Here are some pictures I want to share with you. I made Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes this morning. I took Soft White Wheat kernels and ground those last night. I soaked the fresh flour overnight in buttermilk and put in a warm cabinet. Then, I made pancakes this morning. These pancakes, while slightly different than regular pancakes, are very tasty.
Most of us know how many nutrients we are missing when we cook with white flour. I've been doing some research lately and the difference in nutrient levels between white and whole wheat flour really captured my attention. We are only getting 17-40% of the nutrients depending on the nutrient when we eat foods made with white flour. Our society tells us that white flour isn't good because we aren't getting fiber. But, beyond that, when we think about only operating on 17-40% of the nutrients we otherwise would get, we've just got to realize that our diets (especially when you add all that sugar to the equation) are not sufficient.
But that isn't the whole story. Whole grains as they are marketed to us in our grocery stores, really aren't much better than white flour. This is mainly because of two reasons.
One, is that wheat (and other grains) go rancid quickly once they are ground, and also lose their vitamin content. One source tells me that 40% of the B vitamins are lost in 24 hours and 80% are lost in 48 hours. All flour purchased from the store has lost 80+% of its B vitamins!
Additionally, wheat products (and most grains) have a substance in them called phytic acid. Phytic acid binds any minerals (calcium, magnesium, zinc) that you might otherwise get from the grain product you are eating, and probably binds other sources of minerals in the food you are eating with the grain product. Fortunately, God also put a substance called phytase in most whole grains, which can neutralize phytic acid. The grains just need to be soaked.
When breads are eaten that haven't been sprouted or soaked only 1/12 to 1/2 of the nutrients are absorbed (how much is absorbed depends on which nutrient) when compared to eating properly prepared bread. Compounded with the most likely less than fresh flour the store bought bread contains and all the additives added to store bought bread, you can see why we are nutrient deficient in these modern time.
You can neutralize Phytic Acid in a number of ways - you can sprout your grains, then dry them, then grind them. (I have yet to do this myself.) You can soak your grains in buttermilk (or other acidic substance) for 12-24 hours. Or, you can make a long-rise sourdough product. Up until the last hundred years, this was common practice.
Natural food preparation is a favorite topic of mine. I love researching it. But, if you are not as "into" scientific research as I am, don't let that intimidate you. Bottom line, the way I was eating, I was sick all the time and dealt with major depression and anxiety. I needed to find a solution. And, for me, baby steps would move me in the right direction perhaps, but they weren't going to cure my problems. I truly believe, I was suffering from major deficiencies (and probably still am to some degree, but as time goes by it's getting better). If you have health issues don't give up. Nourishing Traditions is a great book and a great cookbook. Another good bread making cookbook is the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book. She doesn't soak the grains, but she has great breadmaking instructions and lots of long-soaking recipes. She also explains a lot about using fresh grains. Another great website is Rebuild From Depression. And, this blog entry and blog is also interesting: Reversing Tooth Decay.