Wheat: Enemy or Ally

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Modern wheat is deadly.  And the way that it is prepared compounds the harmful effects.  Let me explain……

A very high percentage of wheat and wheat products out there are hybrid and loaded with fungicides, pesticides, irradiation, hormones, and are dried using high temperatures.  All this is harmful, not only to the wheat itself but to those eating the products.    Add this all up and we have an increase in diseases that are totally preventable with a change in diet.  Allergies, gluten intolerance, celiac disease, mental illness, and candida overgrowth are just a few problems that are attributed to wheat and the modern way that we process it.  Also weight that you cannot get off…….ever……. But the studies that have gotten out about GMOs are really scary.  Monsanto has had to postpone its introduction of GMO wheat, but you can bet that it is coming.

Spelt and kamoot are heritage grains.  This wheat has not been hybridized or genetically modified…..so far.  Organic farmers raise their wheat better.  Biodynamic farming holds even higher standards than organic.  Neither do all the harmful things listed above.  I would search the web to find local organic growers to get the best quality.

Do you know that most of the nutrition in grains is lost within 24 hours of the hull being opened?  It is oxidized away…..so we are eating nothing but filler.  The best way to get the most nutrition is to buy it whole and grind it yourself.  I have a Country Living Grain Mill.  This can be used either by hand or with a motor.  This way you have access to all the nutrition that the grain has to offer you….if you follow the next step.

The other problem with grains is the speed in which it is prepared.  It is made into bread with yeast.  Now I know that our grandparents made bread with yeast, but not the ones before that.  Traditionally grains were allowed to ferment before eating.  In all grain there are enzymes called phytic acid.  These bind up calcium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc and do not make it available.  Sourdough pre-digests the grains and makes these more available.  All pre-industrialized people soak or ferment their grains before making whatever they were going to eat.

I have a friend that makes sourdough bread and sells it at a bread-stand every week.  She sells to people who cannot eat “normal” bread.  But because my friend only makes her bread with fresh ground flour and sourdough, gluten intolerant people can eat it without problems associated with bread.

Find sourdough online, from a friend, or start some for yourself.  It is not hard.  Take a cup of flour and a cup of water.  I also add a tiny amount of buttermilk or yogurt to get things going but it is not necessary.  Mix together in a glass container with a wooden spoon.  Later a wooden spoon will be important so make it a habit right off.  Metal messes with sourdough.  I like using a crock pot.  I like the look of them since I have to have it visible, but I have used gallon jars with equal success.  Cover with a cloth and let sit overnight.  The next day, and every day for the rest of its life, add equal amounts of flour and water.  It is ready to bake with after at least 7 days.  And it gets better with time.  If you are going to bake add more flour/water to give you enough to bake with and for a start left over.  If not, just feed it a little.  It grows fast so plan ahead.

To make the bread takes a little while.  I start in the evening.  I mix 6 cups of my sourdough starter with 4 cups of water then add more flour until it is thick and knead able.  Sometimes I add sweeteners like honey or molasses and always a little salt.  Then I knead it for about 15 minutes and put into my greased pans.  These I cover with a cloth and let sit until morning.  Then I bake it at 350 degrees until the loaves sound hollow.

Nothing is better than hot bread fresh out of the oven covered with melted butter and honey.  Yummy!!!

I have also made cinnamon rolls, cookies, cakes, and noodles with this basic recipe and a few alterations.  Let your imagination run wild.  This is really the staff of life.  I can feel the difference between eating this and the @&$) from the store.  It is worth the time and effort put into it.  Especially if you have a gluten intolerance.

What other ways would you use sourdough?  BTW I will post pictures of my bread when I make it.

P.S.  Do not use the recipes from modern sourdough cook books.  They do not use the fermenting process to break down the gluten.  It is just there for flavor.  Nourishing Traditions is a great book for recipes and other ideas.

About Janolyn

I am a mother of 5 wonderful children, 4 boys and 1 girl. During the years that my children were growing up, we grew most of our own food with a vegetable garden, many fruit trees and berry patches. I grew flowers for joy. We milked goats and raised our own meats and eggs. I learned to make my own cheeses, butter, canned foods, sourdough, and fermented foods. I made our own health products like soap, hand creams, lip balm, and herbal tinctures. We live off the power grid and have learned to do without conveniences that most Americans consider essential. The land clearing and building has been mostly accomplished with hand tools; some of them even the right tool for the job. After a couple of miscarriages between #2 and #3 due to “standard medical procedures”, I consulted a midwife and my last 3 children were born safely at home. That was when I was first alerted to the fact that doctors did not know everything nor would they have the time to share it with their patients if they did. As I learned the basic principles of heath-through-nutrition from my midwife, I learned alternative gardening practices from her husband. That introduction started a lifelong love of learning the practical life of our ancestors. I want to share what I have been learning with you and learn from those who are also living a sustainable life.

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