Monday, 14 June 2010

Soaking grains...

I'm enjoying the Nourished Kitchen online course. Where before I just dabbled in soaking my grains before baking, (but have for a long time soaked my grains before eating raw or dehydrating), now I am soaking them all the time.
I soaked rice and almonds all day Saturday in water and whey, before cooking them that night for the Pilaf recipe in the course. I had made fresh chicken stock that day as well for the cooking liquid. Rice has never tasted so good! It was almost silky in texture...and even on Sunday after heating up the leftovers I found this just as lovely. 

It's a very bland dish, in the sense that we usually eat spicy foods, but I really enjoyed that aspect of the meal. I really *tasted* the rice, and it was truly delicious. After cooking I tossed through some shredded chicken breast and freshly chopped coriander (cilantro).
The next day I added some leftover baked pumpkin (from THIS meal) and a chopped tomato. Totally different tastes now, but equally as satisfying.
Next time I'll use organic brown rice. This one was made with Basmati rice.
Spelt flour was soaked overnight with whey, yoghurt and water, then used to make the silkiest pancakes on Sunday morning...
The thing I am discovering with regularly soaking grains is the softness (silkiness!) of the end product. It's amazing! 
Last night (Sunday) I soaked wholemeal wheat flour with whey and water to  make another of the Nourished Kitchen course recipes, Scones. Now, I make amazing scones the traditional way - it's a signature recipe of mine (see HERE) - but I wanted to give this new way a chance to impress me.
The method is quite different, and I did change it a bit because in America they make scones more like their 'biscuits' with a flaky texture, but in Australia (and England) we make them fluffy and soft. This meant I added more liquid to my mix than the Nourished Kitchen recipe. I also added some honey and dried apricots as the recipe required a sweetener and fruit, and those two were on hand.
I just pulled them out of the oven and had them for lunch...verdict? 
They won't take the place of my regular scones for a Devonshire Tea, but as a fruity replacement treat with lovely yellow organic butter, they are going to be made often!
It's mandarin season in Australia and as they are one of my favourite winter fruits I tend to stock up with every visit to the shops to avoid running out. We do not have a fruit & veg store in our little town, just the supermarket, so I am only able to buy what they have on the day. Mandarins are small and shiny when purchased this way, BUT, my son was visiting his mate yesterday and his mate has a large mandarin tree. Guess what he brought home for me?

I think you can tell which ones came off the tree? They taste soooooo much nicer than my little supermarket ones. 
Do you soak grains, nuts and seeds before using?
Healthy Hugs

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