I ousted oats from my diet just recently when I discovered that I had Avenin Sensitive Enteropathy. This proved to be a terrible obstacle for me, since I enjoy baking with oats and oat flour for their elasticity. I have been working to convert some of my favorite recipes that contain oats, to healthier and safer recipes.
Additionally, I have been working harder to soak and ferment more of my food. I haven’t reached the stage of sprouting because I don’t grind my own grain and I don’t eat a lot of raw foods (raw foods are hard on the gut and the latest research suggests that our body requires cooking of many foods to make their vitamins more accessible for absorption. Dr. McDougall posted a speaker to his site here). Sprouting seeds is a process, and particular seeds are bought for sprouting.
As far as fermenting goes, every year we make pickles, and I also make this gluten free vegan sourdough.Believe it or not, making homemade yogurt is considered fermenting. I’m not into the water-keffir fad yet however, or kombucha, both of which are fermented.
I’m very interested in sprouted and soaked flours, however. I did some research and found some amazing gluten free sprouted flour companies!
The first one I found was To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co. They say on their site, “Our new GLUTEN-FREE facility is open. We offer 12 gluten-free sprouted grains and flours! All of our sprouted gluten-free products are Elisa tested to ensure 10 ppm or less gluten.” They literally have EVERYTHING!
The second site I found was by Shiloh Farms, and they have a line called “Pure Living Sprouted Products”, which contains 11 different sprouted flours. They too are certified gluten free and test to be under 10ppm. Their products are also found through Vitacost.
I don’t have a cupboard full of these lovely flours, so I had to read up on how to soak my things. I prefer not to post the links to those sites, because while I had some odd questions answered, the authors are predominantly WAP followers (re: Sally Fallon groupies) and I don’t want to give their bad science any blog traffic.
So here’s the long and the short of it. All grains, nuts, seeds, and beans can be soaked. You can use yogurt or apple cider vinegar. You can soak your grains, strain and rinse them, and dehydrate them, or you can cook them. Soaking times vary depending on the food. I wrote a post on beans and how to soak and cook them, and cooking soaked rice is pretty much the same ratio to water, cook time, and method as regular unsoaked rice.
Flours are different though. I don’t exactly want to soak or sprout grains and grind them, nor do I want to soak flours and dehydrate them. There’s a shortcut. You can add your yogurt and wet ingredients to your flour and let them sit in a bowl, covered, in a warm place, just like you would soak grains or beans. I added yogurt to this cookie recipe when there was none, and it turned out just fine. If you’re worried about liquid, you can reduce the amount of water or milk and replace the amounts with yogurt, or do half yogurt and half liquid. It didn’t make a difference that my flour had other additives like roots (tapioca and potato), which don’t have to be soaked. I also love Happy Herbivore, but too many of her recipes have oats in them, which I cannot have. So I have been adapting some of them, and this one just happened to be on her site:
Happy Herbivore’s Butter Bean Cookies, Adapted for soaked flours and oat elimination:
In a bowl, add:
1/2c brown rice flour, 1/4c potato starch, 1/4c tapioca starch, 1/2t xanthan gum (all purpose flour mix)
1/4c plain yogurt (I use homemade soy yogurt)
1/4c unsweetened applesauce
Mix well until all flour is moist, adding a tablespoon or so more of yogurt if needed. Cover with a plate or lid, and let sit 7-12hrs. You can sub the flour mix for any all purpose flour blend.
Add to the mix:
1c quinoa flakes* (I use Ancient Harvest brand which are small flakes and don’t require pulsing in the food processor)
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp baking soda
1/2c demerara sugar or sucanat (I use sucanat which is Dr. McDougall approved)
Then in a food processor, add 1/2c cooked/canned old navy** (white) beans and 2T of the bean juice or water with 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I use Frontier alcohol free, which is vegan/halal). Pulse the beans until they’re mooshed. Alternatively, you can do this with a fork.
Add this mix to your dry ingredients with 1/2c chocolate chips (some Ghirardelli chips are gluten free and vegan).
Make two dozen balls that are approximately a heaping tablespoon. Smoosh them with your hand into cookie shapes- you can moisten your hand with water if the dough is sticking to it.
Cook on parchment at 350 until the edges of the cookies turn golden brown. The cookies won’t turn completely golden like other cookies, so once the edges start to turn golden, pull these out, lest they become hockey pucks, and cool them on a rack.
*Quinoa flakes are cooked and don’t require soaking
**Side note: Butter beans are canned white lima beans, and I don’t prefer to use them here.