Thursday, October 13, 2011

Healthy Homemaking Series: Better Baking

Baby Step 24 - A Better Method for Baking

Challenge: Try a new recipe that incorporates the soaking (2 step) method for quick bread, muffins, etc.

The importance of soaking grains was mentioned briefly in the oats post.  Grains are full of vitamins and minerals and have the potential to be very healthy.  They also contain antinutrients though which can cause serious health problems.  An example of this is phytic acid which when untreated (unsoaked) will block the absorption of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc into the body.  And that is only one example.

How:  This is the basic premise, though it can be adapted for different recipes.
-flour and grains are soaked overnight in liquid that is acidic (buttermilk, kefir, yogurt, whey, lemon juice)
-mix the flour and liquid well
-put a damp dishtowel over mixture and leave it
-add the rest of ingredients according to recipe and bake
-baking will take longer than usual

Before even starting I was quite frustrated by this challenge.  All the different recipes I looked through seemed pretty complicated and used a lot of ingredients I don't keep in the house regularly.  Once I actually just did it through, I thought it was so cool!

To begin, using a recipe already adapted for soaking is a good idea.  This is the one we tried:
Blender Batter Pancakes by Sue Gregg

1 c yogurt thinned with water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c uncooked oats
1/2 c uncooked brown rice (we used black rice)
1 egg
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Combine first 5 ingredients in blender and blend on highest setting for 3-5 minutes.  Leave at room temperature covered for 12-24 hours.
Right before baking, add egg, and blend for 1-3 minutes.
Sift in remaining 3 ingredients and blend briefly until mixed.
Bake as usual in frying pan/on griddle.

Ours are a funny colour because of the black rice but still tasty!

We loved them!  This will be the only pancake recipe I use from now on, that is how much I love these.  I think it is so cool that they don't have any flour in them, just using the ground up oats and rice instead.  From what I can tell, they're very nutritious too.  You could add all sorts of different grains or seeds as well.  For all the putting off and frustration beforehand, it was very worth it.  I am so glad I learned about this method and this recipe.  (Oh, and it made way more pancakes than that.  The picture is only about half way through.)

Do you do any baking with the soaking method?

PS - I recently discovered No Impact Man, and now I want to read his book. I then just this second discovered that there is a documentary about it all too!  I've got to see it.  Here's the trailer:


  1. I have never heard of this. I will need to look into it more considering how much baking I do. I was wondering if you have ever considered making all your bread. I have a great book, I think it's called Healthy Bread in 5 minutes a day, that is all about using a starter for your bread and then making your bread each day. I haven't tried it yet as I haven't been able to make the commitment, but hopefully I will soon!

  2. I was so hoping that your pancakes would be purple due to the black rice! I am going to try this recipe as I have never done this blender batter idea! will be shocked..I really want to see the no impact man documentary! It looks really good, and lots of ideas that are easily transferable into our everyday lives :)

  3. I watched the No Impact documentary and thought it was great. You will enjoy it.