I have been talking about how our family uses wheat berries and grind the wheat for our bread and baked goods. However, wheat berries also have something called phytic acid in them that some people feel can interfere with their digestion of wheat. I have read many articles and books that say that all wheat should be soaked or sprouted, but I also ran across an interesting article that said wheat does not have to be soaked, but that sprouting is good. You can read that article here to form your own opinion.
I have been soaking or sprouting my wheat for quite some time now. I have always read that sprouting is good. There is some debate about whether or not soaking is necessary. Opinions even vary in my family with some people thinking your always should, and others thinking, why bother.
Sprouting your wheat is definitely a good thing to do though. It greatly increases the vitamins in your wheat. I am sure that many of you have heard of wheat grass. When you sprout your wheat, you are actually sprouting wheatgrass which is a super health food. Pretty neat, huh?
If you decide that you are concerned about phytic acid, it is very easy to prepare your bread so that the phytic acid is broken down and not an issue. There are two main methods to neutralize this phytic acid. One way is the soak your wheat, and the other way is to sprout your wheat. They are both really easy to do, and really don’t take that much time.
How To Soak Your Whole Wheat:
If you have decided that you should soak your wheat, or feel like your family is better off with soaked wheat, it is really easy to do. This is by far the easiest way to neutralize the phytic acid. It doesn’t really take time away from your day.
All that you do is mix the flour and water together and add all ingredients except for the yeast. You can also add a little bit of vinegar, kefir or other agent with the water to aid in the soaking. Then, allow the mixture to sit overnight or through the day. Basically, you want it to sit for 12-24 hours. When you are ready to bake your bread, add your yeast and start up your bread machine. I typically will add my ingredients to my bread machine at night after supper. In the morning, when I wake up, I start my bread machine, and the bread is done by the time that my kids get up for breakfast.After reading the above mentioned article, I am not sure that I am going to continue to do this. I will keep on sprouting wheat, but I am not sure about the soaking. Really this is probably just me being lazy even though it is not that hard to soak your wheat. This article says I don’t need to soak my wheat, which is actually opposite of everything else I have read, so maybe I shouldn’t jump to believe it. And, like I said members of my family are in disagreement about this. So . . . we will see.
How To Sprout Wheat Berries:
Everyone is in agreement that sprouted wheat is really good for you. The vitamins are greatly increased in your wheat after sprouting. It is quite easy to sprout your own wheat, however, you have to plan in advance. Basically, I try to always have wheat in the process of sprouting so that I always have wheat to use
Here are the steps to sprout wheat berries:
1. Take your wheat and place it into a bowl. Cover the wheat with water. The wheat will really soak up the water, so I put about two times the amount of water in my bowl. I also throw a towel over the bowl to keep out the cats. (-: Leave the wheat out overnight.
2. In the morning place the wheat into a strainer, and rinse it. You will want to rinse it pretty well. I shake my wheat berries around a little to make sure that they are rinsed well. Depending on how warm your house is they wheat may already be sprouted. We keep our house pretty cool in the winter, so it takes a couple of days for mine to sprout in the winter. In the summer, the house is much warmer, and they are well sprouted the first morning. If your wheat is not sprouted the first morning, just let it sit out & rinse it again the next morning until it has sprouted.
3. If it is warm, my wheat berries are sometimes sprouted the next morning. If not, I just leave them in the strainer, and rinse them again the next morning when they should be sprouted. I tried to take a picture of the sprouted wheat above so that you can see what it looks like. Basically, there is a little sprout coming off the end of the wheat berry.
4. You can’t grind your wheat berries if they are wet, so they need to be dehydrated. There are several ways to do this.
a. Stick the berries onto some cookie sheets turn your oven to it’s lowest setting, allow it to preheat & stick the berries into your oven & turn it off. Leave them in there overnight, and they should dehydrate.
b. While I have never tried this with cats and children, I know of some people that will just lay their wheat berries out in a sunny window and allow them to dehydrate there.
c. If my Excaliber Dehydrator is empty, I just place my wheat berries into my Excalibar Dehydrator. (Thank you Swagbucks for letting me purchase this with my Amazon gift cards for FREE!!) I allow them to dehydrate, and then grind the wheat as needed.
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