I would like to learn more about whole grains and how they can be used. You seem to be knowledgeable in this area, and I was wondering if you could recommend any websites or books that would help me out.
The books that have been most influential for me in learning how to prepare grains have been Nourishing Traditions and The Maker’s Diet. I read The Maker’s Diet first, and was introduced to the concepts of using not just whole grains, but an entirely new method of preparation. At first, it sounded over-the-top and very labor intensive to me, and so it was about a year or so before I really began to explore the idea again.
At that point, I read Nourishing Traditions and I was so eager to learn that I absolutely devoured it, practically cover to cover (if you’ve seen how big of a book it is, and how much information is crammed into it, you’ll understand!). It really helped to flesh out these new ideas for me, offering suggestions, recipes, techniques, etc. It made it practical and do-able. Not necessarily simple or a breeze (at first, anyways), because I had to think about it and plan ahead, but overall the techniques became more down-to-earth and feasible, even for a busy mom.
I think that even more than that, they became crucial and important to me, because the incredible information in the book (it is actually half textbook and half cookbook) thoroughly convinced me that it was not only beneficial but absolutely necessary to prepare my grains in this manner!
I learned about sprouting grains through raw food books such as Rejuvenate your Life and Living on Live Food. Raw food advocates believe that we should eat all or most of our food in it’s uncooked state, and the only way to make this possible with grains is by sprouting them. Sprouting performs the same function as soaking, reducing phytic acid and making many nutrients much more available and easy to absorb.
Following that, I did a bit more reading of Weston Price articles (see this article), and my own experimentation. I just began to adapt the principles to my own recipes and cooking style. I’ve had many successes and many flops!
In light of the learning curve involved in adapting to these methods, it’s been wonderful to find that there are also beginning to be more and more sites out there that offer recipes for this style of cooking. One such site is my friend Kimi’s site, The Nourishing Gourmet. Some other sites that I’ve found through Kimi include The Nourished Kitchen and Wild Honey.
I am also starting to try some Sue Gregg grain recipes, which use the soaking method, and she has a great method of using whole grains (rather than flour), in the blender, and letting it soak overnight, to make pancakes, muffins, cornbread, etc. I’m eager to purchase her Whole Grains recipe book.
I hope that gives you some good places to start, Jennifer! I would love to hear of any other resources that have been valuable to anyone else!