cups|
|Wehani Rice||2 cups||20 minutes||3 cups|
|Wild Rice||2 1/2 cups||40 minutes||4 cups|
|Manitok Wild Rice||2 1/2 cups||25 to 30 minutes||4 cups|
|GRAIN (1 cup)||WATER||COOKING TIME||YIELD|
|Amaranth||1 1/2 cups||12-15 minutes||2 cups|
|Barley, Hulled||3 cups||45-55 minutes||4 cups|
|Barley, Pearl||2 cups||45 minutes||4 cups|
|Buckwheat/Kasha||1 1/2 cups||5-10 minutes||3 1/2 cups|
|Bulgur (soak, don’t cook)||1 1/2 cups||15 to 20 minutes||3 cups|
|Cracked Wheat||2 1/2 cups||3 to 5 minutes||3 1/2 cups|
|Cornmeal (Polenta)||2 1/2 cups||5 minutes||3 1/2 cups|
|Couscous||1 1/4 cups||5 minutes||2 3/4 cups|
|Kamut||2 1/2 cups||50 minutes||2 1/2 cups|
|Millet||2 cups||12-15 minutes||3 1/2 cups|
|Oat Groats||2 1/2 cups||15 to 20 minutes||2 1/2 cups|
|Quinoa (rinse first)||2 cups||12 to 15 minutes||4 cups|
|Rye Berries||2 1/2 cups||35-40 minutes||2 1/2 cups|
|Spelt||1 1/2 cups||25 to 30 minutes||2 cups|
|Teff||3 cups||7-10 minutes||3 cups|
|Triticale||2 1/2 cups||45 minutes||3 cups|
|Wheat Berries, Hard (Red)||2 cups||1 hour||3 cups|
|Wheat Berries, Soft (White)||2 cups||45 minutes||3 1/2 cups|