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Nourishing Traditions - Grains and Legumes

Continuing my review of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, this was such a huge chapter for me, I want to review it by itself.

See the other parts of my review - introduction, mastering the basics, more chapters....

The main idea is that grains and legumes require careful preparation to ensure that the nutrients are completely available.  This means soaking and fermenting overnight, or at least several hours, and no quick boiling methods!  It also includes sprouting the grains first.

I've always known that I had trouble digesting grains, but I didn't understand why.  I tried eating gluten free, but it didn't help, so I went back to eating bread and flour again.  I tried eating brown rice, but I never liked it.  I've never really enjoyed beans/legumes, they always make me feel overfull.  With all this in mind, I was very keen to try the suggestions in this chapter.

Whole grains
  • oats for porridge should be soaked overnight in kefir or yoghurt - I tried this last winter and found that the oats cooked more quickly and I was able to digest the porridge more comfortably.
  • brown rice should be soaked in water and whey/kefir/yoghurt for several hours - if I am organised and remember that we plan to have rice for dinner, I leave the rice soaking during the day, this produces delicious tender brown rice.
  • Many more recipes for different grains and flavours.....
soaking the rice

 Breads and flour products
  • this is the one that is still holding me up!  I tried the banana bread and the yoghurt herb bread and neither turned out very nice, so as I said last week, I hope I'll learn more soon!
  • The other option is sourdough....  or my soaked flour method
banana bread disaster (refused to cook on the inside)

yoghurt herb bread was a bit flat...

  • Beans should be soaked for at least 12, if not 24 hours before use.  Otherwise they can be sprouted.
  • I haven't tried any of these recipes, honestly we have so much beef in the freezer I have no need to make it go any further by adding beans, but one day I may be glad to have these recipes, they all sound very tasty.


  1. Hi
    I've come to your blog from The Greening of Gavin blog. Reads like you are one very busy couple and good for you that you have 'seen the light' early. It hard slog.

    I have 2 hints that may interest you.

    One is the making of Seed Tapes.

    Just search You Tube to learn how easy it is to make them. It has saved me lots of time. It's is difficult to separate seeds to plant in the seed beds so you make these tapes while you are having a coffee or watching TV etc.

    Second is another You Tube about pinching and stringing tomatoes. I had never heard of this idea and am impressed. Saves having to tie them up and have trellises if growing the indeterminate varieties.

    I get my seeds from The Lost Seed and all germinate. Had very expensive duds with Eden Seeds.

    Also. to do with your comment system. Because we bloggers read many other blog we can't be bothered commenting if there is word verification to type to get comments published. I've had to now enter more letters as the first lot was not correct. Grrrrr.
    Hope all your dreams come true.

  2. Hi Liz

    Great tips. I like you have digesting porridge comfortably if cooked without soaking. My grandad used to eat porridge every day without fail and always soaked his in water overnight so this is what I have gone bake to doing when I want porridge the next morning. The overnight soaking is also great if you like to add dried fruit as it has time to swell up.
    Am loving the review by the way.

  3. I have recently received my copy of Nourishing Traditions too and it is quite a read. I am moving through it veeerryy slowly. There is a lot to take in and I think I may need to use a highlighter pen to pick out key concepts so I can go back and review again another time. It's interesting to hear your thoughts along the way and I want to thank you for including the "fails" too as it is ALL important and gives a good candid picture. Thanks

  4. Hey Liz, I bought a copy of Nourishing Traditions at Sally Fallon's talk so I'm going to read through it again. It's been a couple years since I last read it, and it's amazing how much I've already forgotten.

    Bummer that those breads didn't work out for you. I tried making an almond flour bread this week and it was also a fail. I hate wasting ingredients on failures!

    Anyway, I'm back from my holiday so hoping to spend some more time online again. xx

  5. Thanks everyone. Nourishing Traditions is one of those books that you can never finish reading! I read it twice before writing these reviews and then I'm reading each section again to write the review and thinking "I didn't see that last time!", there is always a new recipe to try! Even if you don't want to eat raw liver....and most of them do work, so I don't get put off completely.

  6. Be encouraged - there is a huge learning curve with baking! I recently got into soaking flour for quick breads, but with yeast breads I've read that rising times can help with phytic acid breakdown, so I've been making those like I normally do, for now. Baby steps, right??

  7. Just found your blog...lots of great information. Since I couldn't see how to post a comment on your bread page I'm going to do it here. I also bake all of our bread, but I do so with a different method, which is sprouting the wheat, dehydrating, and grinding. The flavor is amazing, but it doesn't rise as much as I'd like, so the recipe is still being adjusted. I have been looking at getting a bread machine, what brand do you use? I'm looking at a zojirushi, any suggestions?


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