Jul 152011
 

A mom asks Ruth:

“You don’t mention phytic acid in your book (Super Baby Food), but I have read that its presence in whole grains can limit the absorption of nutrients.  Do you recommend sprouting grains before grinding them for super baby porridge, or soaking?  Thank you!

Ruth says:

Great question!  Actually, I sometimes do sprout my own grains before using them to bake bread or for porridge so that the phytic acid goes away and so that the nutrient content increases.  I also grind my own grains into flour for baking using the Whisper Mill or the Nutrimill grain grinders.  Grains must be totally dry before you use a grain mill or it gets ruined. I use an Excalibur dehydrator to dry my sprouted grains before grinding in my mill.

When soaked, the phytic acid takes a while to go away if the grains are whole kernels–about 8-12 hours.  However, the grains for Super Porridge are first ground to a powder, not a fine powder, but a powder.  The finer the powder, the faster the phytic acid disappears because more water comes into contact with the surface area of the powder.  For well-ground flour like you would use in breads, it takes only 5 minutes of soaking to remove the phytic acid.

Grinding the grains to a course powder is perfect for Super Porridge. Much of the phytic acid goes away when boiled in water, but some may remain.  Phytic acid is a phytonutrient that is good for us, so we should get some of it in our diets.

Because Super Porridge is only coarsely ground, it is low on the glycemic index scale, which is good.  The lower the GI, the better the food is for us because it doesn’t shoot up blood sugar and cause the pancreas to quickly produce lots of insulin.  An overworked pancreas can lead to insulin resistance and maybe even full-blown diabetes.

So the bottom line is, you can sprout your grains, but only for a day or so because otherwise they will be too difficult to grind with longer sprouts.  And the grains must be totally dry before you grind them.  If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can dry them in a low oven- at about 200 degrees so that all bacteria that might start growing are killed.

Happy sprouting and grinding!  Thanks for writing!