Ever since I read Ting's blogpost on a low carb diet, I've been exploring the benefits of nuts and unrefined grains. It really is a measure of how much influence other bloggers have over my life that I would move to act in new directions, try new things, eat new foods and adapt my lifestyle just because of a single blogpost.
Nuts and unrefined grains contain phytic acid. Over consumption of phytic acid leads to inability to absorb important minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. Cooking reduces phytic acid somewhat, but soaking is better... and sprouting even better. I have not got around to sprouting anything yet but I have learnt to soak.
Almond milk was the first thing I made. I soaked 500g of almonds overnight, threw away the water and rinsed well. Then I added 1.2 litres of water to 250g of nuts and pulsed it in the blender. Once the nuts were in small pieces, I set the blender full blast. Then, I strained it through a cloth (those thin cotton square cloths for folding into nappies work beautifully). You can add dates before you blend the nuts for that hint of sweetness. We all like almond milk without flavour enhancers though. Little Boy nodded his head and said that it was as good as cow's milk. You can see a video of how to make almond milk here. I collected a whole mound of almond pulp which I mixed with some honey and bananas. Then I laid the paste out onto the food dehydrator sheets to dry. They dried into nice crackers with a hint of sweet and a whiff of banana. I learnt that from this lady here. All that fibre gave my intestines a good sweep, I think. The pulp also dries out nicely into almond flour. I'll try and make bread tomorrow with almond flour.
The next thing I learnt was to soak brown rice. This is done with non-chlorinated water for 22 hours. I used small bottles of mineral water. After 22 hours of soaking, bubbles appear in the water, indicating that some degree of fermentation has taken place. I give 50% of that water to my plants and reserve the other 50% in the fridge as beneficial bacterial culture for soaking the next batch of brown rice. These bacteria eat the phytic acid. Soaking also makes the brown rice much easier to cook. It can be cooked like normal white jasmine rice but with less water.