Souring Grains

aka. My guide to the best brown rice of your life, and the tastiest porridge.

I’ve never liked the idea of treating a food group as the enemy, and my goodness, have grains had a rough trot over the years. Yes, they can be hard to digest for some, but they’re also full of beautiful vitamins, minerals and fibre, as well as lovely slow-release source of carbohydrates – essential for brain function.

Believe it or not, there is a way to cook grains so that they don’t upset your gut (although, I have found that the boyfriend is just plain allergic to a couple of things, no matter how I long I sour them – more for me then, hahaha!). Its actually really easy, it just takes a little patience, and a nice big bowl.

This time of year is perfect to delve into grains; they are a comfort food at heart and go so well with hearty stews, casseroles, dhals and the like.

I learnt this souring method from Matt & Lentil from Grown & Gathered; the book that has been our bible since I bought it for Blake’s birthday in January, and I’ve had heaps of you asking just what the heck souring even is, so I thought I would pass on the info.

Souring grains is the process of allowing grains to soak with a souring agent (I use organic apple cider vinegar, but you can also use whey, lemon juice, yoghurt or other vinegar). Souring your grains deactivates enzyme inhibitors that would usually be activated in your gut, causing bloating, gas and discomfort. It also makes forΒ the fluffiest brown rice that ever existed.

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Soured steel cut oat porridge

Here’s how you do it:

Add 2 cups of wholegrain of your choice with filtered, rain or spring water (amount defined in below table) and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a jar, bowl or saucepan and sit in a warm place for 12-24 hours.

Pour the grain, water and apple cider vinegar into a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for the time defined in the below table.

That is literally all you have to do.

I will tell you this; simmering makes all the difference, so don’t be in a hurry and boil it ferociously (patience really is key). And make sure you use filtered, rain or spring water, as the chlorine can get in the way of the souring process. Salt should also be avoided untilΒ after the grains are cooked, as they harden the grain, meaning no fluffy brown rice.

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For more information and a key to all your grains (including the gluten-containing ones) I really encourage you to buy Grown & Gathered by Matt and Lentil. I am not sponsored by them, I just know that their book has taught me so much, inspired me so much and truly changed the way I think about, grow, purchase, cook and eat my food in the best way possible.

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